Member comps King’s Four Nations secret weapon - PGA of Australia

Member comps King’s Four Nations secret weapon

The Sunshine Coast’s TJ King will have an extra ace up his sleeve when he lines up with the Australian team at the Four Nations Cup in South Africa starting September 2.

The youngest member of the team of four PGA Professionals, King continues to chase his dreams as a professional golfer while balancing his full-time work commitments at Queensland’s Mount Coolum Golf Club.

It is a delicate balance but one which may pay off handsomely when the matches against New Zealand, Canada and South Africa take place at Kyalami Country Club in Johannesburg.

King completed the PGA of Australia Membership Pathway Program in early 2021 and now works under Stephen Jenkins as the Assistant Professional at Mount Coolum.

Harbouring a strong desire to play on tour, King manages his schedule so that he can play regularly with the Mount Coolum members, the practice of throwing balls on the tee to determine partners fortifying a skill he may call upon in South Africa.

“I work split shifts during the week so I can play competitions with the members on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” explained King, who finished second at the PGA Professionals Championship at Hope Island in January to qualify for the Australian team.

“There’s a bit of pressure when you’re the pro and you’ve got to hole a putt for someone else,”

“To be fair, I guess that’s pretty much what we’ll be doing in South Africa in a couple of weeks!”

A profound level of dedication – both to his game and the club – has always come naturally to King.

“Balancing my work with my ultimate playing ambitions is something I’ve always done ever since I’ve been in the shop,” he says. “It’s certainly something I’m used to.”

It’s paying off, too. For King, who earned five starts on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia last year, the big-time tournament exposure has been invaluable and is a significant driver in his continued development as a player.

“It’s all about getting a level of comfort in those big events,” says King. “The big one for me last year was getting a start in the Australian PGA – I learnt so much, about myself and from what all the others were doing.”

A career-best finish T16 at the Northern Territory PGA Championship also a highlight, King is enjoying the process of learning and growing as an individual.

While his priorities haven’t shifted – he still wants to be the best golfer he possibly can – King is aware that his personal development can only lead to stronger performances on the course.

“I’m finding out a lot about myself,” he says. “Everything from travelling a lot more, playing events, having to be more independent. They’re simple things but it’s made me grow a lot.

“I’m learning to be more comfortable and confident around all sorts of people.”

Growth that will surely hold him in good stead in South Africa next month when he tees it up alongside Jamie Hook, Matthew Guyatt and Murray Lott, King can’t wait to represent his country on the world stage.

“Representing Australia is something I always wanted to do as a kid. To be able to do that in golf really is an honour.”

King and the rest of the Australian team depart on August 30, before the Four Nations Cup gets underway on September 2.

Headlines at a glance