By Brianna Cheek, AJGA Communications
Veronica Joels of Las Vegas, Nevada, first picked up a golf club at nine years old. Today at age 16, Joels is ranked No. 115 in the Polo Golf Rankings. She recently won at the IJGA Junior World Championship prior to competing this week at the AJGA Junior at Centennial in Medford, Oregon. As a recent verbal commit not far from her hometown at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas, the future Rebel has played in numerous AJGA events and has a lot passion for the game of golf. Find out more about the Class of 2018 graduate below.
Who are your biggest fans?
Veronica Joels: Definitely my parents. They are my number one supporters through everything I do and they provide me with everything I need. I am just really thankful for them.
What is one word that best describes your golf game?
VJ: Confidence. It’s a key for me in golf. Even if I am not having the best day on the range one morning, as long as I keep telling myself I am hitting it good then I automatically feel better and then everything starts going where I want it to go.
Favorite AJGA event?
VJ: I was able to play in the Yani Tseng Invitational this year which was very special to me just being invited and having the honor to play in it was really cool and I also played really well.
Most memorable moment in the AJGA?
VJ: In 2015, I played in the AJGA Junior at Forest Lake presented by Tom Holzer Ford in Michigan and we were able to go fishing. Some of the boys caught some fish and put them on the dock, so the chef could come out and cook them. All of a sudden, a snapping turtle came out of the water and ate all of the fish we had caught. After they snatched the fish, no one wanted to continue fishing (laughs). It was so funny!
When you’re not golfing, where can you be found?
VJ: Living in Las Vegas, you’ll most likely find me trying to even out my golfer’s tan. I also genuinely enjoy school and hanging out with friends.
Favorite course you’ve ever played on?
VJ: Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina. I was able to play the course three years ago when I won the U.S World Teen Championship. I played it right after it was remodeled. It was definitely challenging, but so fun!
What made you fall in love with golf?
VJ: There’s always a new challenge and it builds character. Every single course you visit, challenges you in a way you’ve never been challenged with before. I also love playing in different tournaments because I make so many friends and meet so many new people.
What advice would you give someone hoping to follow in your footsteps?
VJ: Play as many local tournaments as possible. The more tournament experience you get, the less nervous and more comfortable you are. Playing locally will prepare you for higher level tournaments when you’re surrounded by coaches and lots of people.
Future plans for golf?
VJ: I have officially committed to UNLV. I hope to win a NCAA Championship as a team and individual while I am there and bring home some Mountain West Conference titles. If I am unable to go pro, I want to continue my education.
How do you give back to the game of golf?
VJ: I teach golf clinics at my home course, TPC Summerlin. I really enjoy teaching the kids because they have a lot of energy, they make me laugh and they make me remember the reason I started playing golf.
If you were stranded on an island and could only bring one item what would it be and why?
VJ: Let’s be honest, probably my cell phone so I could call someone to get me off the island.
If you could meet celebrity who would it be and why?
VJ: Ever since I was a little girl, Taylor Swift has been my favorite pop-star. She is a really great role model to me. She is really kind to everyone she meets, she loves her fans, and I love how humble she is about everything that she has received.