THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – There's nothing more satisfying to Thousand Oaks High School senior Nicole Shin than the unmistakable crack of a golf ball.
Every time she hears it, she's reminded of why she loves the sport.
"You realize how challenging it is," Shin said. "That’s what makes it the most fun in my opinion, because you get that challenge and you constantly want to improve.”
Shin was pretty much born with a golf club in hand.
“We lived in a pretty small apartment, so, the way we would get out and have fun, my dad would just take us to the golf course," she explained.
It's safe to say she hasn't let the clubs go ever since. While she may not be your typical golfer — as the sport is often stereotyped towards an older male demographic — she assured us it's her passion.
And for a teenager that's moved nearly a dozen times, the golf course has become like a second home.
"I lived in Massachusetts and of course there’s golf courses there, there’s golf courses everywhere you go," she said. "It is nice to just have a place where it’s familiar no matter what state or what country you live in.”
And she is more than comfortable on this course. Not only does Shin spend hours practicing at Los Robles Greens, but she also works in the pro shop. In addition, she spends much of her "free time" doing homework in front of the course.
It's almost like her own personal study spot.
"I don’t take it for granted," she said. "Sometimes I just look out the window in the pro shop and think, 'Wow, it could be a lot worse.'”
Her love for the game is what keeps her pushing forward in the sport and in the classroom. And as she looks to finish out her high school career, Shin is a shining example of what a scholar athlete is and can be.