Brittany Fan (Advert’18), one of only two Hawaiians ever to compete for CU women’s golf, set a freshman record for stroke average three years ago — 74.87 over 31 rounds. Now a senior, Fan talks about her practice routine, a pair of holes-in-one and the hard truth about mini-golf.
How’d you get interested in golf?
Before golf, I was interested in singing and dancing. One day I went to pick up my brother from golf practice with my dad, and while we were waiting for him to finish, my dad got a bucket of balls. I started hitting some just for fun, and the next thing I know, my brother’s coach comes over and starts to give me some pointers. After making slight adjustments, I was hitting the ball significantly better. If you’ve ever seen a child’s eyes light up, that’s essentially what happened that day. And after that, I was hooked. I just kept wanting to get better and better.
When did you start playing seriously?
Age 12, which is pretty late to start golf. Most kids start around 6 or 7.
You grew up in Hawaii. Did you play year-round?
Yes! Although we did get some heavy rain at times, I can’t complain.
What’s your lowest score for an 18-hole round?
7 under par (65) at the 2017 USGA Women’s Amateur qualifier here in Colorado.
Ever sink a hole-in-one?
I’ve had two so far — once when I was playing a round with my dad in Hawaii, and the other in the last tournament we had this fall 2017 season.
What iron do you find yourself reaching for most often?
It depends on the length and conditions of the course we play, but usually I have a ton of mid irons coming in — 8s, 7s and 6s.
In practice, do you spend more time driving or putting?
Putting is where the scoring is at. Everyone can hit the ball, but what separates the good from the great is putting. I try to devote at least half of my practice sessions to putting and short game and the other half to swing technique and mental focus.
What should we expect of the CU women’s team this spring?
We’ve got a solid team this year. Everyone has been working hard to improve, and we’re all looking forward to the spring season. I think we’ve got some wins and top finishes coming our way.
Do you have personal goals for the season?
My goal is to improve my ranking, lower my scoring average and increase my distance. I have been working towards these goals, and I’m excited to get back into season this spring.
How has your game changed since you’ve been playing in Colorado?
I’ve become more consistent with my technique, but the biggest difference that I have noticed is in my mental game. I am more experienced, mature and I handle situations better than when I first got here.
Is there a course you’re dying to play, but haven’t yet?
I’d love to play Augusta, which is where they hold the Men’s PGA Masters tournament. There is a lot of history and prestige behind that course.
Are you able to play for fun and simply enjoy the links, or do you feel competitive whenever you’re on a golf course?
Most of the time I am in a competitive state, because you need to practice like you are playing a tournament so you can replicate it on the course. Sometimes I meet up with friends or teammates and have friendly competitions.
You’re a business major. What stands out to you about the business side of golf?
I am an advertising major with a business minor. I decided to do this because it can not only help me professionally, but also as an athlete. Advertising and business teaches me about how to brand myself and how to create ideas and bring them to life.
Any thoughts about life after CU, related to golf or not?
My plan is to play professionally. After I am done with that, I plan to work in business.
How’s your mini-golf game?
Mini-golf is way harder than it looks! First off, the clubs aren’t even like normal clubs, so I struggle quite a bit! Usually mini-golf courses are outrageous and kinda goofy, so I just have fun and enjoy laughing about it.
Condensed and edited.
Photo courtesy CU Athletics