18 Questions With ... Jennie
May 12, 2008
Jennie Lee of Henderson, Nev., is one of two
returning players to the 2008 United States of America
Curtis Cup team that will compete May 30-June 1 on the
Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland against the
eight-woman squad from Great Britain and Ireland. The
21-year-old Lee is just completing her junior season at
Duke University, where she helped the Blue Devils win
consecutive NCAA Division I women's titles in 2006
and '07. Ken Klavon, the USGA's Editor of New
Media, recently chatted with Lee about what she'd do
if she didn't play golf and how she got into the
How did you get into golf?
My brother played, started a year before I did. I would
just go with him to the range and I'd start hitting
balls. I used to be an ice skater and it was hard to get my
brother and me to both, so I switched over.
How accomplished a skater are you?
I was working on my double axle when I quit. I don't
know what level I was. I did all the doubles and the double
axle comes last out of all the doubles. If I made that,
I'd start working on my triples.
What's more difficult: Performing a flawless
double axle or sinking a 20-foot putt?
[Laughter] Oh, where is this double axle? At the World
Championships? I'd say the 20-foot putt.
|Jennie Lee helped the USA win a
fifth consecutive Curtis Cup match in 2006. (USGA Photo
Why do you think the USA team has had such dominance
(five consecutive wins) over the Great Britain &
Ireland team in the Curtis Cup Match?
I don't really know much about the players on the
GB&I side. Sometimes I'll talk to college players
in the U.S. who have played for their team. This year we
have some junior players. I feel like we have a wide range
of players from each level. I think we put that all
together and we're all set to go.
What's the best thing about college life?
I think the best thing is that there is golf and then there
is school. But other than the two, there are so many other
activities. Sometimes it can get a little crazy because you
have so much going on. The part I really like is that you
have so many organizations that you can get involved in. I
belong to a church in the Raleigh/Durham area and they
always have so many things going on. I'm in Athletes In
Action and I take part in that.
How stressful is it to play competitive golf?
I think it can be stressful on the golf course sometimes
when things aren't going your way, but that's the
same for everybody [laughter]. You know you have a bad
round here and there and that can put you down a little
bit. But you just get right back on it and it's fun. I
love playing tournaments, and just being able to travel,
especially with the team. You have someone there with you
and you're rooting each other on. It makes it fun.
You are the 'Czar of Golf' for one day. What
change would you make?
I think it would be nice - the men have a lot of mini tours
- for the women to have more than just the Futures Tour.
And more money with the smaller tournaments, too.
Favorite TV show?
If I had to choose just one it would be [long pause] .
If you could do one other thing in life besides play
golf, what would it be?
I think I would want to be - there are too many things.
There's this place in Washington, D.C., and it's
called 'Little Lights.' It's a Christian
ministry for kids in the area. It's sort of like an
after-school program, or they have camps. I think I'd
be involved as a director or running a place.
Have you had an "Oh, Wow!" moment in
I would have to say that last hole I played [in 2006] in
the Curtis Cup [that clinched the victory for the USA
team]. That was quite a wow.
OK, final hole in the fourth round of the U.S.
Women's Open or any major. You're tied for the
lead. You split the fairway and have between 230-250
yards to the hole but have to clear water. What do you
[Laughter] Oh, I lay up. I can't hit it that far.
OK, then how about this: You're on a miniature
golf course playing against fellow Duke teammate Amanda
Blumenherst, who wins?
[Laughter] Oh, I don't know. Putt-putt courses can be
tricky. Probably her. Putt-putt courses aren't
Is there a philosophy you live by?
By the Bible and God's words.
Do you have any heroes?
My mom. I think she's hard-working in whatever
circumstance she's in and I really respect that.
If you have an iPod, what do you listen to?
I listen to Kanye West a lot. I love his song
'Stronger.' I like hip-hop music a lot. I have a
lot of that in there.
You said you've been studying sociology at Duke.
Why is that interesting?
I never thought I would be interested in sociology.
I've taken a lot of crime-related classes. I don't
think I could do a concentration in criminology. I really
like being involved with delinquents. I'm taking a
juvenile delinquency class. It's what I want to do
later apart from golf. I'm trying to get more involved
in hands-on things.
I really like Will Smith. He's really talented. He does
things that just seem natural. There seems to be a flow
when he's acting.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Hawaii. I've never been to Hawaii but I hear it's
really pretty [laughter].