Tackling the Marathon: Freshman Lynn Lim is ahead of her years
Lynn Lim’s maturity on the course and in her approach has led to great success early on in her career on West End.
March 29, 2023
It is safe to say that the Vanderbilt Women’s Golf team has proven to be small but mighty. As a unit they have achieved a current national ranking of No. 17 this year ― tallying together four top-five finishes through eight tournaments. One consistent contributor to the success of the golf team has been freshman and Gallatin, Tennessee native Lynn Lim.
Lim started playing golf when she was eight as a hobby, something both her and her grandfather appreciated.
“It really started out as a lot of fun. Nothing too serious,” Lim told The Hustler.
Lynn’s relationship with the game started to turn competitive once she turned 10 and began taking lessons.
“I just found that I am a competitive person, and golf just felt right,” Lim said when asked about her start in the next level of the sport. “I think I was always kind of drawn to the type of intensity that golf carries, and it was just a lot of fun.”
This love for the game, fueled by her competitive instinct, surely proved to be an asset for Lim. By the time she came to Vanderbilt, Lim was already highly experienced with numerous accolades under her belt. She won three Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) team titles, an individual TSSAA state title and two runner-up titles, a 2022 Tennessee Women’s Amateur Championship, a No. 2 state ranking and No. 21 national ranking.
However, high school and amateur success is not always an indicator of how an athlete will perform in college. College athletics — especially in the SEC and at Vanderbilt — pose a new set of challenges, and some of even the most promising of recruits across all sports have plateaued once arriving on campus.
Lynn is certainly not one of those athletes, though.
Since she has donned the Black and Gold, Lim has established herself as one of the best golf players and freshmen not only in the SEC, but in the nation. After just the second tournament of the season, Lim was named SEC Freshman of the Week. This season she has had three top-10 finishes, all while missing a decent amount of time away from competitive golf due to a sickness. Currently, she holds a No. 50 national ranking ― a mark which is ninth best among freshmen, and second best among her teammates.
“I didn’t want to be complacent with it [or let it be] an obstacle I would have to get over,” Lim said on winning SEC Rookie of the Week in September . “It was motivating to take it as like a pat on the back and translate it into just more motivation, more grit, more toughness.”
One of Lim’s best performances of the season came this past weekend at the Clemson Invitational, where she tied for eighth and scored nothing worse than a bogey, posting scores of 2 under 70, 1 under 71, and 1 over 73 over the course of a three-day tournament.
“I went into the Clemson Invitational with no expectations,” Lim said. ”I just really wanted to play one more regular season tournament the best I could… and build some confidence and motivation going into the postseason.”
Lim has a refined mental approach to her game similar to that of a seasoned professional, something she has developed over the past eight years. Balance between personal life and school or sport is something that everyone seeks to find ― student athlete or not. We could all stand to take a page out of Lim’s book on how to tackle the “marathon” that is both competitive golf and life.
“There’s definitely highs and lows…prioritizing my health, whether it be mental or physical, I really try to find a balance,” Lim said. “As a student athlete, I have learned a lot about myself [and when] to draw the line. Sometimes I sit and meditate. Just learning how to take the little moments and maximize them.”
Another major contributor to a team and individuals success is team culture. When a team’s culture is aligned in a way that it both supports and challenges its members, athletes are able to put forth their best performances. Lynn spoke about her close-knit team and its ability to help and celebrate one another. She said this dynamic has helped her grow as a person and player during her relatively short time at Vanderbilt.
“Our team has something special,” Lim told The Hustler. “We’re unique in the sense that we want to see each other succeed, while also pushing each other to our limits and past them. When I was out for those couple months, my coaches and teammates were really there for me…knowing that I have that kind of support with them is so special and unique to what this program has to offer.”
Looking forward, the post-season will begin for the Women’s Golf Team at the SEC championships on April 12 in Birmingham, Alabama, followed by the NCAA Regionals and Championships in May. For the rest of this year and beyond, Lim hopes to continue to develop her game even further and receive invitations to large-scale tournaments.
If she could play on any course in the world, Lim would pick St. Andrews, nestled in the old country of Scotland. As for in the U.S., she would choose Augusta National for the Women’s Amateur tournament.
Wherever Lim ends up, one thing is clear: She wants to become a better version of herself on and off the green.
“At the end of the day, I’m just always striving for positivity and overall betterment,” Lim said.