This Kid's Got Game: Drive, Chip & Putt National Finalist Angela Nip
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Angela Nip at Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifying.
In 2013, Drive, Chip, and Putt was formed as a collaborative effort between The Masters Tournament, the USGA, and the PGA of America. Through this endeavor, the three founding partners aimed to grow the game among boys and girls ages 7-15, by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf.
Free local qualifying events provide junior golfers an opportunity to play with their peers at courses across the country. The program aims to inspire participants with the chance to advance and qualify on several of the country’s top venues, including Augusta National Golf Club, where the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals are held.
Top performers at the local level advance through sub-regional and regional qualifiers. From these qualifiers, 80 finalists – 40 boys and 40 girls – earn an invitation to compete in the National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club on the eve of Masters Tournament week.
Steve Tanner, Senior Director of Player Engagement for the PGA of America shares the following thoughts…
“Through this collaborative effort to grow the game, tens of thousands of boys and girls across the United States are having exceptional golf experiences that they'll remember for a lifetime. This competition creates the coolest of cool golfing memories.”
I had the opportunity to catch up with Angela Nip, one of this year’s DCP National finalists. Qualifying out of the Southeast Region, in the 14-15 Girls Division, Angela punched her ticket to Augusta at the famed Bears Club in Jupiter, Florida.
"I started to play serious golf for the last five years after I won the US Kids Golf World Championship” Nip said. Angela, now 15, started competing in tournaments when she was only 5 years old. Her first entry into Drive, Chip, and Putt was when she was 6. In asking her which of the three concentrations she liked the most, she was quick to say putting. Her ability to putt well is likely the reason why Angela has a very strong 3.3 handicap index playing out of PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, FL. This young lady can definitely play as her 9-hole record of 31 and 18-hole record of 67 clearly show.
Angela told me that she really got inspired to do well in the qualifying for this year’s DCP by her sister Gloria. “My sister was like, come on Angela, you need to win, you need to qualify this year!”
Angela has been prepping for the National Finals by working a lot on her chipping and putting, as she felt like those where the areas that mattered the most in being successful.
So, is she nervous or excited?
“A little bit of both but mostly excited for this experience.”
Like many of this year’s finalists, Angela has a great family support system, and she emphasized how important that was in making her way to Augusta. “My family is everything and they support me in everything I do.”
You can watch the Drive, Chip, and Putt National Finals, live from Augusta National Golf Club, on The Golf Channel, starting at 8:00 a.m. this Sunday, April 3rd .