As Diamond Bar High School senior Angelica Kusnowo steps onto the grass, she is in a complete state of focus, preparing to shoot the small white ball at her feet through the air.
Kusnowo’s father introduced her to golf eight years ago, and she has been playing ever since. She draws inspiration from her role model, Tiger Woods, and admires the fact that he was able to succeed in the face of adversity. Kusnowo said she likes golf because it is an individual sport and that it is played by all ages.
“I love playing golf because it provides an escape for me, away from my academic and social life; golf is my life,” Kusnowo said. “I consider it as a way to get away from reality.”
Golf doesn’t revolve around the physical aspect as much as some sports. It depends on muscle memory that takes years to learn. Before matches, Kusnowo said she finds the right attitude for a good game by practicing and listening to music to clear her head and calm her nerves.
“Golf is so dependent on your mental game; you need to be able to really focus and not have any distractions,” Kusnowo said. “Golf is a small scale game, so a millisecond or millimeter off can mess up a shot.”
Kusnowo has been on the DBHS varsity girls golf team since she was a freshman and has been captain for the past two years. Although she said she prefers golf as an individual sport, Kusnowo feels that there are several benefits to being on a team.
“This season, we have a really strong team so I’m hoping to make it to state and hopefully do better in state than we did last year, because last year we took third at state,” Kusnowo said.
Kusnowo also plays golf outside of school and attends various tournaments. She has competed in the American Junior Golf Association and the Berks County Golf Association.
“I’ve gone to some local tournaments that are just for like California players,” Kusnowo said. “I’ve also played tournaments for the AJGA against national and international players, and I’ve gone to states as far as New York.”
Kusnowo won multiple awards over the past few years. In 2016, she was the CIF Southern Regional Winner and last year, she tied for first at the 2018 Chappy Wheeler Tournament in Palm Desert. This season, Kusnowo placed second at the 2019 Future Champions Golf Tour at Olivas Link and was fifth last week at the CIF regionals. She will compete at the CIF Individual competition this week.
One of her proudest achievements was being named girl athlete of the week by SoCal Prep Legends in her freshman year.
“I’m really thankful because I didn’t believe I had won [athlete of the week] at first because there’s a lot of athletes in Southern California, but for them to choose me, it really showed me my impact as a golfer and how widespread it was,” Kusnowo said.
Aside from playing the actual sport, Kusnowo says her favorite part about golf is the connections she made with other players. She has met some of her closest friends during golf tournaments and when playing on the school team.
Kusnowo plans to continue to play golf in the future and hopes to compete at the professional level. She is already committed to St. John University in New York, a Division I school.