Riley Hamilton – North Carolina Interview by Claire Plath Nomination by Tracey DerBoghosian Photography by Tim Talley Photography Issue 29 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination:Riley Hamilton is a very hard working and eager young woman. She works very hard in her academics as well as her golf game. Riley loves and cherishes her family. She always demonstrates a positive attitude whether she wins or loses. Riley deserves to be nominated and win this award for all her focus, dedication and hard work.
Photography by Tim Talley Photography
What do you love most about golfing, and what has been your most memorable experience so far while playing the game? I started playing golf at the age of 3. My dad initially got me into the game for bonding purposes in the future, but it just stuck with me. My favorite part of the game would most definitely be the mental toughness, and the many challenges that are faced. Playing this game, I have learned so many life lessons, and I have learned so much about myself along the way. Over my years of playing competitively I have traveled to so many cool places and have met a lot of friends from a variety of different countries. Throughout my high school career, I have been a part of 2 state championship teams and have won an individual title. My most memorable experience in golf so far is the individual state championship win. I was just a sophomore and played on the varsity boys’ team. I remember walking on the 18th hole knowing I was in the lead. I had a 12-foot putt to win for the team and individually. With hundreds of people crowded around, I made the putt and won. That was most definitely the best feeling throughout my high school career.
What accomplishments have you achieved from your involvement in athletics? I currently have over 100 trophies, and I plan on gaining more in the future. I have achieved many accomplishments through early morning workouts, and long hours spent improving my game. Through my years of competition, I have played in anything from the top junior tournaments, to playing in the U.S Open qualifier to get the coolest experience and absolute best competition. I am beyond thankful to have the opportunities that I have had so far. Though, my main source of success would be through my faith in God. I am a big Christian, and I believe that with faith you can achieve anything.
Photography by Tim Talley Photography
How have you been able to balance your time management while being actively involved in both academics and sports? Balancing time between athletics and academics is very hard. I’ve always taken AP classes, and have been involved in other school activities while making sure I had at least an hour of free time to work on my studies. As a future student athlete in college, I’ve learned its very important to be disciplined enough to balance practice with homework. Being well organized and having set goals has really helped me balance my time.
What are you looking forward to most about attending East Carolina University and committing to playing golf there? I am beyond excited to play golf at ECU this coming fall. It has always been my dream to play at a top D1 school, and now it is finally happening. Through the 6 a.m. workouts will not be my favorite thing ever; I can’t wait to spend time with my team and travel. Both my assistant and head coach are absolutely amazing. Being on a team that is sponsored by Adidas is a dream because that always has been my favorite brand. I cannot wait to get started, and I really think ECU will help achieve my dreams of becoming a professional golfer after college.
How have you managed to keep a positive attitude whether you win or lose in the game? I am extremely competitive in anything I do, therefore losing is not fun for me. Though winning/ losing is a part of life. I have lost many tournaments, but I have learned from them and it has made me grow as a person and as a golfer. Any loss is a minor setback, and a major comeback. I used to really hate to lose and get down on myself when I was younger. I always saw losing as a bad thing. Now that I have gotten older, I realized the best sports leave with a smile on their face no matter what the outcome was.
Photography by Heidi Hamilton
How has your determination and commitment inspired others? Everyone has a story and an inspiration that has helped them get to where they are today. My inspirations are my parents, and a few professional athletes. I only hope that whoever I have or will inspire will become very successful and never let failure stop them from achieving their goals. I believe if you haven’t been put down or laughed at for your goals, you're not dreaming big enough. I only aspire to be a good inspiration for young golfers, especially girls. Being a girl in a male dominated sport is cool, especially when you can compete with them.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans for the future? In five years I plan on going professional alongside of modeling. I currently model now, and I only hope that continues in the future. I would love to eventually be sponsored by adidas since it is my favorite brand. Playing professional golf, and traveling would be amazing. Through my faith in God, I believe this is where I'm going to be with hard work in five years.
Riley will be featured in Issue 29 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!