Year 10 student Danika Lee loves her sport and one day hopes to be world number one. She’s a golfer and is currently ranked fourth in the under 16 New Zealand Women’s division. It’s a fantastic achievement and Danika is proud of how far she has come since she started playing for fun when she was in Year 7.
“My Grandad enjoys watching golf and wanted me to give it try,” says Danika. “I really enjoy the game. It can be stressful sometimes but it is also relaxing, I get to walk and I like being outdoors.”
Danika puts in the hours, practising seven days a week for approximately three hours a day after school. But the intensity is all worth it. “When you get the right contact with the ball, it feels super nice,” she says. And she has company. Her younger sibling plays golf too and they practise together.
With golf comes the need for focus, discipline and the management of emotions. Growing these skills has brought Danika some unexpected personal benefits and says she has been able to apply them to other parts of her life. “Golf has made me more calm. Mood can really affect your play. You have to stay calm.”
In June, Danika competed in the Auckland College Sport Stroke Play Championships and performed exceptionally. She shot a 74 at Howick and finished in fifth place and shot a 72 at Pupuke Golf Course to take out first place. Overall, Danika finished in third place in the 36 holes Gross. Then, during the July school holidays, Danika won the 2020 New Zealand Women’s Foursomes held at Matamata Golf Club.
In the future, Danika hopes to secure a scholarship to an international university and is considering studying Sports Science, though she would love to be a professional golfer. She hopes to one day play in the USA LPGA Tournament.