Bella Villarin has plenty of experience writing the news. But next week, she’ll be making it as a participant in the 2023 PURE Insurance Championship impacting First Tee, a PGA TOUR Champions event that will air on Golf Channel.
A senior at Coronado High School, Bella is a First Tee – San Diego participant and captain of her school’s golf team. She took up the sport 13 years ago and now boasts a +0.8 handicap. Bella is also an accomplished journalist, having published more than 200 articles as an intern for The Coronado Times.
Now 17, Bella has already traveled the globe and experienced diverse cultures.
She originally joined First Tee – Hampton Roads in Virginia when she was 4, but later her family moved to Singapore where her father was stationed for the military. The four years Bella spent in Singapore were longer than she had ever lived in one spot, and returning to the U.S. was difficult, she said.
“There were vast differences between Singapore and San Diego. The food, the people, the weather – nearly every aspect of our lives were brand new,” she said.
However, one thing carried through: Bella continued to play golf in each of the places she lived.
Bella became involved with First Tee – San Diego when her family moved back to the U.S. through her cousin, Reece, who is a First Tee – San Diego and Harvard alumna. One of the things Bella has enjoyed most about First Tee is getting to meet kids from different backgrounds. She’s met participants from Somalia to Ukraine, and she’s been able to serve as a mentor and mentee.
“I have made countless friendships and lifelong relationships with fellow golfers, coaches and volunteers,” she said.
Off the golf course, Bella completed more than 100 hours of community service in 2022, and she volunteers with the American Red Cross. She is also president of her school’s Days for Girls Club, which supports women and girls in developing countries by creating reusable feminine hygiene products that allow them to attend school during their menstrual cycles.
Along with the other 79 First Tee participants in the tournament this week, be sure to cheer on Bella as she competes in her first PURE Insurance Championship.
Learn more about the PURE Insurance Championship.