Youngest competitor for the Hong Kong National Golf Team is into the swing of things

Youngest competitor for the Hong Kong National Golf Team is into the swing of things

Taichi Kho tells Young Post he thinks he should go to the gym more to really succeed, but he's ticking some pretty impressive accomplishments off his list regardless

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Nothing keeps Tachi from holding his own, even from larger players.

Not all sports require constant movement or raucous cheers from the crowd. Some don't involve running at all, and require a quieter atmosphere - which can sometimes be even more intense than the louder rough-and-tumble athletics.

"Golf is a sport which requires a peaceful state of mind," explains 14-year-old Taichi Kho, "which can apply to everything else in life."

This Discovery College student has been playing golf for more than nine years, and has a long list of accomplishments and accolades to show for his dedication to the game.

"I don't think I have one greatest personal achievement, because this year was filled with new, fulfilled goals," Taichi says as he starts to list his titles from the past year. He was 10th in the Hong Kong Amateur Close Championships, and 11th in the Hong Kong Amateur Open Championships. He placed in the top five for the Jack Nicklaus invitational tournament in China, then came fifth in the Mercedes Benz Asian Masters Grand Final in Thailand, and was selected to play the Putra Cup.

"The selection was a big deal for me, as I became the youngest competitor ever to be selected for the Hong Kong National Golf Team," Taichi says.

An even bigger triumph came after his second-place finish in the Kau Sai Chau International Amateur Championships recently, where he qualified for a place in the official World Amateur Golf Rankings. "This is a great achievement as it can give me opportunities to compete in world-class amateur tournaments," Taichi says.

It's the first step towards achieving his long-term aim. "My ultimate goal is to become a successful professional golfer," he says. "It has been the dream ever since I started golf."

While Taichi has made great strides, he knows he still has a long way to go - and some obstacles to overcome. "Fitness is a key factor to success in golf, and I have been struggling to have the body power to play competitive golf against adults," he admits. "Because I am not a tall or big person, I struggle to hit the golf ball far." And while Taichi can still hold his own against competitors larger than him, he knows adding some size would help. "I believe the game would be much easier if I gained more weight and went to the gym more often."

But Taichi tries not to be daunted by these hurdles. "On bad days, the feeling of frustration gets the better of you," he says. But, he adds, "I love the fact that golf is a completely unpredictable game. Some days you feel on top of the world."


The 14-year-old doesn't let obstacles get in his way - not even the bunkers.

Benchnotes
What song/movie title best describes you when you're playing your sport?
I think I'd have to say Under Pressure by Logic. It's a fast-paced, energetic song, like my golfing game. It is motivation for me to keep pushing on no matter how hard the situation is. My favourite line from the song is "How can sky be the limit when there's footprints on the moon?"

You can have any superpower you choose for 24 hours. What do you choose and how do you use this power?
If I had a superpower, I would love to stop time. I could do all my work, sleep, practise and eat all within a moment of time that only I experienced.

If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be and why?
I would love to have an unlimited supply of motivation. Golf is a mentally tough game and it can wear you down during tough times. It's the fighting spirit and motivation that turns good players into great players. I aspire to be a great golfer.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Into the swing of things

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