Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Bohyun Park: golf, growth, globetrotting

Courtesy of Texas Athletics

South Korea, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand and Texas all play a major role in Texas junior women’s golfer Bohyun “Bo” Park’s success. 

Park was born in South Korea and moved to Saudi Arabia, where she first sparked an interest in golf. However, due to Saudi Arabia’s lack of opportunities in the sport, Park’s father, Ju Ha, decided to move to New Zealand to help Park develop her game. 

“I was kind of just trying to find the interest and the love for the game of golf in Saudi Arabia,” Park said. “I think, in New Zealand, I was actually dedicated and trying to make this thing work.”  

In New Zealand, Park had opportunities to play alongside now-professional golfer, Lydia Ko, who was No. 1 in the Women’s World Golf Rankings at 17. She was also taught by Ko’s former coach, Guy Wilson.

In those years, young Park captivated the game of golf, achieving titles such as earning one of four final spots in the 2015 ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open.

Despite finding early success in New Zealand, Parks’ father knew that the most significant opportunities for golf were in the United States and, therefore, decided to move to Dallas, Texas when Park was 13 years old.  

She attended Ranchview High School and quickly made school history, winning multiple state championships and countless tournaments. The high school even dedicated a day for her — Dec. 17, 2021, was known as “Bo Park Day.” 

“I think New Zealand has a smaller population,” Park said.  “There were more tournaments with people that I knew, like 30 people, but, in America, it was a lot bigger. So, it was definitely a lot more competitive. And it really tested my game.” 

Park decided to attend UT to continue her golf career because of the facility and the school’s academic standing.

“I thought, ‘Oh, if I go here, there will be no problem with me,’” Park said. “And I can develop my game until I move on to my next career (phase).”  

Her young career in Texas has led her to achieve many prestigious achievements, from being part of the 2022 Big 12 Women’s Golf Championship team, to being invited to play in the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur tournament. 

“Working hard and working well under pressure, I think, is one of the key points that I can take away from golf and being patient,” Park said. 

In each country, Park connected to her sport and took advantage of the diversity of her upbringing. The desert climate of Saudi Arabia began to help her with bunker shots out of the sand, the subtropical climate of New Zealand helped her with play in different types of terrains and the size of Texas strengthened her mindset.  

“Not everything’s going to go the way you want it to,” Park said. “And don’t be discouraged by setbacks or bad rounds. I mean, bad rounds doesn’t determine who you are. … Trust the process. I mean, hard work always, always pays off, I believe. So just focus on your goals and remember every great golfer faces challenges and slumps. So, if you just never give up and go through it, everything will be fine.”  

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