By DAVE THOMAS | La Mesa Courier
To say 2019 was a banner season for Helix High golfer Jamie Lau would likely be an understatement.
Lau turned in a great performance and then some for the girls golf team.
The senior defeated the No. 1 seed from Steele Canyon High to win the 2019 Louise Parks Memorial-Grossmont Hills League Match Play Tournament.
According to Helix High head girls golf coach Frank Theroux, Lau has been a vital member of the program for four years.
“She has set a standard for our program that our future players should aspire to and is a big reason our program has earned the respect of other girls golf programs,” Theroux commented. “Jamie has served as our team captain, a role she took very seriously. Her ability to mentor our younger players, on and off the course, has hopefully inspired them to assume the same leadership skills which Jamie has exhibited.”
Lau earned All-League honors and represented Helix in the CIF Individual Tournament all four years. According to Theroux, Lau’s achievements rank her in the top five of all players in the history of Helix girls golf.
For the season, Helix went 9-5 as a team in the regular season and qualified for the Team CIF playoffs for the first time since 2007.
La Mesa Courier recently caught up with Lau for an email interview.
How old were you when you first started golfing and what got you interested in the sport?
I was about 4 years old when I first started golfing, but I didn’t really start enjoying it until I was 11. Initially, I only played golf because my dad wanted me to, but I became much more interested in it later when I became an active member of Pro Kids|The First Tee of San Diego. I started liking it a lot more because of the people I met during my time spent at Pro Kids, who made the experience much more enjoyable.
What has your experience been like over the years golfing at Helix?
My experience golfing at Helix has been good, especially this last golf season, which I felt was by far the most fun. The coaches genuinely care about helping us improve and I really enjoy spending time with the girls on the team.
Coming into your final season, have you achieved the goals you wanted both as an individual and team?
I definitely achieved my individual goals, and the team went above and beyond my expectations. Personally, winning the Louise Parks Memorial-Grossmont Hills League Match Play was a goal, as was winning the Grossmont Conference Match Play. I also wanted to make the cut to CIF, which I did. As for the team, we qualified for a play-in to CIF, which our school has not done for 12 years. I didn’t think we’d get so far and I am so proud of the team for working hard enough to achieve that.
Are you planning on college next year? If so, would you like to golf in college too?
I am planning on attending college next year, but I am still not sure where. I do not intend to play golf in college, so this is the end of my competitive golfing, but I am looking forward to branching out and experiencing new things next year.
For any younger girls thinking of coming out for the Helix golf program next fall, what advice would you have for them?
I would say that they should definitely join the team at least for a little while to see if they like it. If they do end up joining the team, I would advise them to refrain from backing down in the face of obstacles, which can be applied to other situations as well. In this case though, I mean that playing golf will be a challenge, but so long as they practice and don’t give up, it will get better. In addition, they would have the opportunity to be a part of a great team, which is well worth the challenge.
— Dave Thomas is a San Diego-based sports writer. Re4ach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.