Nine-year-old Shawn Coultoff, of Winter Garden, recently competed against 145 of the world’s best golfers in his age group in the U.S. Kids World Golf Championships in North Carolina, earning second place. This summer, Coultoff won the AAU National Championship, played at Reunion in Orlando.
What do you enjoy the most about playing golf?
I like how there is a lot of time to think about what you are doing. Plus, I am totally in control of my own results. ... I get to make friends and play with kids from all over the world. My dad will set up practice rounds with many of them. I also play practice rounds with my coach and other kids from Foundation Golf Academy. It’s cool to play an individual sport but still be a part of a team.
What’s the most challenging part of playing golf?
Keeping focused throughout the long round is challenging. If I stop being focused, it can ruin my whole day.
Which of your wins are you most proud of, and why?
My win at the U.S. Kids PGA Golf Club Invitational in Port Saint Lucie. I started out a couple of shots back, but I made a late comeback on the last day and then won in a playoff.
What do you think about your dad (Eric Coultoff) being a professional golfer when he was younger?
I think it’s cool to have a parent that was a professional athlete. Plus, he knows a lot about golf and helps me.
Would you like to someday follow in his footsteps?
I would like to be a professional golfer, too. Of course, I want to be better than he was.
Who is your favorite golfer and why? Who is your role model?
Rickie Fowler and Jason Day are my favorites. Rickie because I like his aggressive style of play and his clothes. Jason because he is strong, and he is sometimes aggressive when he needs to be. I would like to be like Tiger Woods was as a golfer, but no back surgeries. I would also like to be like my big sister Mackenzie. She plays lots of sports and plays music, and has lots of friends and activities. She does all of that and gets all A’s in school.
Your most recent competition was the U.S. Kids Golf Tour event in Davenport, where you placed first for your age group. How did it feel to win?
I was happy that I won, but I was more happy that I shot the 4 under par 32.
You also play basketball and piano. Which hobby do you like the most and why?
I love basketball because it is fast-paced, and I am part of a team. I also play soccer, tennis and baseball with my friends at home.