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Interim President Jeff Ettinger inside Morrill Hall on Sept. 20, 2023. Ettinger gets deep with the Daily: “It’s bittersweet.”
Ettinger reflects on his presidency
Published April 22, 2024

Hailey Loh tees up on international and collegiate levels

The senior transfer golfs for Minnesota and spends her off-season playing for the Singapore National Team.
Image by Brad Rempel (courtesy)
Hailey was already familiar with the process and was recruited at 14 years old.

Hailey Loh, a senior transfer, has brought consistency and heart to the Gophers women’s golf team. Currently playing at the University of Minnesota during the school year and for the Singapore National Team in the off-season, Hailey’s hard work has been paying off.

Loh, a transfer from California Baptist University, won the 2023 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) women’s golf individual championship, becoming the first Singaporean to win an NCAA DI Conference championship.

Winning her conference championship meant more opportunities, one of them being a chance to play for a Power Five school.

Loh has been playing golf ever since she was five years old. Her father, Arthur Loh, picked up golf as a young adult. Arthur wanted his children to play sports to learn important life lessons.

“It’s one of those games that teaches values they can use in their growing-up years and into their working years,” Arthur said. “[These are] values they can take along throughout their lives. It teaches them integrity, decision-making skills, taking calculated risks and patience.”

Hailey’s older sister, Ashley, also played golf growing up. Ashley was on the Singapore National Team, which helped Hailey during the recruitment process. Hailey was already familiar with the process and was recruited at 14 years old to the development team. 

Being a part of the national team includes training at state-of-the-art facilities with staff members there for support.

She and her partner, Sean Lee, both started playing for the National Team in 2019 and started dating shortly after. When they are not practicing together, Lee occasionally caddies for Hailey.

“Her strength is her long game and I’m the opposite,” Lee said. “So when we practice together, we complement each other … We are super competitive and always want to win.”

Image by Straits Times (courtesy)

Hailey especially loves being able to travel with the national team. She has made friends around the world on other national teams and has played in Australia, Japan, Dubai and France.

“It’s been really cool, being on a college team and being on the national team, because that gives me opportunities to play in college events and also in international events,” Hailey said. “I would say I play a good mix of both … Team Singapore also gives me the opportunity to compete in the off-season.”

School and sports have a balance in the United States whereas, in Singapore, school days are long and don’t leave much room for athletics, according to Loh.

At the college level, in addition to her WAC individual championship, she has nine top-10 overall finishes. She has been named on two All-WAC teams (2022-23 and 2020-2021) and has two NCAA DI collegiate wins.

When Hailey entered the transfer portal over the summer, she was worried about the transition. One of the members of the golf team took a gap year which left an open spot for Hailey.

​​“It worked out so perfectly, it was meant to be,” Hailey said.

Minnesota head coach Rhyll Brimsmead emphasized the team aspect of golf, especially because it is an individual sport.

“We really do want that sort of family approach … [We have long days], so it is important,” Brimsmead said. “When they look left and they look right, they should feel the love and feel accepted and integrated into the program.”

This winter, Hailey and Brimsmead plan to work on the strength of her stroke. 

“She’s actually in the upper percentile of averages when it comes to fairways and greens hit and that’s where I think some of her frustration comes with putting,” Brimsmead said. “She has a lot of opportunities to convert birdies, which she feels like she should make more … But overall, she’s very, very consistent.”

Hailey plans to play professionally next summer after she graduates with a degree in communications.

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