Kingwood’s Bella Flores ready for summer golf tour

Kingwood’s Bella Flores ready for summer golf tour


It was just another normal day at the Flores household with the family watching television.

Bella Flores’ eye grew big when she saw professional golfer Rory McCllroy hit golf balls off a building.

It was at that time that the seven-year-old looked at her dad Richard Flores and asked him for a golf club.

“One day he took me out to the range, and I had my one golf club,” Bella said. “I had been bugging him for a club but not a full bag of clubs. He got me a seven iron and we started hitting at the range and he was very impressed. He couldn’t hit the ball that great, but he stopped swinging and just focused on me. After that he started putting me in tournaments and here, we are now.”

Bella Flores just finished her sophomore year at Kingwood High School and helped the Lady Mustangs finish in fourth place in Class 6A and she finished tied in 10th place this season.

The Flores family has always been a basketball family.

Richard and his wife Carina both played basketball growing up.

Richard, who attended Humble High School and was the first Latino captain for the Wildcats, had mixed feelings about his daughter choosing a golf ball instead of a basketball.

“We thought she was going to play basketball,” Richard said. “She really bugged me a lot when she was growing up and when we went out, she was really connecting on the ball. You know at first, I thought it was going to be a couple weeks and then on to something new like kids do, but that wasn’t the case. She always started doing things on her own and we didn’t have to push her. She has come a long way.”

Bella didn’t leave her dad hanging on basketball. Her golf shoes are Jordans and she has several different pairs that she can’t choose between sometimes.

At first her dad told her to wear them and one day everyone is going to be wearing them.

Summer golf tour

Flores is ready for a fun summer. That doesn’t mean she’s going on vacation all summer.

Her summer is filled with a lot of golf tournaments around the country competing with some of the best competition.

She started off her summer tour in a familiar place at the Kingwood Country Club in the Notah Begay III Jr. Golf National Championship.

She finished in second place at the tournament at the Clubs of Kingwood while shooting a +2.

The 16-year-old finished with 28 pars, three birdies and five bogeys in the tournament.

Up next for Flores is the Texas Mexico Cup, which will be held in San Antonio on June 26. Then she will head to Notre Dame, Indiana, for the first tee National Championship, the Bubba Conlee National tournament in Memphis, Tennessee on July 5 -8, then she will play in the Callaway World Championship in Palm Desert, California. After that, it’s the Northern Junior Championship in Milford, Connecticut from Aug. 1-3. Her last tournament of the summer will be at the Under Rated Golf Tournament in Tampa, Florida, from Aug 8-10 before preparing for her junior year at Kingwood.

Her goal is to finish in the Top 10 in each tournament and get better overall this summer.

“My vacation this summer is golf,” said Bella laughing. “I’m excited because I love to travel, and I get to compete against some of the best golfers. I get to meet a lot of new people everywhere I go. I know that I can compete with anyone and I’m ready for the challenge.”

Before Bella teed off on her own course for the Notah Begay III Jr. Golf National Championship, her phone was receiving nonstop emails and texts from college coaches.

On June 15, college coaches were allowed to talk with 2024 recruits and four colleges even showed up to watch Bella and other girls play at the tournament. She already has a couple of NAIA college offers but Division I schools such as New Mexico State, Oklahoma State, James Madison, and San Diego State just to name a few.

She gets asked the question all the time: what school do you want to go to?

Bella doesn’t have an answer yet. She will take in all the recruitment and make sure that she finds the perfect school for her. She still has two more years of high school left and wants to win a state title before focusing on college.

Her goal is to play golf forever and be a part of the LPGA Tour one day.

As a sophomore she was named All-Greater Houston girls’ golfer of the year by the Houston Chronicle.

She was proud to receive the honor of being the best player in the Greater Houston area.

On May 18th in the Houston Chronicle on page C8 she appeared on the page with Tiger Woods.

Seeing herself and Tiger on the same page was special to the teenager.

“He’s a huge role model for me so just seeing that was awesome,” Bella said. “It really put in perspective like all the hard work that I have done. I watched him growing up and watched him accomplish a lot.”

For the culture

Bella is just a teenager and enjoys hanging out with friends, shopping with her mother and even baking for the family at times.

With Golden State defeating the Boston Celtics in the Game six of the NBA finals, she is probably rubbing it in her dad’s face. Richard was rooting for the Celtics.

Her favorite golf tournament is the Masters where she has met some golfers like Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia.

Bella is a Latina and is proud of it. There aren’t a lot of young girls that look like her on the golf course.

Richard is El Salvadorian while her mother Carina is Mexican.

Bella enjoys having queso at Chachi’s Mexican Restaurant in Kingwood.

She knows what she represents when she tees off at the first hole of the tournament.

“I think that’s something that I cherish,” said Bella, who speaks Spanish. “I mean, I love my heritage and my ethnicity and just knowing that I’m a Latina and that I get to represent my heritage is really cool. I’m super proud of being a Latina.”

marcus.gutierrez@chron.com

Twitter: @MarcG14Line

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