Ha: One of the best golfers you might not know about


Jennifer Ha

Ray Strickland

Kent State golfer Jennifer Ha has been one of the most successful golfers in the Mid-American Conference, and you might not even know who she is.

Ha, a senior communication studies major, was born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Calgary, a city in the province of Alberta, Canada. 

She has received many accolades throughout her successful three-year career as a Flash, capturing the 2012 MAC Freshman of the Year award and the 2014 and 2015 MAC Golfer of the Year awards. Among other honors and awards, Ha has also made the All-MAC team as a freshman, sophomore and junior.

The U.S. may be foreign to her, but the game of golf is not. She has played the sport almost all her life, picking up a golf club at the age of nine years old. 

Ha’s father, John Ha, introduced her to the sport of golf. 

“He taught me how to play,” Ha said. “He taught me all the way up to college. I didn’t have a coach before that.”

Ha said when she was young, her father took her to an indoor driving facility to practice her swing and teach her the fundamentals of the sport. At the age of 14, Ha started to play in tournaments as an amateur. She said her father was very instrumental in her development as a player. 

While her family is in another country, her mother, Christina; her sister, Jummy; and her father have been very supportive of her. 

“Family is the most important thing in my life,” Ha said. “My family has been great. They have been with me every step of the way.”

The Kent State women’s golf team has been very successful over the last 15 years. The Flashes have been the only conference champions in the MAC, vying for their 16th straight conference championship. Ha has been one of the key components of the team since she became a member when she arrived at Kent State in 2011.

“Jennifer gets along with everyone on the team,” Kent State’s women’s golf coach Greg Robertson said. “She’s funny, outgoing and just a good person to be around.”

“I think [that] helps with the overall team environment to have someone like that, especially your team leaders. She does a great job leading by example.”

Ha recently played in a LGPA event over the summer, tying for 64th place as an amateur, where she beat out a number of top players in the world. In the Canadian Pacific Open at the end of August, Ha outplayed No. 13 Angela Stanford, No. 16 Paula Creamer and No. 20 Catriona Matthew. 

“The impressive thing about her is she’s coming back to campus, having received all those accolades, putting in the time and the effort and working even harder than she did the year before — that to me is what is impressive about her,” Robertson said.

Ha said she loves to see the results reaped from working on her game. She also said that she loves the game of golf and being at Kent State, the school where she found collegiate success.

“I’m definitely proud of myself and feel very blessed to be here and to be able to receive those awards,” Ha said. “It’s nice to see that my work ethic paid off.”

The first tournament of the season for Ha and the women’s golf team begins Sept. 15 at the Minnesota invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. 

Contact Ray Strickland at [email protected].