Gettting To Know Mari Chun

April 8, 2009

Mari Chun is one of two seniors on the Stanford Women's Golf Team. A 2008 NGCA All-America honorable mention and second-team All-Pac-10, Mari competed in ten tournaments last season, leading the Cardinal with a 74.1 scoring average. The Hawaiian-born Japanese major sat down recently to discuss life at Stanford, favorite classes, and her future.

What has been your favorite collegiate golf experience?

Definitely this year when we won at Sahalee. We won as a team and I won individually. It was the second time that happened. I felt that because the course is much tighter and there is less room for error, my focus becomes that much better. Ideally I'd like to be that focused all the time. I like to think of myself as a shot maker more than anything. My game is about course management and placement. I'm not a long hitter. My favorite club in my bag is my putter. Sahalee fits my game very well, definitely complements it.

What have been some of your favorite classes at Stanford?

I took an IntroSem called Structures in Aeronautics with Prof. George Springer. He loves golf and keeps up with the cutting edge of the sport.Mechanical Engineering 203: Manufacturing and Design was another favorite. Engineering is my hobby. In ME203 we went from creating an idea to actually putting it into a computer model, and then designing it, making our original idea out of blocks of metal.

What did you create?

A belt buckle that houses a divot repair tool... so instead of shuffling in my pocket, I just have it on my belt... I use it whenever I am at home.

What are your pre-tournament rituals?

I don't have any superstitions.... I know my teammates have quite a few. The night before I play, I like to visualize playing each hole so I have a game plan. The pin placements are the most difficult ones, and are easy to imagine. It's a check list: visualize the shot, going through my pre-shot routine, making sure I am mentally prepared.

I also have to eat well. I always have to be mindful of eating every few hours. I probably account for half of the food intake on my team during tournaments. They will affirm that, if you'd like to ask them.

Anything in particular in terms of consumption?

What I used eat in high school, Coach doesn't want us eating: Pancakes, syrup, and sausage. Sometimes hot chocolate. Now we eat toast or eggs, bananas, more of a balance. We eat a lot of Balance Bars and Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and bananas. One of my worst habits is eating a Balance Bar, not even in one hole, but between shots, just inhaling it... they will look at me asking, 'where did it go?'.

What are your current favorite movies?

Gladiator and The Greatest Game Ever Played.

What's on your Ipod?

My Ipod.,,Did Sydney (Burlison) take a while to get back to you on this one? Because she has quite the list. As far as my IPod, what do you want to hear?

Top 5 songs? Favorite 5 artists? Top 3 albums? Whatever comes to mind... If you can list your 25 most played, I'll be very impressed.

No, no I can't list it.... But what I find myself buying and listening to are songs that have a good tune and a positive lyrical message. I love Michael Buble's Everything and Lucky by Jason Mraz. I grew up listening to oldies and jazz, so I definitely have a lot of acoustic as well. My dad likes Kenny G. and Hawaiian music. My mom likes vocals, so I have some Josh Groban, and Celine Dion. I even have Journey and Earth Wind and Fire, and of course more recent music... Marie Digby, Colbie Caillat, Myleene Klass, and Disney music!

Do you sporadically break out into song?

No, Piper (Miller) does though. Some of the underclassmen like to try to drown her out, because she is so amazing. We have a lot of fun.

How do you de-stress?
Especially while I'm studying. Chocolate is my de-stress. On the golf course, I like to think of random things- the clouds, the trees, the weather, intricacies of the golf course, and then share them with my competitors and watching their expressions.

Is that part of the game plan?
No, no. I just like sharing my enjoyment, but sometimes they don't enjoy it as much as I do. I'll say, 'that cloud is amazing' and they'll say, 'It's just a cloud Mari' ... seriously though, I'm not trying to distract them, I just get caught up in the moment. I love getting caught up in the moment.

What is your dream job?
To be a professional golfer, a successful professional golfer. There are a lot of struggles. Some of my friends who are older are telling me how hard it is to make it. You can always announce that you've turned professional. But I've seen so many professionals, both men and women, who find that it's not as fun as they believed it would be, or that it's not what they want to do for the rest of their lives. So dream job is to be successful, and eventually be able to give it back to the community. With golf you learn a lot about yourself, you see the direct correlation between practicing and achieving your goals. That is such an important attribute for future generations to have.

What are your favorite golf courses?

Quarry in Palm Springs, Oak Quarry, Monterey Peninsula is really pretty, Kingsbarn, Cypress Point, there are more... can you put etcetera?

There are just so many I love. The only golf course that I feel like I would have a difficult time playing is Augusta. The greens look amazing, and I love my putter more than any other club, so I'd love to see what it would be like in the Masters conditions

Comments on the new practice facility?

It's the best gift our team could have ever dreamed of receiving.

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