Golfer, 12, aces two of nine holes | March 14, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Sports - March 14, 2012

Golfer, 12, aces two of nine holes

by Jane Knoerle

It's been quite a month for Naomi Lee of Menlo Park. Named player of the year in the Bay Area by U.S. Kids Golf on Feb. 26, the 12-year-old just six days later shot two holes in one in the same round of nine holes at the Peter Hay Golf Course at Pebble Beach.

This makes three aces for Naomi, who shot her first hole-in-one at age 10.

Her dad, Doug Lee, quotes Golf Digest on the odds of a golfer making two holes-in-one in one round: 1 in 67 million.

During the March 3 round, Naomi scored aces on holes 3 and 6, using a 9-iron on hole 3 (82 yards) and a gap wedge on hole 6 (64 yards).

"The first one was to an elevated green and I could only see the pin. I thought I hit it over the green," says Naomi. "But the group in front of us clapped and said you got a hole-in-one — it spun back into the hole."

"I pured the second shot. It bounced twice and into the hole." ("Pure" is a shot struck perfectly on the center of gravity of the club, her father says.)

"I wuz like this is the awesomest day of my life," she says in a text.

Naomi was playing Pebble Beach with her brother, Jackson, 9, also a competitive golfer.

Playing golf (with plastic clubs) since she was 4, Naomi competed in her first tournament at age 7.

A top golfer in her age bracket, she will take part in the Teen World Championship for U.S. Kids at Pinehurst in North Carolina in July.

She was taught by her father, Doug Lee, who has a 4 handicap and competed in junior golf tournaments himself.

Naomi practices at Stanford Golf Course, Mariner's Point Golf Center in Foster City, and the Olympic Club in San Francisco, where her father is a member. She competes in 9, 18, 36 and 54 hole tournaments all over Northern California, playing full-length courses from the women's tees.

Golf isn't Naomi's only interest. She is a classical pianist and straight-A student at La Entrada Middle School, reports her proud dad. She is also on a swim team and likes to run track and text her friends.

Does this seventh-grader want to be a professional golfer some day? "That'd be pretty cool, but I really want to be a surgeon because I love science and to use my hands," she says.

"I like golf because it's fun and hard. And I get to visit beautiful places and play in the sun," she says.