Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics
At nine years old, Hawaii native Ariel Elftman-Hanson picked up his first golf club and fell in love with the sport. His dream since then has been to reach the Masters; a lofty goal he is currently working hard to achieve.
Growing up in Maui, Hawaii gave Elfman-Hanson the opportunity to play many sports at a young age, including baseball, which he struggled with because—as he puts it—he couldn’t master the baseball swing. He also played football and a bit of soccer, as well as spending some time canoe paddling.
The opportunity to play collegiate-level golf brought the four-time Maui Interscholastic League all-star to Utah. He wanted to come to a place that had four seasons, finding the constant 80-degree weather of Hawaii to be repetitive and boring.
Growing up hearing his dad constantly talk about skiing and the snow of the east coast was another incentive for Elftman-Hanson to choose UVU as his collegiate destination.
“Coming to UVU was my only opportunity of playing college golf outside of Hawaii, so I took it,” he said. “I see this as possibly the start of a professional career.”
Looking at college as a stepping stone to help him reach his goal of playing in the Masters, Elftman-Hanson has focused on golf since high school. Watching matches on Saturday and Sunday, seeing what it’s like for the professionals to capture the wind just right, seeing them come down the stretch on the 18 on Sunday and watching all their hard work pay off inspires him to continue chasing his dream.
“Watching this, I want this for myself, and I know I still have a long road ahead of me,” he said. “But I believe one day I can do it.”
Elftman-Hanson was named WAC men’s golfer of the week on March 1. On April 11, he tied for the 47th spot at the PING Cougar Classic with teammate Cedric Laverdure, shooting a final-round score of an 8-over-par 80. Elftman-Hanson is currently getting ready to play in the WAC Men’s Golf Championship in Mesa, Ariz. April 28-30.