DUSTING OFF THE CLUBS: Clements Freshman Zhou Rallying Back On Course
CLEMENTS FRESHMAN KUAN ZHOU IS MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME.
Zhou started playing golf when his father, Wei, bought him a kid’s set of clubs and would bring him to the driving range to hit balls when he was five-years old.
Zhou became enamored with the sport.
“Somedays, I feel like I can spend up to four or five hours on the course,” he said. “Just being by yourself and relaxing. Not every second of it is intense like other sports, so there’s a lot of time to yourself.”
But when Wei left for work overseas when he was six, Zhou put away the clubs. He didn’t have anyone to mentor and guide him like his father. Zhou didn’t pick up a club again until he was 10-years old, when his father returned home.
“I had practically forgotten the game,” Zhou said. “I had to improve my game really quickly in a short amount of time. I got hooked again. The first two weeks was a struggle, but I actually enjoyed practicing and getting better. I really started to dig deep into the game.”
Zhou is now a blossoming prospect for the Rangers, ranked in the Top 100 as a player in the Class of 2025. Hungry to move up the rankings like he does tournament leaderboards, the 13-year-old Zhou is aware he has to make up ground.
Every day after school, he heads straight to Sweetwater Country Club, putting in many hours on his own after the team practices.
“I’m still on an upward track,” Zhou said.
Zhou, whose family moved to the United States from China when he was twoyears old, said he has no hobbies. Golf is his life. His irons and approach shots are accurate. He can drive the ball straight and far, up to 285 yards.
He enjoys watching the pros. His favorite is Justin Thomas. Zhou admires Thomas’s approach shots and pays close attention to his, and others’, decision-making, etiquette and how they plan and manage the game.
“Seeing the difference between their game and mine is a wakeup call for me,” said Zhou, who wants to play at UCLA and go pro. “It shows me how much I would like to improve in order to be considered pretty good at the game. I consistently work at that.”