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Seven-year-old Aurora golfer is poised to stand on the international stage

November 4, 2021   ·   0 Comments

Aurora resident Christopher Chang has always loved golf. When his daughter Angelina was born, he thought it was an excellent idea to buy her some clubs. When she turned three, he gave her the full set.

Her eyes lit up.

She was so fascinated with the different shapes and designs.

She was drawn to all of the different purposes each club served.

“We took her to the local driving range at Cardinal golf, or any place that had a driving range. She just, non-stop, kept hitting balls. She showed a lot of concentration and a passion for it. You know at three-years-old, you would never expect a kid – let alone a girl – to like golf so much,” Christopher said.

“As she got older, she started taking more of an interest in it. Things got pretty serious. We saw she had some talent.”

The Changs turned to the director of instruction at the Performance Academy at Magna Golf Club, Danny King, for more lessons. The moment King laid eyes on Angelina’s game, he immediately told the family their daughter was special.

“As a coach, you can see their attention to words you speak and how they receive them and how they practice. She’s a little different than most of the seven-year-olds than I’ve taught. She’s much more mature than her age,” King said.

“She’s got really good footwork. Some of the best footwork I’ve ever seen from a seven-year-old. It’s pretty impressive.”

Angelina tells The Auroran from the moment she began hitting golf balls she loved it. Being out there and swinging the club came so naturally. As she got better working on her mechanics and her strength with King, it was time to enter tournaments for the first time this past summer. Her first ever tournament, Angelina recalled it presented plenty of challenges.

“It was Markham Executive. It had so many power lines. Because there were so many power lines there, while we were playing, someone hit one of the power lines,” Angelina said.

It was a distraction to have all these power lines slated above the trees at the course. But it was a distraction she merely shrugged off. Her unbridled passion for the game took over and she finished in second place in this nine-hole game with a score of 31.

Angelina went on to win nine tournaments this past summer, finishing in the top three in every single one. She went on to compete in the US Kids Canadian Golf Tour as the top ranked player winning three out of four tournaments. In her first win at the US Kids Tour, Angelina shot a 36 for even-par and won a three-hole playoff, chipping in the winner for eagle in spectacular fashion.

As she qualified at the highest level (US Kids Priority Status level 11), she is eligible for the US Kids World Championships in 2022 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

“Because she did qualify at the highest level for US Kids, it unlocks a whole bunch of international tournaments. She’s receiving invitations to play all over the place like in Mexico, Brazil, in Europe. Obviously, in Florida, Arizona, California,” Christopher said.

“So, next year, if everything goes well with this pandemic, we definitely plan to go down to Florida to attend one of these events to play against the other players around the world.”

Ahead of the tournaments happening next year, Angelina will continue to practice at home on her simulator or at Peak Performance in Vaughan. She really wanted to win Canadian Junior Champion this past year so badly and now she’ll have her sights set on that moving forward: all with putting in more work and specifically improving on using one club more than anything else.

“Probably my hybrid, because every time I hit my hybrid I don’t hit it all that well. I want it to go farther and higher,” Angelina said.

One of Chang’s biggest assets on the course is her mental toughness and ability to read the course and adapt to situations. She has an incredible drive and her putting and chipping are excellent for her age.

For King, seeing a young female become so good at the sport, as a coach, he would love to see more female golfers come out and try the sport.

“You want more girls playing the game of golf. There’s not a lot of girls who play. The more girls we can get playing the game the better. As a young successful player right now, it will be great for the community. Got to get more girls out there and competing,” King said.

Currently, on the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour website, Angelina ranks third in Ontario and 15th in all of Canada with 270 points. These numbers are remarkable as she did not play a full season on record under the Canadian Junior Golf Association (CJGA) and the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour.

By Robert Belardi



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