Christine Song just turned 18 years old and she’s living her dream of being a professional golfer. She just completed her first full season on the Duramed Futures Tour, the LPGA developmental league, finishing in the top ten of the money list. As a result, her top ten finish makes her eligible for conditional status on the LPGA and allows her to compete with the big girls like Michelle Wie and Lorena Ochoa. She’ll be heading to the final rounds of Q-School in December with the hopes of being able to compete full time on the LPGA.
So what’s it like being a teenager and already being a professional athlete? When we chatted with Christine, we were surprised to find that after a long season running around the country from tournament to tournament, she really didn’t find it to be a job but a real joy of being able to play a sport she really loves. Of course when competing at the professional level there’s a lot of self-induced pressure, but what she walks away from the Duramed Futures Tour is a whole lot of leanings and friendships that she’ll always have.
What’s it feel like to be 18 years old and competing at a high level against the ladies on the Duramed Futures Tour?
I was kind of scared at first because they were older and some of them looked scary. But after a few weeks, I became closer to the players. They’re all nice and of course not scary.
What did you enjoy most about this summer on the Duramed Futures Tour?
Just traveling and playing a lot of different courses. Meeting a lot of new people. Learning a lot on the tour.
What was your favorite course?
I guess I like the courses I played the best at like the Louisiana Pelican Classic (2nd place finish).
What do you think you learned while playing on the Duramed Futures Tour?
I learned a lot about myself in general and my game and where it’s at now. I learned to be patient and not to get to angry and to stay calm. Because it’s just one tournament. Even if I do bad there’s the next tournament where I can redeem myself and it’s not the end of the world.
What do you think is the strength of your game?
Either accuracy off the tee and probably chipping and putting. I’m still working on putting.
What do you think you need to work on?
Do you think distance is important?
Yes. Well, I think everything is important. I think putting and being long are very important.
Was this your first year on the Durmed Futures Tour?
What did you enjoy about the Tour?
I liked the Tour and the people. It was a lot of hard work and tiring because of the travel.
Who do you look up to on the LPGA or the PGA tour?
Did you ever take a moment to think that you’re a professional athlete?
Well, more and more (girls) are turning pro at a younger age. I turned pro at 17 and a few of the other girls turned pro at 17. They were still in high school.
Why do you think Korean women are so successful in golf?
Practicing. Working out. Our parents push us in a good way, not in a bad way.
Do you enjoy playing golf?
Yes. It’s what I want to do.
How old were you when you first started?
9 years old
Did you have immediate success?
I started improving probably around 15 or 16 years old.
What advice would you give other girls?
Are all the girls serious on tour?
They like to have fun. Some girls go out at night and some just practice a lot.
Any good places that you ate along the way?
We actually took food and usually we went to Korean markets. My dad would cook all the time.
What’s your favorite Korean food?
I like anything that’s Korean.
OK. What if you walked into a Korean restaurant today. What would you order off the menu?
Sam Gyup Sal (which is Korean Pork Belly BBQ).
Were your parents with you all the time on tour?
My dad was with me traveling all summer. My mother was at home.
What’s on your iPod?
I have a lot of Korean music: Big Bang. 4 Minute. 2PM.
Thanks Christine and good luck to you at Q-School and the big tour.
Find out more about Christine Song and other up and coming golfers at the Duramed Futures Tour web site.