9-year-old girl golfer heads to a championship in Pebble Beach

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 8:12 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - There’s a big opportunity for a local golfer who’s about to tee off on a world-famous course. Alli Newell is heading to Pebble Beach to compete in the Drive, Putt, and Chip Regional Qualifier.

She began her journey in the sport just this past February. It all started when she went mini golfing with her grandma. Since then, she has become a part of Red Hawk’s junior program and would come out to golf every day if she could.

“I went mini golfing with my grandma Jo-Ann and I got a lot of hole-in-twos, so my grandma thought I should practice, and we called my mom’s uncle because he plays golf. He said to contact Wayne Williams and now Wayne’s my teacher,” Newell shared.

Her new hobby has not only landed Alli a pretty nice golf swing but has also led to her competing in the Drive, Chip, and Putt Sub Regionals competition last month, where she got first place and qualified her for the regional championship in Pebble Beach.

Tiffany Newell, Alli’s mother, said what it has been like to see her daughter progress in such a short amount of time,

“It’s actually really amazing when she first took a lesson with Wayne (her coach) she was doing well, but she wasn’t hitting the ball and she was struggling a little. She was having fun and then as we got her in the PGA Junior League. Alli was just really enjoying it, and she has progressed so much that it’s been amazing to watch. I am really excited for her to get to Pebble Beach and see what she does.

Wayne Williams, Alli’s golf coach, mentioned most kids at her level start at ages five or six, so the skill she’s acquired in less than a year is amazing,

“She’s progressed through these two levels...tough levels, because she’s up against kids who have been playing longer than her. She started in February of this year, and to get as far as she has in this level where she is going to Pebble Beach, it’s just amazing.

Golf surely isn’t something you can pick up in a day Alli just simply enjoys it, and maybe that’s the secret to her success.

“It feels good and it’s hard to describe, but it’s fun for me. I get to play with my team and I get to be outside,” Newell said.

Mom Tiffany says the support Alli has from all her family and coaches is a driving force behind all she has accomplished so far.

They are looking forward to what is to come for her golf career.

“I hope someday she can really take it to the next level, just enjoy competing and having fun,” Tiffany Newell said.

“What can I say? It’s really her, I am a golf coach so it goes beyond just doing the instruction part, but I can only do so much. It really is the child,” Williams said.

The regional qualifier is this Sunday. Alli hopes to place in Pebble Beach and go to the Masters in Georgia.