Raleigh 12-year-old wins U.S. Kids World Golf Championship in Pinehurst with 11 under par

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Twelve-year-old Raleigh native Jenna Kim loves golf.

It's a sport she started playing when she was six after watching the Netflix film, The Short Game, a documentary about the U.S. Kids World Golf Championships in Pinehurst, N.C.

"To see how hard they have to work to win makes me think about it's not going to come easy and I have to really practice a lot and work really hard," Kim said. "So, that's what I did. I practice every day."

Kim's practice paid off in July 2021 when she won first place for her age group, beating out more than 100 others invited to play from around the globe at the U.S. Kids World Golf Championship.

Kim finished with an eleven under par and had a hole-in-one during the tournament on the notoriously difficult course.

"I didn't think I was going to win at all especially because the few days prior to the tournament I wasn't hitting that well," Kim said. "So, I was hoping to get top five. Pinehurst, those greens are really fast compared to any course I played. They're significantly faster and tougher."

Kim says she does get nervous with big tournaments but finds taking deep breaths and focusing on her swing is how she deals with the pressure.

"I just think about my swing thoughts," Kim said. "Because me and my mom have been working on my swing really hard. So, I think about that, how I want to hit it and the distance, and then I just hit it."

Kim also credits her coach and mom, Gina Lee, for her success.

"If you're living with your coach, it's a lot easier," Kim said. "You can go to them every day and say 'I'm hitting to the right what's the problem,' and they can fix it."

Kim says while her mom doesn't play golf, she does a great job of helping her find answers to help with her game.

"She doesn't play, she just learns it all from YouTube and articles. She's really good at coaching."

While becoming a pro golfer could be in Kim's future, she says that is not what is driving her to play the game.

"A professional golfer, it would be fun and all," Kim said. "But, I also think it would be fun and nice to be a doctor so I can help people."
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.