Jenny Shin may be a professional golfer by day, but one of her many hobbies is taking on the virtual world in esports and gaming. Shin put her skills to the test last Wednesday against Tiffany Joh in their #LPGAonWGT match but lost to Joh on The (virtual) Old Course, St Andrews despite some impressive play, including a chip-in on the famous Road Hole, the par-4 17th.
“I was really psyched when I chipped in. I was like, ‘Oh, I’m really going to push her with that seven-foot par putt she had.’ She made it so I was really bummed out. It was a really good match,” said Shin after her match on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio’s Katrek & Maginnes On Tap. “She’s a really funny person, a great personality, so it was fun to have her as my playing partner.”
Shin said Joh decided to up the ante during the match and ended up losing three side bets, one that includes wearing a dinosaur onesie to the next LPGA Tour player meeting.
“I had pretty good ones for her, I just kept losing” joked Shin.
An LPGA Tour winner, Shin is a PC player and is looking to get into the world of esports. She’s mostly familiar with League of Legends and has pondered creating a Twitch account to livestream her own gaming. Even with more time at home, she isn’t gaming as much as one may think during the Tour’s hiatus.
“I do gaming a little bit but I’ve been pretty occupied with other hobbies that I’ve picked up during this quarantine, so I haven’t been gaming that much. I’ve been spending a lot of time hiking and working out, trying to be in shape before I lose my mind,” said Shin.
“I definitely do a lot of cooking, but that was when the quarantine first started and I was all into being productive and using my time wisely, trying to do all this healthy stuff for myself. Then, Vegas closed their golf courses, and I was like, ‘I have seven extra hours in my day, what am I going to do?’”
Shin said she’s waiting for Vegas to re-open on a bigger scale and is trying to benefit from restaurants opening near her home. She said as casinos open in the next couple of months, things may appear back to normal. But she won’t be visiting them to gamble.
“I love their restaurants. I do gamble here and there a little bit, but my tactic is if (my friends) do well, I’ll ask them for a $20 chip,” said Shin. “But I’m definitely not a gambler, I work too hard for my money to gamble.”
Despite the last few weeks off the course, Shin is more than excited to play again once the Tour returns. She said she was planning on pairing with 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 for the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational before it was canceled, but is still ready to use that competitive energy in 2020.
“The toughest thing for me during this quarantine was not being able to challenge myself, I guess. I didn’t realize it until a few weeks into it. I was constantly trying to do something new because I want to feel the adrenaline, and find the excitement of doing something,” said Shin.
“Golf is kind of like that – every day is different. Even though I played golf the day before and the day before that, every day is different. My body is different, Mother Nature is different, the golf course, the pin locations, every day is different. So, every day I’m challenging myself with something new. Not being able to do that and just sitting at home and just looking at my workout schedule was driving me nuts. Really, getting back to competing is what I’m looking forward to.”