Mother’s words shifted focus from violin to golf

At the end of July, So Yeon Ryu of South Korea was ranked the world's number-one female pro golfer. Her two titles of the season on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour included the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration.

Many athletes have a burning desire to become top competitors from a young age and dedicate themselves to this task, finally realizing their dreams after years of hard work. There are also those with an innate athletic ability that allows them to switch between unrelated sports.

So Yeon took a very different path.

“I started playing golf when I was a second-grade elementary school student, but it was just one of my hobbies. My real focus was the violin, which I started when I was five. I was completely devoted to my violin lessons and hoped to become a professional one day.”

So Yeon continued to enjoy golf while pursuing her dream of becoming a violinist until she reached a turning point at the age of 14. “You know, I think you actually like golf better,” her mother commented. The words of the person closest to her made So Yeon reconsider her own abilities and future.

“The performance of a skilled violinist is captivating, but it sounds different to each member of the audience and is judged accordingly. In golf, though, the outcome of your play can be measured. I prefer clear results that reflect your achievements more directly than the subjective opinions of others. My mother was absolutely right. Once I realized I was more suited to golf, I shifted my focus to becoming a pro golfer.”

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