Golf prodigy Arianna Lau, 13, sets sights on representing Hong Kong at 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles

  • The young golfer is only 13 but has already won a spate of awards, while still keeping up with her studies at Malvern College Hong Kong
  • Now, the teen hopes to follow in the footsteps of her idol, two-time Olympian Tiffany Chan, in representing Hong Kong in the LPGA Tour and the Olympic Games
Yanni Chow |

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Hong Kong golfer Arianna Lau first picked up a golf club when she was only three. Photo: Ike Images

At the young age of 13, Hongkonger Arianna Lau already has her eyes on a target that is seven years away – representing her city at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

Lau, touted as a golf prodigy for the spate of awards she has already won, first picked up a club when she was only three. Since then, she has won 57 out of the 60 local junior and amateur tournaments she has competed in, finishing second in the rest. She also has multiple top-three finishes at international events.

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Now, she has even bigger goals ahead.

“My long-term goal is to become a world No 1 LPGA [Ladies Professional Golf Association] golfer. I also aspire to play in the Olympics because I was really motivated [after watching it] – it’s the biggest stage [for] sports,” said Lau.

Arianna Lau’s long-term goal is to become a world No 1 LPGA golfer. Photo: Ike Images

Hong Kong’s two-time Olympian Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching, is the teen golfer’s role model. The 27-year-old star is the city’s first and only LPGA athlete.

“I’ve played ... with her – she’s very hardworking and determined. She sets a lot of goals for herself to achieve, so I’ve learned a lot from her. I really want to be like her and represent Hong Kong at the Olympics, turn pro and achieve good results,” said the young player.

Hong Kong golfer Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching (pictured) is Arianna Lau’s role model. Photo: SF & OC

She has just been named the EFG Young Athletes Foundation scholar for 2021, and has received a grant of HK$250,000. She was selected from a pool of nearly 120 elite athletes and potential sporting stars in the city. The judges were particularly impressed by her preparation and composure in her presentation.

“I kept a tournament mindset during the whole process. I’m excited for what comes ahead,” said Lau.

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She owes her success to her family as well, especially her mother, Athena Tang, who accompanies Lau to her practices every day, and has even been her caddie in amateur tournaments.

“Whether she’s sick or feels well, she chooses to practise with me every day. She has made a lot of sacrifices throughout these 10 years, so I’m very grateful for her,” Lau added.

When Lau was nine, her mother quit her job in the music industry to support the fledgling athlete full-time. Her father worked multiple jobs to keep her golfing dreams afloat.

Arianna Lau (right) photographed at a shortgolf clinic when she was only 10 years old. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

“When I was very little, I already set these goals, so [my parents] already said back then that they would support me until the end,” said teen golfer, who is also a student at Malvern College Hong Kong.

After playing golf for 10 years, she is used to balancing her studies with her tight training schedule.

“Usually, after school I go straight to training, then go home and do homework. I make sure I finish all my assignments on time, and note down all the things I have to do,” Lau said.

She trains six days a week at the Fanling Golf Club, Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course or Hong Kong Golf Club.

“The course takes a pretty long time to finish the 18 holes. Usually before and after [the 18 holes] I practise my short game or go to the driving range to warm up. So I think [in total] it’s around seven to eight hours,” added Hong Kong’s future golfing star.

She will be competing in local tournaments in the coming months, and hopes to use her scholarship to play more amateur tournaments overseas.

“I really hope I can play in those events and get good results to help improve my world amateur ranking position. All the experience is very important if I want to turn pro in the future,” said Lau.

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