Yuka Saso’s win at the Women’s Open Championship starts from a childhood hobby as she aims to make golf more accessible to kids.
We always have dreams that our kids succeed in something, whether it be sports, music, academics, etc. For Yuka Saso, it was quite similar. Although born in the Philippines, she moved to Japan at around 4-5 years old where she began her training in golf. While she bagged the Women’s Open Championship, she still pushes towards her dreams of becoming World No. 1, to bring home the Olympic Gold, and to make golf more accessible to kids in the Philippines.
Yuka Saso: Bonding with her parents over golf
“When I was nine I said to my dad, I want to be a professional golfer like Rory [McIlroy],” says Yuka in an interview.
That declaration started her journey into becoming the professional golfer that we know today. Sometimes, we think that kids just want to be something because we see it on TV. But her father, Masakazu — a golfer himself— didn’t see it that way. He took her wish seriously and even made the arrangements. At age 9, Yuka returned to the Philippines where she could begin home-school so that she had more time to practice her golf.
Her mother, Fritzie Saso, also made sure that she supported Yuka every step of the way. Although she admitted through an interview that there were times it made her butt heads with Yuka’s father, she knew that the best way she could support Yuka was to support even her daily training routine which the golf champion did even during vacations. And because of her parents’ unwavering support, Yuka achieved her dream of being a professional golfer at 19 years old.
Professional Golfer but still kid at heart
Although she’s a professional golfer, Yuka Saso is still a 19-year-old girl with teenage likes. She has a love for K-Pop music from both Blackpink and TWICE. In one of her interviews, she mentions that their songs along with some BTS songs get her through the trying times, especially when she hits a rut in golf. And like any teenager, she still has her idols such as Rory Mcllory whose style has really shaped her swing and play.
While golf is a big portion of who she is, she still has her love for superhero movies. She loves movies like Transformers, Lucy, The Avengers, Batman and, Spiderman.
Where is she planning to go from here?
Crowned as the Philippines “Asia Games Golden Girl” with her teammates Bianca Bianca Pagdangangan and Lois Kaye Go, Yuka can now add to her list of impressive feats that she is the first Filipino to win a major US Tournament. Now one step closer to reaching the Olympics, Yuka gets another step closer when her win scores her a membership with the LPGA tour:
“I get LPGA?”— LPGA (@LPGA) June 7, 2021
“Are you kidding me?”
Yuka Saso has accepted LPGA Tour membership 🙌 pic.twitter.com/BfIkf3qYAy
The membership will last her five years which we’re sure her mom and dad will be there to support her all the way!
What Parents’ Unwavering Support Can Do
As parents, we want to support out kids with whatever they want to do. But sometimes, we’re hesitant because we also know the possible dangers of getting into it. We’re no strangers to kids liking something out of novelty before throwing it away because they found it too difficult or they just “didn’t like it anymore”. But Yuka and her parents took her love for golf seriously and look where that got her! Now the ambassador for golf in the Philippines, she’s aiming to eagle her way through to create a reason why golf should be more accessible to kids in the Philippines.