Redondo Union sophomore Justin Wright aspires to create a business with his father (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Redondo Union sophomore Justin Wright started playing golf during the COVID-19 Pandemic. His passion for the sport grew as his skills improved.

“It’s a sport where you didn’t really have to be in contact with any other people,” Wright said. “Improving, even by a little bit, it makes me very happy … it shows that the work that you put in is actually working.”

Working with Tee Divas and Dudes Golf Club has helped him develop in golf. Their Friday night program for junior golfers allowed him access to the Chester Washington golf course at a discounted price.

“It really helped me with my game at an early stage when I was playing golf,” Wright said. “They introduced me to the SCGA. Because I’m signed up with them, any course that has junior discounts, I can play the course at a discount instead of full price.”

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Through his coaches, Wright learned the importance of having a “good mental game.” He mentioned how being frustrated or sad can have an impact on performance.

“Stay calm and collected before you play, it can really help you when you’re playing golf,” Wright said. “Golf is so delicate and the slightest thing you do can make the ball go in a place where you do not want it to go.”

This year, Wright tried out for his high school golf team. For Wright, being a student athlete means being a part of something bigger than himself.

“If you’re in a tournament that you signed up by yourself, not with your school, it’s fun. It’s a win for yourself,” he said. “If you’re doing it for your school, it’s a win for your school and not only yourself.”

Now that he’s a member of the Redondo Union boys golf team, he is working on ways to balance his academic and athletic obligations.

“If you want to do good in school and in a sport, you just got to be tough, you got to power through,” he said. “I’m still learning how to do that.”

Wright practices five days a week. On days he’s not practicing with his teammates, he does one-on-one practices with a trainer or practices by himself.

Outside of academics and athletics, Wright goes to programs at the SoLa Foundation. Through the foundation, he was able to learn about entrepreneurship.

“It’s a place where you learn a lot of things so when you grow up, you might have an idea for what to do,” Wright said. “I’m in an entrepreneurship class because I tried to start my own business.”

Wright also enjoys attending Bible Study and hanging out with his pet German Shephard. He aspires to earn a college scholarship and create a business with his father.

“My whole life, my dad owned a business and that kind of rubbed off on me,” Wright said. “Working for someone else is all right but working for yourself, I think that’s more rewarding.”