After playing golf for over six years, senior Zihao Jin has recently committed to San Diego State University. Jin plans to treat college as a stepping stone that will lead him towards the next level of golf, and he hopes to someday make a career out of playing golf.
Jin’s dad introduced him to the sport as a child while they were living in China, and he continued to play golf when he moved to California, even though his dad stayed back in China to work. Jin’s dad being in China does not distract him from his goal, but it is rather a source of motivation for him in school and sports.
“He sacrificed a lot for me,” said Jin, “and his sacrifice motivates me to work hard and not disappoint him.”
Jin has maintained above a 4.0 GPA throughout his high school career by using the discipline that he has learned on the course. He has learned to manage his time wisely and to accommodate his schedule for homework and studying, while saving time to practice golf.
Jin practices six days a week with a private coach that he has known for five years. As a result of their long-time relationship, they have become good friends. His coach has helped him prepare for golf in college through both training and by setting up connections with coaches at SDSU.
One prime reason that Jin decided on SDSU was the coaches. Jin has been contacting SDSU’s coaches since his freshman year, and he finally committed last summer. Since his private coach is friends with the SDSU coach, it made the connection between Jin and SDSU a solid one. SDSU is also close to home, which is an added benefit.
“SDSU is close to home, so I can still work with my private coaches,” Jin said.
Continuing his training with his same private coach is important for Jin in continuing on to the professional level.
As a high schooler, Jin may not be too far off from his dream. According to Polo Golf Rankings, a website that ranks golf players across the nation, Jin is ranked 32 in the nation. He has also placed, and even won, a number of tournaments, including first place in the Golf Performance Center Junior Championships and fourth in the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Jin is also captain of the RB High boys golf team, along with Steve Sugimoto, and he has been working hard with the team since his freshman year.
“I am going to miss all my teammates,” said Jin. “Golf is a lonely sport, but sometimes having friends to play with made it more interesting.”
While playing with the RB High golf team, Jin reached State his freshman year, and he qualified for State again his junior year. He has benefited from playing with the team in a number of ways, one including the social aspect. Jin believes that practice is what makes a good player, but friends to support you makes the sport worthwhile.
Jin looks forward to the upcoming golf season, as well as continuing his golf career at SDSU.