School and golf balanced
Imogen Donnelly-Lawrence has a level head on her shoulders.
One of the region’s best young golfers, the Aotea College student is the first to accept her 2010 form wasn’t up to scratch. Her studies took priority and Wellington representative duties slipped away.
But a recent return to form saw her line up with her Wellington team-mates – including Titahi Bay’s Te Rongopai Clay – in a defeat of Hawkes’ Bay.
‘‘Last year wasn’t great for me, I had a snap hook I just could not get rid of and I wasn’t feeling right about my game. So I took a short break and I’ve come back a lot better. Playing for Wellington is very important to me, I was pretty surprised to get the callup, but I’ve had the right motivation to get to this level again.’’
It shows maturity by the 16-yearold, who says in the past she has not worked on her game as hard as she should. Now back in the Wellington fold, and with her Manor Park coach Kevin Smith behind her – who DonnellyLawrence says is a ‘‘ huge asset’’ to the Wellington players – the future looks bright.
Playing tournaments in January, Donnelly-Lawrence’s driving off the tee was of particular satisfaction.
‘‘It’s amazing how much easier the game of golf is when you are in the fairway,’’ she says.
Her top form also saw her win the College Sport Wellington girls’ competition at the Royal Wellington Golf Club in late March, along with the Wellington secondary schools title last month.
Inter-provincials are not until later this year, but you are likely to see her involved. Hitting golf balls will have to make way for hitting the books this winter, however.
‘‘This year [year 12] is critical for me and at one stage I was going to totally leave golf behind. But then my game came back and I guess I have to have that balance. I’ve got games most weekends and plenty of practice through the week, and my schoolwork is picking up. I have no social life – it’s all about golf and school.’’
So while she enjoys the travel and friendships golf has given her, does a career on the links beckon?
‘‘I want to go to university and do psychology. Whether that’s on a [golf] scholarship overseas, I don’t know yet. I think getting a degree is really important, golf will always be there. I’ve played since I was five and I’m still learning about the game, that’s what I love about it.’’
Striking a balance: Aotea College student and Wellington golfer Imogen Donnelly-Lawrence faces a ‘‘critical’’ year, both in her golf and at school.