Only 11 years old, Redwood Shores’ Lucy Li is already inspiring the next generation of women golfers.
Tuesday, Li returned to Half Moon Bay Golf Links, the site of her historic U.S. Women’s Open qualifying rounds, to talk to a group of female golf campers in association with the Boys and Girls’ Club of the Coastside.
“[Half Moon Bay Golf Links] was looking to bring some girls into golf,” said Sandra Andreinci, president of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls’ Club of the Coastside.
Ellen Wright, who works with the club as well, added, “For kids who would not be able to afford [to learn to play golf].”
The club worked with the golf course for the last six weeks and it culminated with a meet-and-greet with Li, who became the youngest golfer to ever qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open.
Everyone appeared a bit shy in the beginning, as Li was asked a series of question regarding her game and when she took it up.
“I started playing at 7 (years old),” Li said. “My brothers played and I really liked it. Everyone can play and you can play by yourself.”
Li then brought in her golf bag to show the girls what clubs she carried. She said she had so many woods — as opposed to long irons — because they were easier to hit.
After the question-and-answer session, Li went over to the tee on hole No. 1 and hit a series of shots, starting with her 8-iron, before going to her 6-iron, 3-wood and finally the driver.
All of shots striped the center of the fairway.
While hitting balls, she explained to the girls about her routine and what she was focusing on before each shot.
After about a half dozen swings, the girls crowded around Li and got her autograph. It was at this point, the invisible barrier between big-time golfer and newbies appeared to melt away as the girls stood around in big circle and just talked like kids do.
The biggest rise from the girls came when they found out Li has done something none of them had ever done.
“She’s driven golf carts!” one girl said with envy.
Given the amount of attention Li has received over the last couple of years, she said she no longer gets nervous speaking in front of people. And as far as being back at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, where she qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open?
“I come here pretty often,” Li said. “It’s a great course.”