Young golfer making her mark on junior circuit

Hannah Rabb, of McEwensville, sinks a putt.

McEWENSVILLE – While most children her age are spending their summer vacation by the pool or away at camp, Hannah Rabb is busy laying the groundwork for a bright career in golf.

Rabb, 12, the daughter of Matt and Trisha Rabb of McEwensville and a soon-to-be eighth grader at Meadowbrook Christian School, has indeed been a busy girl this summer.

In recent weeks, Hannah Rabb placed first in the Hurricane Junior Tour stop in New Jersey on June 8 and 9, and took sixth and second in two separate North Central PA Golf Association Junior Tour contests on June 17 and 24.

And, more recently, Hannah Rabb placed seventh out of 24 12-year-olds at the USKids Regional at Pinehurst on June 29 and 30.

But that isn’t all for Hannah.

Quickly approaching is the USKids World Championships that will be held the first weekend of August. It will be the fourth time Hannah will compete in the tournament.

“There will be some (Hurricane Tour and NCPGA tournaments) in between those, so it will be a busy season of golf,” said Matt Rabb, who couldn’t be happier with his daughter’s success to this point.

“I am very proud of how she has taken to the game of golf. To be playing at the level she is in regional and national tournaments, definitely puts a huge smile on my face,” he said.

However, Hannah Rabb has been making her mark in golfing circles the better part of a decade.

And all it took to get her started along this career path was when she attended a Ladies Professional Golf Tour event as just a preschooler.

“I first got into golf when I was about 5. I was watching Morgan Pressel play at the ShopRite Classic, and I fell in love with the game from there,” said Hannah Rabb. “I love the game because it’s just me, and not a team sport.

“I guess golf just came natural for me,” she added. “My dad and grandpa definitely played a big part in my learning process.”

Hannah’s father, for one, sure didn’t see this kind of love his daughter currently has for the game developing back then.

“We took her to a couple of LPGA events when she was four and five, and on the way home from one she asked if she could take lessons. I couldn’t have imagined then that we would be doing what we are doing today at this level,” said Matt Rabb, who redeveloped a love for the game when Hannah started playing.

“My dad used to be a scratch golfer, and I grew up around golf,” he said. “I took a few lessons as a kid and played a bit over the years, but I never really got into it like (my father) until Hannah took up interest in the game.”

Helping fuel and stabilize Hannah Rabb’s blossoming career is the fact that she has her father, and her grandparents occasionally, caddying for her during these tournaments.

Trisha Rabb is also heavily involved with her daughter’s career to truly make it a family affair for the Rabbs.

“It’s great to have everyone involved. Both sets of grandparents travel with us to almost every major tournament. We make them mini family vacations, and it’s just a great time,” said Matt Rabb.

“Being her caddy is the best part for me, and I love helping her out around the course. I hope that she enjoys it as much as I do. Both of her grandfathers and her Gram have all caddied for her in events that I could not attend. I don’t think she cares who is caddying as long as she is playing.”

As far as Hannah Rabb is concerned, she’s just thankful for the backing she has.

“I am so grateful to have two amazing and supportive parents. It’s very important to have my family by my side at these big events,” she said. “Not only do my parents support me at these tournaments, but my grandparents as well.”

Hannah Rabb, who added three top-six finishes at USKids Regionals in January, February and April, really has her eyes set on the world championships in August.

“So far in this year’s USKids regional tournaments I think that I have done pretty well, but I am most excited for the world championships,” said Hannah Rabb, whose career highlight was at last year’s world championships.

“I would have to say my best career finish to this point is getting 27th out of 117 of the best 11-year-old golfers in the world last year at the USKids Worlds Tournament at Pinehurst, N.C.,” she said. “I shot 76-76 in that tournament. I did win a regional when I was nine years old as well.”

But where does Hannah Rabb, who also counts a title at a USKids regional at Seaview in 2016 as among her biggest wins so far, see her career going exactly?

With a sense of precociousness, the preteen has set her sights pretty high.

“I hope to one day play on the LPGA Tour. I love golf and hope to pursue it as a career someday. My favorite golfer is Pressel. She is big into raising money and awareness for cancer, and that is something that I am currently trying to do,” said Hannah, who has raised several thousand dollars herself with her Janet Weis Fundraiser.

For Matt Rabb, he’s not thinking that far ahead, yet.

“It certainly would be nice to see her get a college scholarship, but that is not anything we are concerned about at this age. We are not sure on high school golf other then districts as her school does not offer golf,” he said.

“We don’t push her at all to play the game. We decided long ago that she will make the decision on how far she wants to take her game based on her commitment and work ethic. She’s 12, and we are just having fun for now.”

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