Ayana Hiranaka, a promising junior golfer from Okinawa, Japan, recently departed after four weeks with us at IJGA.
Ayana’s golfing story started five years ago when she accompanied her father to the golf range. This visit changed her trajectory. She switched from swimming to golf, loving the sport’s constant challenge and diverse playing environments.
Ayana found herself never tiring of the sport, “If you are talented at a sport but do not have fun, you cannot play very long. You must have fun in anything you do.”
Related Post: How to Keep Golf Fun for Junior Golfers
Ayana’s proudest moment came during Japan’s most prominent golf tournament, the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, where her school team emerged victorious. This triumph fueled her determination to grow and excel.
Playing Golf Internationally
Ayana highlights the substantial differences between junior golf in Japan and North America.
At IJGA, academics conclude by noon, allowing ample time for afternoon practice. In Japan, the intensive study schedule exerts pressure, limiting daily practice. Ayana’s routine involves fitness three times a week, training twice weekly, adjusting her swing by hitting around 200 balls at the driving range, and short-game practice. On the weekends, she does on-course drills with friends.
Ayana’s most significant challenge was transitioning to the U.S. in this four-week trial at IJGA. She enjoyed learning and competing with older golfers, enhancing her skills. Recalling a tournament where a poor start on day one transformed into an improvement on subsequent days, she highlighted the impact of mental focus on performance. She has found the experience exhilarating and can’t wait to return after the end of her school year in Japan.
Related Post: Developing Your Mental Golf Game
Ayana’s message to her younger self is one of self-assurance. She encourages herself to embrace her potential, face challenges fearlessly, and forge ahead without looking back.
Ayana expresses gratitude to her parents for their unwavering support and encouragement in exploring various sports and schools. Her parting words echo positivity: “Your best is fine, look forward.”
Train With IJGA
The coaches at IJGA are dedicated to helping student-athletes achieve their goals, giving them the tools and resources to play at the collegiate and professional levels.