Rancho Bernardo’s Yu says focus is key on the golf course

Casey Yu was a happy-go-lucky 10-year-old who did not have a care in the world. Until the day she received new ear buds.Then, literally, her whole world changed forever.When she put her new ear buds in both her ears, she thought the one in her left ear was broken. She could not hear anything in that ear.“I told my mom one of the buds was broken,” Yu said. “She put it in her ear and said it worked perfectly.“That’s how I found out I was deaf in that ear since birth,” Yu said.Almost eight years later, the Rancho Bernardo High senior golfer has managed her new life without a hitch. This is her life, not her disability.“Since I can hear perfectly out of my right ear, I’m not considered to be disabled,” she said.As a result of her diagnosis of being deaf in one ear, Yu said her doctor suggested if she wanted to take up a sport, take up an individual sport, like golf, for instance.She gave golf a try and liked it, partly because she got pretty good at it very quickly.Yu is still playing — and excelling.The girls golf season last fall was pushed back a number of times until the spring when a shortened season was staged. Rancho Bernardo went undefeated in Palomar League play and Yu was rewarded for her consistency by being named the league’s player of the year.“She is pretty consistent with her all-around game,” Rancho Bernardo coach Rich Deem said. “She knows she has to fight through those bad days every golfer has.“Casey has raw talent and that is more important at this age,” Deem said. “Because of those days, Casey is very much into doing what she needs to do to get better.”

Rancho Bernardo High’s Casey Yu on the golf course.(Courtesy photo)

On her way to verbally committing to play next season at Florida International University, the 5-foot-10½ Yu was named to the All-CIF team after she reached the Southern California Regionals as a junior.She shot a 6-over-par 77 at the Brookside Country Club in Pasadena.“I was playing well, but my score was not a pretty score,” Yu admitted. “COVID took away the year like it never really existed. Everything around me slowed down.“I could still play golf, but it was (a choice between) taking my Zoom classes and going to the grocery store or the golf course,” she said.If you didn’t already know or she told you that she is deaf in one ear, you’d never know it watching her play or mingle with friends and teammates.“I’m fine with it now,” Yu said. “The only time I have trouble is if everyone is talking at the same time. I have to really pay attention to who is talking and who is just background noise.”Born in Taiwan, Yu said she taught herself how to speak English when her family moved here four years ago. By studying for six hours per day for four months she acquired an ability to speak the language.Her tool for gaining a second language was reading books, specifically audiobooks where she could see the words and hear the pronunciation at the same time.“It was not easy, but it wasn’t that tough either,” Yu said. “I thought it would be tougher, but it wasn’t impossible to do.”


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Learning how to play golf would not be as easy for Yu to master. Yu said she considers tee shots to be the strength of her game. Putting — considered the toughest part of golf to learn — is the phase she’s still working on.“This is a sport where no one can predict what will happen that day,” Yu said. “That’s why it is such a frustrating sport. You see golfers shoot a 65 one day and an 85 the next day.“You have to stay focused on those days because I’ve seen others complain and throw clubs around or hit their clubs on the fairway,” she said.

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