Grace Lu ’22 started playing golf at age 9 and joined the First Tee program in Plainfield at the encouragement of her father. She improved throughout her middle school years while growing up in Edison but wasn’t really in love with golf until she joined the Wardlaw+Hartridge team after enrolling at the school as a freshman.
She recalled that initial season as the beginning of a special bond with her fellow W+H teammates that has led to some amazing things, including a state team championship last spring. More importantly, being part of the team has continued to deepen her passion for the sport.
Grace practiced hard, played well and improved throughout her high school years and is prepared to continue her academic and athletic career at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia next year. Joined by her parents Ming Lee and Zhigang Lu, sister and teammate Claire ‘24, W+H administrators, coaches and friends, Grace signed a National Letter of Intent during a ceremony in the school’s Admission Conference Room on Nov. 12.
“I’m extremely excited,” Grace said. “I’ve always wanted to play college golf and D1 has definitely been one of my goals. To be able to play D1 golf is incredible.”
Grace loved the beautiful William and Mary campus during her visit and clicked with her future teammates. She said the atmosphere reminded her of W+H, a small and close-knit environment where people know each other.
A committed student in the classroom, she’s considering majors in Business or Education and is excited for the many opportunities William and Mary will offer.
Grace credited W+H veteran golf coach Jim Howard for helping build her confidence to excel. She recalled a time when Coach Howard watched her hit three balls out of bounds but “he still believed in me and gave me an opportunity.”
“When I came in freshman year, being able to play golf for the team and represent Wardlaw+Hartridge definitely helped grow my love for the sport,” she said. “Without that experience, I don’t think I would have loved it as much as I do now. Just being on a team is great. It’s been extremely meaningful.”
While she’s looking forward to playing college golf, Grace still has goals for the remainder of her senior year at W+H. She’s determined to avoid senioritis and finish with As in her classes. She wants to help the Rams repeat as state champs and also play better as an individual.
Grace humbly offered thanks to many people for guiding and supporting her on this exciting journey. She expressed gratitude to her parents for their unconditional love and support, and also thanked her golf coaches, W+H college counselor Sarah Honan and William and Mary coach Ed Tear.