On the course, on the job: Waipahu golfer Julian Samia has all the links

Waipahu senior Julian Samia, left, has learned and grown under the tutelage of his boss at Waikele Country Club, Aaron Mercado. Photo courtesy of Julian Samia.

Julian Samia’s father, Junior, is a fan of the movie, “Big Daddy.”

It is the source of Samia’s first name.

“I’m named after a character in the movie,” said Samia, whose younger brother, Benjamin (7), and Maya (2), have no film associations.

Julian Samia notes that he has changed a diaper of one of his siblings. Once. Golf is something he prefers. When we featured Samia in the Star-Advertiser recently, the Waipahu senior shared his history in the game. It began with a group lesson led by >Aaron Mercado, then an assistant pro at Kapolei Golf Course.

Mercado is now the head pro at Waikele, where Samia gets his reps. He also works there, surrounded by a sport that he didn’t know until he was 12.

As a senior, he was the first boys golfer of the season to post a round below par. There are four boys golfers and two girls golfers on the Marauders’ teams.

“We actually practice as a team at Ted Makalena on Wednesdays, play nine holes. On Saturdays, we practice at Mililani. I only attend practice at Makalena. I work weekends, which I’m really bummed about because I like practicing with my teammates. It’s just fun being around my teammates. They’re really smart,” Samia said.

Julian Samia’s lockdown staples

>> Top 3 shows/movies

1. “Thor Ragnarok”

2. “Guardians of the Galaxy 2”

3. “The Office”

“I think I have but my memory is hazy, but I think I’ve seen it all. I like Dwight (of ’The Office.’) Dwight’s the best. He’s ridiculous. I would love to work with someone like that.”

>> Top 3 food/snack/drink

1. Popcorn

“Any buttered popcorn.”

2. Fried chicken

“I love Popeye’s spicy chicken.”

3. Orange Crush

>> Favorite homemade food: Carne asada tacos

“My mom (Melissa Samia) makes them probably once a month. I could make it on my own, but without burning the house down, I’m not sure.”

>> Top 3 music artists

1. Sticky Fingers – “How to Fly”

“I always play that song before I play golf. It’s so relaxing.”

2. UB40 – “Kingston Town”

3. Gregory Isaacs – “Private Beach Party”

>> Favorite athletes

“I really like watching NBA. The Bucks and the Hornets because of Giannis and Lamelo Ball. Lamelo’s passing is just something.”

>> Favorite class and teacher

“Anything to do with media. Anything with cameras. Back in eighth grade, my teacher was Ian Rush and he would break down media and teach us techniques, We flew to Seattle for a STN (video) competition. It was fun. This was back at Waipahu Intermediate.”

>> GPA: 3.7

>> Funniest teammate: Lauren Yoza

“She’s just really sarcastic and she heavily criticizes my inability to sink three-foot putts. She rags me. She can hit a 10 (strokes) on a hole and she sees me in three-putt and she starts laughing on me.

>> Smartest teammate: Reyan Lee

“She graduated last year. She was in basically every early college class we had a perfect ACT score. She was in the Science Olympiad and she was valedictorian, I think.”

>> Teammate most likely to coach one day: Reyan Lee

“Reyan’s dad is a coach at Mililani. She’s outgoing and really charming. It’s important to talk to students and have them understand what you’re talking about. It’s good to have charisma. Talking about swing problems. It can be embarrassing at times.”

>> New life skill

“Before the pandemic I was distracted, but during the pandemic I had more time to get more motivated and self-driven, to exercise and focus on golf.”

>> Bucket list: Bahamas, Las Vegas

“My parents, all they talk about is visiting Vegas. They go once a year. I would love to see what it’s about. I like the beach, too, so the Bahamas would be nice scenery and a new environment.”

>> Hidden talent

“My ability to make anybody smile on a golf course. It gets pretty tense sometimes, but I crack a joke and it makes everyone feel better. It could be a fake smile, too, but it still counts.”

>> Time machine

“I want to see what life is like in 100 years from now when I’m dead and what the world is like. Would there be flying cars like ‘Back to the Future’?”

>> Shout outs

“Shout out to my family. They raised me and support me in golf, my parents and grandparents. I’d like to shout out my coaches — AJ (Aaron Mercado), coach Mike (of Waipahu), coach (Ernie) Abe. He used to be the coach my freshman year. He coached a long time. He used to be a vice principal. I haven’t had that many coaches because not a lot of them really saw talent in me, believe that I could be a good golfer. Out of all the coaches, coach AJ had the most patience and really took the time to analyze my skill and make it better. Everything I know is because of coach AJ. And a lot of videos about Tiger Woods.”


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