It only took one trip to the driving range with her father when she was nine years old for Khameryn Utu to get hooked on golf.
“My dad took me to the range, and I hit my first ball in the air,” says Utu. “And that was it. It was amazing.”
The Mater Dei High School senior and four-year varsity golfer plays the sport for God and for her family, and she has learned that playing smarter, not harder, is the best path to success.
“This game challenges your mental side so much,” says Utu. “Go with the flow and be patient with everything. It’s the same in the game as in life.”
With the ability to drive the ball far, as well as having an incredible short game, Utu has significant skills. But it is her ability to lead that sets her apart in the Monarchs’ girl golf program.
“Khameryn has worked extremely hard to be the player she is,” says Mater Dei girls golf head coach, Ramon Aguirre. “Her leadership is extremely important to our success, as she keeps all our girls in good spirits and always leads by example. Khameryn has meant so much to our success throughout this year and the past three years. She is a big key to our success.”
As a captain, Utu’s leadership style comes from a place of encouragement, where she challenges her teammates to manage the ups and downs inherent in the game.
“I push them a lot to become better in golf and in themselves,” says the 17-year-old. “This game is full of mistakes. You take your mistakes and you learn from them.”
As she closes out her final season as a Monarch, Utu will miss the camaraderie that is unique to a high school golf team and the excitement she feels when she is out on the course representing her school.
“The adrenaline of playing in a high school match, I’ll miss that the most,” says Utu.
But her golf journey doesn’t end here, as Utu is planning on playing in college, alongside studying criminal justice. She also has a long-term goal of playing golf professionally.
Away from the golf course, the Westminster resident and her family serve their church community, and it is Utu’s mother and father who provide her the foundation to work hard and strive for excellence.
“My parents play a big role in my life,” says Utu. “Without them, I wouldn’t be where I’m at.”
Additionally, faith and prayer are large contributors to how Utu approaches both her golf game and her life.
“When I pray, I pray that [God] helps us get through the day, that we stay humble, and that we stay patient and let our game come,” says Utu. “And we thank him for giving us another day to live and play the sport that we love.”