Sydney, Australia: At various stages of their playing careers, all golfers are faced with handicaps to overcome. Some are mental, others are physical.
Born deaf, Christine Shin has never allowed challenges to stand in her way, as she’ll once more be aiming to illustrate in the fifth edition of the Faldo Series Australia Championship.
A past nominee for Australia’s Young Sporting Spirit award, 19-year-old Shin gained national fame last year when she triumphed in the women’s division at the 25th Australian Deaf Golf Championship.
Now she’s targeting more success over her home course at Castle Hill Country Club in the 13th event of the 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season.
Jina Song, Christine’s mother, said her daughter has always demonstrated ‘fairness, sportsmanship and dedication’ to golf. “Christine’s dedication to a sport that isn’t mainstream for her age and gender is a real testament to her commitment to the game,” Song said.
Playing off a handicap index of 3.5, Shin wears cochlear implants, an implanted electronic hearing device, designed to produce useful hearing sensations to a person with severe to profound nerve deafness by electrically stimulating nerves.
Sir Nick Faldo, Founder of the Faldo Series, said: “Congratulations to Christine on winning the Australian Deaf Golf Championship. That’s a wonderful achievement of which she should be justly proud. It’s uplifting and inspirational to learn about individuals such as Christine who, through a combination of courage and determination, succeed in overcoming adversity.”
At Castle Hill, contestants will be required to display equal measures of concentration and stamina with 36 holes scheduled for the one-day event.
The prize for all age group winners will be qualification to the 14th Faldo Series Asia Grand Final, to be hosted by Sir Nick at Vietnam’s Laguna Lăng Cô from March 4-6.
Among the favourites are Brij Ingrey, Harry Peterson and Brielle Mapanao.
A scratch handicapper, Mapanao, who turns 16 next month, is a member at the Australian Golf Club and part of the New South Wales High Performance Squad.
Fellow Australian Golf Club member Ingrey plays off a plus-one handicap and will be in high spirits following his recent win in the Kensington Cup.
Peterson, too, will be filled with confidence having won the Boys’ Under-16 title at last year’s Faldo Series Australia Championship. The prospect of a return trip to Vietnam will be all the motivation he requires.
The 2019-20 Faldo Series Asia season is supported by The R&A and endorsed by the Asian Tour and the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation. The International Junior Golf Academy is a partner of the Faldo Series.