SHELBY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — During any given sunset, the golf course is a place where bromances bloom. But make way for the next generation.
At River Bend YMCA Golf Course in Shelby, one player caught our eyes and our ears. It’s not just the shot-making with precision and pint-sized power, it’s the exuberance of a nine-year-old that stands out.
“Now on the tee,” Coach Phil Wallace said, introducing his protégé at the driving range. “From Shelby, North Carolina… Minlin Ou.”
As he watched her drive, he was full of adjectives.
“Excellent!” Wallace said after one swing. “Fantastic,” he exclaimed after another. “Thank you!” Minlin said to her coach.
“Her personality lends itself to success,” says Wallace, the director of golf at River Bend YMCA.
Next month, she competes in the National Finals of Drive, Chip, and Putt held at Augusta National. The event will air live on the Golf Channel on April 2, the eve of the Masters Tournament.
“I like putting,” she said on the green. “Because I like seeing the ball go into the hole.”
“In Minlin’s case, I just asked her to buy into the process,” Wallace told Queen City News. “And we were right out here on this practice green when I asked her that, and she did it.“
“See if you can roll it over right next to that camera,” Wallace said to Minlin.
“Oh, okay,” she replied.
“I’ll hit the camera,” she told herself before putting the ball.
Minlin loves a challenge, and clearly, she’s not camera-shy. The putt went in right in front of our camera.
Her pre-shot routine is on point. After a warmup swing, she takes a deep breath. Then, she grips it and rips it.
“I want to be a golf coach when I growing up because I like helping people,” she said.
“I feel real good about her chances,” Wallace said. “And whether she wins, that’s not the point right now she’s going to have the experience of a lifetime to be able to go to Augusta National.”
But it turns out Minlin didn’t get to this point alone. She shares her passion for the game with her sister. They may not be golf’s equivalent to Venus and Serena Williams, but they’re pretty good.
“They’re mighty good,” says Wallace, who coaches them both.
Older sister Minyan Ou is 12. Minlin followed her older sister’s lead; as you can tell from their huge collection of trophies, they are getting it done.
“We compete against each other lots of times, but we do love each other,” Minyan stressed.
As we said earlier, golf bromances and fist bumps have a long part of the game. But never underestimate something as special as sisterly love.
“If they continue to pursue this sport, they’ll succeed,” Wallace said.