LG Meets: Australian golfer Minjee Lee
As her third year on the LPGA approaches Minjee Lee has the same number of titles to her name.
After a fantastic amateur career Lee turned professional in 2014 and earned her LPGA tour card via Q-School for the 215 season.
Her first win came shortly after in the May 2015 and was followed up by two more in 2016.
After a solid 2016 Minjee is ranked 17th in the Official Rolex Rankings.
We caught up with her at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn for this interview:
What’s the best thing about being on tour?
I think it’s meeting new people and being able to be in a different place in a weeks time, we are always jumping everywhere. So yeah just seeing so many places even in one week.
How do you like England?
I really like being in the UK, I’ve been to London before on a holiday with my grandparents a while back. I really like it.
What’s your favourite country?
I’ve been to so many amazing places and it’s so different being in different parts of America, and then England and then Australia and then being in Asia. And I embrace wherever I am and love everywhere I go.
Best course you’ve played?
I don’t really play many of the really well known courses other than when I’m on tour so I like Lake Mission but Turnberry was also amazing and the US Open courses that we go to are really nice too.
Do you miss home?
Yeah I miss it every day but this is my career and this is where I want to be. Some of my family are back home but I get to go back there a couple of times a year so it’s not so bad.
Do you Skype them a lot?
To speak to my Dad or my brother or family in Korea I have to Facetime and Skype a lot. It’s ok because I still get to see their faces.
What do you do in your free time?
I like going to the beach and hanging out with my friends and eating lots of food, just reading and having a lot of down time. I normally sleep a lot and go on dates with my mum.
Who are your best friends on tour?
I know everyone but I’m not like super close to anyone really. I know a lot of the Korean girls and I’m pretty close to a lot of them so I couldn’t pick out one person really.
If you weren’t a golfer what would you be doing?
I was really interested in being a doctor for little kids, I really like working with children and being around children so I would probably be doing that I think.
Who is your golfing inspiration?
Definitely Webby when I was growing up because I saw her so much on the TV when I was really little. I watched Annika and Lorena when I was younger as well. So I think they are my three biggest inspirations.
What’s important to you when choosing your equipment?
I guess feeling comfortable, when you put the club down you should feel really comfortable over it. I think that’s the most important thing.
Do you use different clubs for different styles of course?
I have a 3 wood, 5 wood and a hybrid and a 4 iron. So I sort of pick and choose which one I take out and I guess if it’s a really hard and fast golf course I might take out one of my woods and put in one of my hybrids. So I have one extra club that I carry around with me.
How important is club fitting?
It’s really important because over the course of 6 months or a year you could change physically or if you become stronger than you wouldn’t want too wippy shafts and stuff. Having a fitting when you’re growing is really important just to keep everything in check, and you should do daily check ups as well.
How often do you check your equipment?
I mostly try and do it in my off seasons so maybe once a year.
Do you have any golfing superstitions?
I only use number 1 golf balls, I don’t have any other number in my bag.
Do you prepare differently for the Majors?
I mean obviously it’s more important but you don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself. I try to think of them as just another tournament but obviously I like to perform well in them. If you’re putting too much pressure on yourself I don’t think you get the results that you want. I’d maybe try and work a bit harder on my putting and chipping before hand or something.
What’s your pre round warm up?
I wake up and do my stretches in the hotel room. I have breakfast and then I do my normal warm up, I chip first and then I go to the range for 30 minutes and then put for 20 and then go to the tee.
How do you cope with jet lag?
I’m not too bad with jet lag, I mean I’m only 20 years old so I don’t suffer too much at this point in my life. But obviously if you’re travelling from America to Europe you’re going to have some jet lag, but I get over it quickly
I’m very used to living out of a suitcase.
Do you fly business or economy?
I fly business when I go international.
How do you pass long flights?
Sometimes I just can’t sleep but sometimes I’m just out for the whole time. So if I’m not sleeping I watch movies or maybe I read.
How did Golf Australia help your transition from amateur to professional?
Golf Australia has been a really great help to me. I’ve grown up in their national programme and I’ve got to be part of a lot of international teams. So I guess in terms of transition I was able to get more confidence from competing with more highly ranked players from when I was young.
They’ve been a great help and the service provision has been a great and the coaching was very advanced and beneficial to me.
Do they give you financial help?
Yes they have tiers that you go through like Junior Tier then tier 2 and tier 1. Then they have a programme for when you turn pro and you can get some funding then as well.
This is my second year in the rookie programme and I think every fifth year they have some sort of give back programme. But I’m so happy to be a part of that because it means that I’m giving back to the next generation too.
Follow Minjee on Twitter: @minjeegolf