“I was shooting under 100 when I got back into golf, but not consistently. I started working with Ann Marie, and I dropped strokes every year and continued to get better. If I hadn’t worked with Ann Marie, I probably wouldn’t be playing Division II golf.”
— Parker King, a Moffat County High School senior, on the help he received from Ann Marie Roberts on his golf game.
Parker King was 2 years old when he was first introduced to golf.
In his grandparents’ backyard, King was swinging away at plastic wiffle balls with all his might.
King has come a long way since then, qualifying for the 4A state tournament in his junior year and averaging a score of around 77 this season as a senior at Moffat County High School.
Now, King has made the decision to play for the Colorado Mesa University men’s golf team beginning in the fall.
“I didn’t just choose (CMU) because it was close, but because the program is really good,” King said Thursday. “The coaches want to be the best and want to get the best out of the players.
“When I looked at the team in the fall, they weren’t the best in their conference, but they had the potential. I think I can go in there and be one of the best players on the team.”
The men’s golf program at CMU started only two years ago, so no scholarships are being offered at this time.
But King said as the program grows, the plan is to be able to offer help to the players as soon as the 2013 season.
Despite the program being relatively new, King said head coach Paul Brown helped cement his decision.
Brown played golf at Fruita Monument High School and the University of Arizona, along with winning the Colorado West Amateur Champion 13 times.
“The coaches are really good players, so they know what they are doing,” King said. “(Brown) doesn’t like to mess with swings because if we are playing in college, we will have a good one. It is more of the little things, like being strong mentally and course management, that he will help me with.”
King said he has always wanted to pursue sports at the next level, but golf wasn’t his first option.
He played in numerous junior golf tournaments from second to fifth grade, learning a lot about the game from Chuck Cobb, a former Yampa Valley Golf Course professional.
Then, King started getting interested in baseball.
“I took two years off from playing golf to play Triple Crown baseball,” he said. “But my shoulder started hurting from playing baseball, so I went back to golf in the eighth grade.
“Thankfully, my shoulder didn’t bother me in golf after strengthening my rotator cuff.”
When he came back to golf, King said he was averaging around 93 strokes per round.
While he learned a lot from former MCHS boys golf coach Ken Harjes, King said he also learned from Annie Marie Roberts, who coaches the MCHS girls golf team and was an assistant golf professional at the golf course.
“I was shooting under 100 when I got back into golf, but not consistently,” he said. “I started working with Ann Marie, and I dropped strokes every year and continued to get better.
“If I hadn’t worked with Ann Marie, I probably wouldn’t be playing Division II golf.”
King said he expects the biggest difference when playing college golf compared to high school golf will be consistency among the players.
“I think all of the competition is going to be good where as in high school you might have to wait to take your second shot while another player takes their fourth or fifth shot,” he said. “There is going to be more competition through the whole field, and I think that is going to allow me to be more focused on my shots instead of analyzing too much while I wait.”
King will major in business management while at CMU with hopes of working for a golf course or golf company in the future.
But, he said the business side of golf would come after his playing days.
“When I started playing golf in my freshman year, I decided I wanted to continue on the rest of my life,” King said. “I want to work in the golf business, but ultimately my goal is to play.”
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