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Angel Yin

Episode 005

Turned Down Division 1 Scholarships to Turn Pro at Age 17

Angel Yin is an American professional golfer currently playing in her 5th season (2020) on the LPGA Tour. As a junior golfer, Angel won the 7–8 year-old Junior World Golf Championships, won the California State Women’s Amateur as a 12-year-old and again as a 14-year-old, was the youngest player at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur, was co-medalist at a U.S. Women’s Amateur, and was the youngest player in the field at the 2012 Women’s U.S. Open (also the second youngest in history).

In 2015, Angel competed in the Junior Solheim Cup. As a professional, Angel posted five top-5 finishes in 2017. Her game and personality caught the attention of Juli Inkster, U.S. Solheim Cup captain, who named Yin as a captain’s pick for the 2017 Solheim Cup.

Angel became the youngest player on either team. On December 9, 2017, she won the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic for her first professional victory.

Angel was born and raised in Southern California. She’s since moved to Florida but maintains that Arcadia still “feels like home” to her.

Her upcoming goals are to play for the United States in the upcoming Solheim Cup and to represent her country in the Olympics. In her spare time, Angel enjoys fishing, hiking, and long drives in her car (as well as on the golf course).

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Angel Yin Takeaways

  • Angel Yin is a Professional LPGA Golfer from the San Gabriel Valley
  • Angel is American but spent the ages of 3 to 6 in China
  • Angel began playing golf when she was 6 years old
  • She became a professional at the age of 16
  • Despite her successes, she deals with travel fatigue, stress, pressure, and moments of loneliness from being away from home for so many weeks during the year.
  • “When I found golf, and I played it, it was very relaxing to me. It was something that calmed me down, and I just had an instant connection with it.”
  • “I describe my game as long and far.”
  • “Becoming a professional athlete is not something as simple as people think. If you work hard, if you do the right thing – it’s not like that.”
  • “Golf is a big part of my life, and I started playing in the San Gabriel Valley. That’s why it’s very meaningful to me.”

What is Angel’s connection to San Gabriel Valley?

Angel was born and raised in SGV, although she did spend three years – from 3 to 6 – in China.

She considers herself fully American but appreciates the aspects of Chinese culture she learns and acquires from her parents.

Why the 3 years in China?

Angel’s mother wanted to attend school and study in America. After 3 years, when she believed Angel was ready, she let her father raise her in China for about three years.

This allowed her mother to study English, attend school, and work.

Did Angel struggle with coming back to America after 3 years in China?

Angel’s main challenges involved the English language.

While she was initially raised with the English language, and China did offer English, everyone spoke Chinese, so Angel had naturally made a transition more so to the Chinese language.

Plus, her father didn’t really push Angel in her studies. So, when she returned to SGV, she felt like she was at square one.

Where did Angel grow up in SGV?

Angel grew up in Arcadia and went to Arcadia High School.

Although, she never graduated from Arcadia High School because she left for Europe after her junior year to be a professional golfer.

Her golfing skills and pursuits led her away from attending college; however, if she had chosen to attend college, she would have loved to go to USC.

What made Angel start playing golf at such a young age?

Angel started playing golf at the age of 6.

When Angel returned to the United States, her mother wanted her to pick up some hobbies.

Angel started with activities like playing piano, but then they tried sports like softball and tennis.

Eventually, her mom’s friend suggested golf. Initially, her mother did not like the idea, but her mother’s friend actually paid for Angel’s commission to learn how to play golf at an academy.

Does Angel remember her first days playing golf?

Angel Yin Professional Golfer LPGA

Angel remembers her first golfing experience as clear as day. She was a hyper kid and noticed that she had difficulty focusing.

But golf was different. Golf calmed Angel down and allowed her to relax.

It was an instant connection.

How long has Angel played professional golf, and what is her playing style?

As of 2020, Angel has played four years of professional golf and will be heading into her 5th season.

Angel describes her game as “long and far.” Her average tee shot is about 280 yards.

What would Angel have done if not for golf?

Angel believes that she would have focused on boxing if her golf career had not taken off due to her athletic abilities.

She also loved it as a workout for cardio.

What have been some of Angel’s favorite moments golfing?

Angel is a huge fan of playing in the Solheim Cup.

The Solheim happens every two years, and it essentially pits the United States of America against Europe. It consists of 12 girls on each team.

With golf being such an independent sport, Angel enjoys the team dynamic that Solheim brings.

How does Angel feel about being in a unique and envious position as a professional athlete?

Angel acknowledges it is an honor, but not as simple as many people think.

A lot of kids and adults strive to become professional athletes in a sport that they are passionate about, but it doesn’t always work out.

For instance, injuries can sideline a lot of people and their dreams. There are also a lot of sacrifices.

How has professional golf affected Angel’s social life?

Angel admits that it can become a bit lonely being a professional athlete in the LPGA.

It is also difficult because Angel travels so much that makes friends in multiple geographical areas that she only visits so often.

This adds strains to the “upkeep” of friendships.

What is the stress level like on tour?

Angel certainly feels hardship while on tour. A large part of her struggles involves constant travel. She is never in one location for longer than two weeks at a time.

Angel is constantly adjusting to new languages, time zones, food, weather, and more. It almost feels like as soon as she unpacks her belongings, it is time to pack them back up again.

She acknowledges that it takes a toll on her body. Ironically, the pandemic was a bit of a mental relief for Angel. She was finally able to get some time to relax – even if it was forced by COVID-19.

Does Angel ever get a day off?

About every 3 weeks, Angel is awarded a week off. However, due to the travel, one week quickly turns into just a few days.

The weekends end up flying by before she knows it.

How does Angel handle her emotions on the golf course?

Handling your emotions and keeping them in check is just something Angel knows she has to do and has gotten better at with time.

When you have a bad shot, and the pressure is on, Angel makes a point to acknowledge it but quickly moves on.

Likewise, there is little time for celebration after a particularly good moment. Keep it small, enjoy it, and then move on.

Picture of Angel Yin

Angel Yin

Driving down Colorado in the early morning: It reminds Angel of home, and often takes this drive after working out.

The mountains on the left side of Colorado Blvd

(this third option is never stated)