Player Profile: Sami Oliva

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Player Profile: Sami Oliva

Sami Oliva poses for a picture during CCS 2013 at Rancho Canada Golf Club.

Sami Oliva poses for a picture during CCS 2013 at Rancho Canada Golf Club.

Christine Kim

Sami Oliva poses for a picture during CCS 2013 at Rancho Canada Golf Club.

Christine Kim

Christine Kim

Sami Oliva poses for a picture during CCS 2013 at Rancho Canada Golf Club.

Aditi Mittal, Reporter

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As fall sports are coming to a close, the Presentation varsity golf team is wrapping up its season with WCALS and CCS. Senior Sami Oliva has been contributing to the varsity golf team’s success since her freshman year, and had a hole-in-one at WCALS this past week! Her teammates praise her for her positivity, skills, and inspiration during practice and matches. The Voice caught up with her to find out more about her golfing experience.


The Voice: When did you start playing golf?

Sami Oliva: I started playing golf when I was 8. I joined some golf camps at Santa Teresa Golf Course. Every weekend when I was 10, I played with my dad on Sunday mornings. We played 18 holes every Sunday morning for 4 years.
The Voice: Who inspired you to to take up the sport?

SO: I played a couple sports when I was little, like soccer and softball. My dad plays golf a lot, so I just started playing with him and he enrolled me in a camp.


The Voice: Who is your biggest golfing inspiration?

SO: My golf hero is Michelle Wie, because when she was younger, she was so good. Now she’s become the underdog. She’s so tall and powerful, and that’s who I want to be.


The Voice: How has your experience on the Presentation golf team been?

SO: Golfing for Presentation is completely different experience than playing in tournaments. My freshman year, I was more nervous for my first match than any event I’ve ever played. Before, it was mainly just me individually, but then I was part of a team. But, I really love playing golf for Presentation. I’ve made a lot of really good friends, some of my closest friends have been from the golf team.


The Voice: How do you think you contribute to the golf team?

SO: I always keep a positive attitude. My goal is to make sure everyone does their best and has fun.


The Voice: How often do you play tournaments?

SO: Over the summer, I play about 27 tournaments. I play 40 all year. The off season is from January to March, so I don’t play any tournaments then. I’ve played in five since school started.


The Voice: What are your expectations for yourself while playing golf?

SO: I always expect myself to shoot what my index is. I always want to do well. I never want to do badly. Even if I played okay, I always think I could’ve done better. It’s just the sport, like if I made that putt, or if I hit it a little closer.


The Voice: When you are not playing your best, how do you cope with the frustration?

SO: When I’m playing 18 holes and I played a bad front 9 and I’m heading to the back 9, I tell myself, “Okay, new back 9, new start.” I can’t change how I’m playing, but I just keep going.


The Voice: How do you feel when you play well?

SO: I go up and I hit the shot, and it feels great, and I just watch the ball fly through the air.


The Voice: What is your biggest struggle while playing golf?

SO: Practicing gets kind of tedious after a while. Over the summer, I practiced a couple of hours a day. My schedule had at least an hour and a half of putting and it just gets boring and repetitive after a while, but that’s just what you have to do to improve.


The Voice: What is your favorite part about the sport?

SO: I like to hit balls on the range. Practicing different shots, hitting targets. I like chipping around, hitting high shots and low shots. That’s fun.


The Voice: Why does playing golf make you happy?

SO: I’ve made a lot of friends golfing. I get to play with a bunch of my family members. I play with my uncles a lot, and they are golf fanatics. Over the summer, I play a lot in the morning, so I make friends with these old retired men, so I have a group of dads that I like to play golf with. It’s a really calming sport, and I feel great whenever I play.


The Voice: How has golf changed your life?

SO: Golf has become a part of my life. I go home, and I go to the course, and then I practice and get ready for a tournament. At the same time, I live the rest of my life and do homework. Also, golf is a really honest sport. People don’t cheat, because they know it’s wrong. I think that’s really shaped my personality, because I like to think of myself as an honest person.