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Humans of Harker: Jin Kim derives easygoing attitude from golf

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Humans of Harker: Jin Kim derives easygoing attitude from golf

“Golf is pretty unpredictable,” Jin Kim (12) said. “Even the best in the world have bad days and it's pretty hard to deal with it, but it's a growing experience because I have to learn to deal with bad rounds. In the end, it just feels really good leaving the course after practice because I knew I worked really hard that day and I could go home and rest easy.”

“Golf is pretty unpredictable,” Jin Kim (12) said. “Even the best in the world have bad days and it's pretty hard to deal with it, but it's a growing experience because I have to learn to deal with bad rounds. In the end, it just feels really good leaving the course after practice because I knew I worked really hard that day and I could go home and rest easy.”

Shreya Srinivasan

“Golf is pretty unpredictable,” Jin Kim (12) said. “Even the best in the world have bad days and it's pretty hard to deal with it, but it's a growing experience because I have to learn to deal with bad rounds. In the end, it just feels really good leaving the course after practice because I knew I worked really hard that day and I could go home and rest easy.”

Shreya Srinivasan

Shreya Srinivasan

“Golf is pretty unpredictable,” Jin Kim (12) said. “Even the best in the world have bad days and it's pretty hard to deal with it, but it's a growing experience because I have to learn to deal with bad rounds. In the end, it just feels really good leaving the course after practice because I knew I worked really hard that day and I could go home and rest easy.”

by Shreya Srinivasan, Reporter

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Jin Kim (12) typically wears a hoodie, sweatpants and a T-shirt of some generic brand — an outfit that reflects his mellow and laid-back personality.

Instead of going overboard with the activities that he does, he sticks to the main one he values: golf. Although he admits that golf started out as an extracurricular for college, it grew into an activity he genuinely enjoys.

I later figured out that golf taught me a lot of things, such as communicating with other people and befriending people that I don’t really know,” he said. “I have met so many of my closest friends from golf, so I really value the sport and I’m glad I started it.”

For Jin, golf started in the family.

“I started playing golf because of my parents. Both of my parents play golf, and my mom taught me how to play. Ever since I was a little kid, I would walk around with clubs. I started pretty young, but I didn’t really get serious until sixth grade. That’s when I started practicing every day. I practiced with my friends and we always practice until the sunset. It was really fun to just hit balls into the cold sky, and they were just disappearing because the sun was almost gone.”

Although Jin does not see members of his golf teams every day, he still preserves a strong connection with them.

“I don’t really have the chance to express myself a lot, especially to people at school. I mean I just see guys at school,” Jin said. “I make a lot of my friends at golf tournaments and those are the people I’m closer with.”

One notable exception is Victor Shin (12), who plays school golf with Jin and is one of his closest friends.

“My first impression of him was, ‘Oh wow, another Korean!’” Victor said. “At the time, I was pretty much the only full Korean in our grade. I have had many memorable moments with Jin. My most favorite is when Jin and I, alongside a bunch of our golfer friends, went out to Gen’s KBBQ and just had a grand good ole’ time.”

For Jin, the toughest obstacle in his golf career was taking a break from the sport during his junior year to focus on academics. But he recovered from his slump, regained his confidence and earned a recruiting spot on Claremont McKenna’s golf team next year.

“Golf is pretty unpredictable,” he said. “Even the best in the world have bad days and it’s pretty hard to deal with it, but it’s a growing experience because I have to learn to deal with bad rounds. In the end, it just feels really good leaving the course after practice because I knew I worked really hard that day and I could go home and rest easy.”

His hiatus taught him to hit pause on the rat race of achievement, as he learned to adopt a more relaxed attitude instead.

“One of my mottos is to do the best I can do my extent,” he said. “I don’t try to go overboard with things. I just try to do things to the best I can. I was pretty stressed out as a freshman with academics and golf. I was giving myself pretty unrealistic expectations. I started to learn how to stress less by not setting expectations. I just tried to whatever I could that day, and just took it one step at a time.”

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Humans of Harker: Jin Kim derives easygoing attitude from golf