When one of the world’s top golf coaches delivers a statement that he has a superstar coming through the ranks, then you should probably take notice.
It’s a bold call to make, however Twin Creeks Golf and Country Club’s Ian Godleman has worked with many of the world’s top players, so he knows exactly what he is looking for.
11-year-old Camilla Kim has incredibly won over 20 tournaments in the last two years, including the 2021 Jack Newton Junior Golf (JNJG) 12 Years and Under State Age Championships at Penrith Golf Club in December and, earlier this month, stepped up an entire age group to win another JNJG event in Wagga Wagga over 36 holes.
Camilla, who is a member of Lynwood Golf Club but has been coached by Godleman for two years at Twin Creeks, first picked up a club at age six before entering her first tournament shortly after.
In the last three years her handicap has come down from 45 to 4 as she continues to improve under the guidance of the highly respected Englishman.
“My Dad plays golf and he once took me to the driving range and I thought it was amazing that I could even hit a ball,” she told the Weekender.
“I found playing golf fun and I eventually went onto playing tournaments. I kept doing well and winning, so I started entering more and more.
“I love playing golf and challenge myself to play better, always getting stronger through my game. I try to figure out my weaknesses through my round and then I work hard on them. My biggest strength is my putting and consistency of shots.”
Camilla’s putting and short game has improved out of sight under Godleman and he sees very few weaknesses in the supremely talented Year 6 student.
The Leonay resident has coached several Korean professional players on Tour, including 2012 US Open champion and multiple LPGA tournament winner Na Yeon Choi.
“Camilla is very different, something quite special,” Godleman told the Weekender.
“A consistent winner with a temperament that I have never seen in any junior, it belies her years.”
Camilla, who also enjoys drawing and playing the piano, has already set goals and targets in golf, and dreams of playing on the prestigious LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Tour in the future.
She hopes to one day carve out a career just like her idol, Lydia Ko – whom Godleman once coached in a New Zealand squad.
“I really like Lydia Ko because of her short game and she is so calm and respected by other players,” Camilla said.
“My short-term goal is to be a scratch handicap by the end of the year and the long-term goal obviously is to play LPGA.”
Having coached hundreds of talented juniors all over the world, it is a goal Godleman says is well within Camilla’s reach in the future.
“I have watched Camilla in competitions and she thrives on the pressure. She is a winner and nothing phases her at all,” Godleman said.
“Camilla’s processes and coping mechanisms are already in place. Refreshingly she also plays with a huge smile on her face, something I see in very few juniors.
“You can see she really loves what she does, these are rare qualities that will no doubt take her as far as she wants to go.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.