Maiya Tanaka began playing golf at the age of 11, picking up the game at lightspeed and getting a hole-in-one in
her first golf tournament, on the first hole. Starting at the local First Tee program, Maiya learned her game
through the inner-city non-profit organization, the Pro Kids Golf Academy. There, Maiya was able to learn the
fundamentals of golf by taking rules classes, getting free instruction, and sharpening her short game on the
par 3 golf course at every opportunity.
Maiya continued to win local tournaments within her first year, and qualify for the U.S.G.A. Girls Junior
Championship by the age of 13, the youngest competitor on the west coast to qualify at the time.
Maiya continued to win many local tournaments and display poise on the course, being elected Sports
Person of the Year by the Pro Kids Golf Academy in 2000, as well as winning the Stroke Play Championship
and the Match Play tournaments.
Entering high school, Maiya played on the Mira Mesa high school boys team, since there was no girls team,
and led them as their number one player. Maiya posted a low enough average to qualify for the boys C.I.F.
Championship that year, but was notified that she would not be allowed to play due to gender. This inspired
Maiya and her coach/teacher Roy VanGrove to start a girls golf team at Mira Mesa. With the help of
her sister Maiya helped to put together the girls golf team and lead them as their number one player
to C.I.F. Throughout high school Maiya helped her teammates build their games and make a name for the
program, winning their league conference and making it to the state championships to represent Mira Mesa.
Maiya has been selected multiple times for being part of a team that represents San Diego and the United
States. She has been fortunate enough to travel to Taiwan in 2001 and 2002 for the Trans-Pacific Cup, and
the Junior America's Cup team for multiple years as well. Maiya also was selected to represent UCLA for
the All-Star team that traveled to China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Korea in 2008.
Maiya was accepted to UCLA and without recruitment from the golf team, had to make a decision: go to her
dream school for academics with hopes to walk on or decide on a golf scholarship between the other
recruiting schools. With a scoring average at even par, Maiya figured UCLA could use her and the
opportunity to walk onto a division one, NCAA championship winning team would be phenomenal. However,
UCLA being the number 1 ranked school in the NCAA had strict regulations against walk-ons and it wasn't
until her junior year that Maiya would be given the opportunity to walk onto the team. After having no
option but to put her clubs away for two years, Maiya gladly accepted the challenge and recovered her
game quickly, playing in 6 tournaments, 19 rounds, and posting counting scores toward the teams
number, helping them win and place in many events. In 2006-07 Maiya placed 20th at the Pac 10
Championships and qualified to play in NCAA Regionalís and Nationalís, posting an even par first
round at Regional's and ending up tied for 65th in the nation at nationals. Maiya continued to be
on the director's honor roll while playing for UCLA and earned many honors such as NCAA All-Central
Region Honors, and voted Most Improved Player by the UCLA team.
Maiya has been fortunate enough to also have her swing noticed and landed a commercial in 2009 for
Northwestern Mutual. Watch it at:
Maiya currently is practicing and competing in events on the Cal Players Tour, Golden State Tour,
Duramed Futures Tour and the Cactus Tour. Follow Maiya as she pursues her dream to become an LPGA