The top lesson that Noelle Song has learned from golf involved planning.
“Be patient and do what’s best for your future shot rather than what may impress the other people more,” the West Ranch golfer said.
When she first began her prep golf career, the driver was Song’s best friend. She loved to drive the green, even when it posed a potential threat to her overall score.
“I love powerhousing the drives, so I would think about it, but then the more I progressed throughout my golf career, I realized I need to be more humbled down by the shots, be more patient, take a step back and really play the game,” she said.
Patience has paid off not just in Song’s overall scores, but in her golf career as well. After being named an alternate for the CIF-Southern Section playoffs her freshman year, she has steadily extended her postseason runs.
Now, as a senior, she’s headed to the CIF SoCal Regional Golf Championships on Thursday.
Song was also named the Foothill League individual champion after competing with Valencia’s Ashley Song throughout the season for the title. She finished two strokes ahead of Ashley to seal the championship crown.
“Definitely try to keep things consistent, remain pretty calm and neutral,” Song said of how she approached this season. “For me, the biggest thing is not getting over-worried about each shot and trying to look at it holistically.”
She’s upped her practice sessions to seven days a week with nine or 18-hole rounds on the weekends. Ahead of her latest playoff tournament, she’s focused on improving her putting and chipping.
But before golf was in the picture, Song was a dedicated gymnast. Although the sport was very different from golf, gymnastics still had an effect on her current sport of choice.
In gymnastics, she was constantly cheering loudly for her teammates and running hard to complete a sequence. In golf, Song was able to carry over her physical abilities from gymnastics while focusing on her mental game.
“(Golf), you kind of have to be more strategic and methodical about it,” Song said. “It’s pretty interesting. Most people were surprised when I went from gymnastics to golf.”
She also decided to make the switch from gymnastics to golf as a way to focus more on academics and her social life. Song’s long-term goal is to either work in sports medicine or become an entrepreneur.
The latter appeals to her because of its culture of creativity and developing a unique vision. She’s currently in the embryonic stage of creating her own startup called “Unlabeled,” a clothing brand that features unisex fashions.
She’d love to golf collegiately, but if that doesn’t happen, she still hopes to remain involved in the sport and the lessons it teaches.
“Whether it’s mental or emotional or controlling how you feel throughout the round or approaching things, you’ve got to kind of look two steps ahead, which is sometimes apparent in life,” she said.