We talk to Shrewsbury Golf Captain, Vicky, about her recent scholarship signing to the NCAA Division 1 Golf Team at Penn State University
There were many excellent young golfers on display at the Shrewsbury invitational on the 16th of November, but one definitely caught the eye of spectators and other golfers alike. Vicky Tip-Aucha is a golfer well-ahead of her years. After moving to Thailand and joining Shrewsbury in Year 7, she has seen her game grow exponentially under the watchful eye of our dedicated coaches and mentors. This growth has resulted in a scholarship offer to NCAA Division 1 University, Pennsylvania (Penn) State.
Firstly, congratulations on your scholarship! How did that come about? You must be over the moon!
"Well, for the past few years during the summer holidays, I have traveled to the U.S. to engage in high-level competition. I grew up in Virginia, so know the States well and have always dreamed of playing college golf there one day. During the AGA Imperial Headwear tournament last summer some Penn State recruiters were scouting. Not long I after got the offer. I was also offered a place at Boston University [also of the NCAA Division 1], but after consulting with Ms Overton, my university counselor at Shrewsbury, I decided that the Penn State offer was stronger in terms of what I really wanted out of the university experience. I couldn’t be happier, I am really looking forward to next year, but I still have exams to pass at Shrewsbury!
On that point, do you find it challenging to balance your schedule considering golf can be so time-consuming?
"It does take excellent time-management to get everything in order, and its actually one of the things that my teachers and fellow team mates here have helped me to improve on. I will be majoring in Biology and at university I will need to maintain a good G.P.A. in my academic programmes to keep my scholarship. Academic are important to me, and I am conscious that I can’t solely focus on Golf and so I have dentistry as an option I would like to explore as well. My current A Levels are Biology, Maths and Economics and all of the teachers in these classes are amazingly helpful and encouraging. They want to see me do well on both sides of my school life.
Tell us what it has taken to get to the stage you are currently. You must practice a lot and intensely study the game.
"Yeah. Golf is the kind of sport which needs constant improvement, and that is why I practice five times a week on different areas of my game. I started when I was four and had my first competition at age six. My favourite player is Jordan Spieth, and if I have time, I will try to watch him on the PGA Tour.
What about competitions? You have had many successes; what are your most memorable achievements?
My most significant victories have come in the U.S where the competition is solid. Winning the Virginia Junior Girls State Championships two years in a row back in 2016 and 2017 is probably my biggest achievement there. I also have great memories of being the first ever female junior to compete on the MENA tour here in Thailand, and making the cut in a field of male professionals. It was a really important experience, and I’ll always be grateful to the team coach for helping coordinate that opportunity. Of course, I also am very proud to have represented Shrewsbury over the years, winning FOBISIA titles with them, and to captain the team this year. Hopefully we’ll do well in the upcoming Faldo series event. Its another great opportunity for the team and another chance for the younger players to shine.
That is an impressive resume. So what are you most looking forward to ahead of your arrival to Penn State?
I can’t wait to meet my new teammates. There are nine girls in total and six compete in any tournament, so making the competitions will be my first aim, but I will need to practice hard. I am also there to learn. As captain of the Shrewsbury team, I am in a mentoring role. At Penn, I will be the new girl so I will try hard to take on all the advice I am given, to listen to my coaches and peers, and basically just to work as hard as I can.