The two sisters are looking to have a successful 2018 season after qualifying for states together last year
By MIKE MONOSTRA
Clearview Regional High School sisters Theresa and Emily Luu have a lot in common.
They are both regulars on a mostly male Clearview co-ed golf team. They have similar strengths, had similar journeys in their golf careers and share a close relationship on and off the course.
Theresa and Emily are also two of the best female high school golfers in all of South Jersey.
The Luu sisters are a critical part of Clearview golf’s recent success. Theresa, a senior, is in her fourth year on the varsity team, while Emily, a sophomore, is going into her second year on the varsity team after earning a spot on the team as a freshman.
The sisters’ journey began a little more than a decade ago, when Theresa was introduced to the sport at the age of 7. At the time, Theresa said she was also competing in ice skating, but decided a short time later to stick with golf long-term.
Theresa learned to play the sport at Town and Country Golf Links in Woodstown. Instructors and professionals on staff at the club, Rich Crowell and Fred Miller, were instrumental in helping Theresa develop her game.
Theresa said she was able to pick up the short game quickly and has added strength over the past few years to make her long hitting better.
“I was never really a long hitter until I started working out and working on my speed,” Theresa said. “So definitely the short game was my strength.”
Theresa wasn’t originally planning to play golf in high school, but was sold on the idea after a conversation with Clearview head coach Dan Lafferty.
“There was one senior girl there, so I thought I would give it a try,” Theresa said. “I ended up getting a spot on varsity my first year.”
“It was very intimidating,” Theresa added. “We had a strong team and a lot of the guys were very good. I was that little freshman girl that just signed up here.”
Theresa didn’t just make the team as a freshman; she was successful right away. She won the girls individual title at the Tri-County Showcase in 2015 and qualified for the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions in her first season.
Last year, Theresa’s younger sister Emily joined the team. Emily picked up golf a little later than Theresa and said her older sister was a direct influence on her playing the sport.
“My sister played,” Emily said. “I wanted to copy her, so I wanted to play, too. I did whatever my sister did.”
Emily’s journey shares some similarities with her sister. Like Theresa, Emily’s strengths early on were the short game and putting. The biggest thing Emily is working on now is improving her long game.
Also like her sister, Emily earned a spot on varsity as a freshman, joining her sister in the lineup in 2017. Together, the sisters played a role in boosting the Pioneers to a solid 13–1 record.
“I was pretty nervous to play, because it was the boys team,” Emily said. “But at least my sister was on it.”
Both sisters said while they are occasionally competitive with each other, they typically support each other on the course. This includes when the two face off in individual tournaments.
Last year, the sisters were near the top of the leaderboards in nearly every girls individual tournament in South Jersey. Theresa won the Gloucester County Championship, LPGA Girls High School Classic and South Jersey Ladies Invitational last year. In two of those tournaments, Emily was right behind her, finishing in at least a tie for second place.
“Even in tournaments outside of school, we want the best for each other,” Theresa said.
Emily said she shares a tight relationship with her sister and the two try to support each other on the course.
“We pretty much do everything together,” she said. “We have a close relationship.”
The two qualified for the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions last year and had strong finishes. Theresa finished in 14th place with an 81, and Emily shot an 85 to finish in 24th place.
Playing on a co-ed team with mostly boys, Theresa and Emily share a bond with a lot of the other female players across South Jersey.
“I know most of them from outside of even high school golf,” Theresa said. “I knew them from other tours I played during the summer and we’ve seen each other. I definitely bond with the girls who have that co-ed experience.”
Next year, Theresa is planning to attend St. Joseph’s University, a school without a women’s golf program. Theresa said she turned down multiple offers to play golf at other schools because she felt St. Joseph’s was the best school for her from an education perspective. She plans to major in marketing.
Theresa does have hopes of convincing St. Joe’s to sponsor women’s golf and playing in college.
“I am talking to the athletic director to see if I can start a D-1 team,” she said.
As for this year, both Theresa and Emily are just focused on playing their best. They both know if they play up to their capabilities, they have the talent to be at the top of leaderboards in multiple girls’ tournaments once again this year.