Mavs sophomore became county’s best with steady approach
by Aaron Garcia
As Marvin Ridge sophomore DK Kim learned this year, the key to golf – and his successful season in the sport – is consistency. It’s easier spoken than achieved, especially in a game that thrives on precision in pressure-packed moments. This season, however, no one in Union County’s high school golfing ranks personified that all-important attribute quite like Kim.
This spring, Kim led all Union County golfers with a nine-hole stroke average of 37.1 and was named the Southern Carolina 3A/4A conference’s Player of the Year. In the postseason, Kim fired a 74 to place third in the 3A Midwestern Regional tournament. More important, Kim’s performance led the Mavs to a team win and a state playoff berth, where they finished second overall the following week. Kim carded two rounds of 74 to finish with a score of 148, which landed him on the all-tournament team, along with Mavs freshman Brandon Katsoudas, who was second at the state meet.
Now, thanks to a season that had its share of highs without ever dipping too low, Kim has been named Union County Weekly’s 2012 Boys Golfer of the Year.
Kim said he started the season slowly but rebounded to either win or tie for the lead at three consecutive tournaments during the regular season, which he said “gave me a boost, which also meant confidence.”
Kim, who also stars on the American Junior Golf Association circuit during the summers, added that he benefitted from an increased sense of course maturity, which allowed him to improve his approach to the game.
“I’m not as fiery on the course (as I used to be),” he said. “Scores come with patience. I used to think (about my final score) before I went out.”
Instead, said Kim, he began breaking his game down and concentrating not on his scorecard’s bottom line but on each individual shot.
“If you don’t hit bad shots, the scores come naturally,” Kim said.
For Kim, there was no better proof of his consistent approach this season than his scoring average.
“It shows I was grinding it out and I had a positive attitude,” said Kim. “Golf’s all about the mental side to me.”
Especially when you’re atop the leaderboard.
“When I’m at the top, usually I just tell myself, ‘The reason you’re at the top is because you’re good,’” said Kim. “I just let that confidence carry me all the way through the season.”
And it did. Consistently.