This article was originally published in the Pasadena Independent.
Maddy Kwei loves golfing. The Polytechnic junior has golfed for nearly a decade, and she’s only 15 years old.
Kwei began playing golf at seven. Her mom enrolled her in a class and she instantly loved the sport and decided to stick with it. She started competing at 10-years-old.
During the school year, Kwei competes for Poly and in two other tours, the Southern California Professional Golfer’s Association (SCPGA) Junior Tour and the Future Champions Tour. She plays a tournament or two per month for the other tours during the school year, but the competition load ramps up immensely during the summer. Last week alone, she played in five tournaments.
Although it’s very time consuming, Kwei enjoys the tournaments.
“Golf is really great because unlike any other sport, you really get to know these people you play with for five or six hours every single tournament. Since you’re stuck with them the whole day, you kind of have to get to know them, talk to them,” Kwei said. “I know people from all around the world on a more personal level. That’s not something you find in any other sport.”
Most of the tournaments are within an hour’s distance, but some are farther. Kwei recently qualified for a three-day tournament in Palm Springs.
Kwei played in all 10 tournaments with Poly’s team last year, averaging a score of 38 on a nine-hole course. Although she did well, the team struggled at times.
“I definitely improved from last year,” Kwei said. “This year we lost a senior who was a big part of getting our scores, so that was different for our team. We had just enough players to play. But I’m glad the girls on the team are dedicated to high school golf. I think the team did pretty well considering we only had five players, so all of us had to always be there.”
This year, Kwei plans on recruiting a lot of freshman, so the team has more than five players.
Kwei plans on playing collegiate golf, although she doesn’t know where yet.
“California has great weather for golf, so I would love to stay here, but moving to the East Coast or the Northwest would be great too,” she said.
Kwei is interested in many fields, including international relations, communications, science and French. She isn’t sure which one she is going to major in yet, but she aims to minor in French because she loves French culture.
When she’s not golfing or at school, Kwei enjoys spending time with family and friends. She also loves to volunteer. Kwei volunteers at Fuller’s Family Daycare, where she has helped out over the summer since she was in seventh grade. Kwei also serves as the assistant lifestyle editor for Poly’s newspaper, Pawprint.
“People don’t know how hard working I am,” Kwei said. “I have goals and I’ll do anything it takes to reach them.”