Trinity King helped the Arlington Martin girls golf team win a recent tournament at Waterchase Golf Club in east Fort Worth. King shot a 2-under 70, finishing second overall. During her stellar round, the sophomore employed numerous tips and techniques she learned recently from a famous professional golfer.
King, who finished in the top 20 at state as a freshman, was selected to play in September in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Pacific coast in Northern California.
During the three-day, two-person best-ball tournament at Pebble Beach and neighboring Poppy Hills, King was paired with Jesper Parnevik of the PGA’s Champions Tour, the former Seniors Tour. Parnevik won five tournaments during his PGA career and has won once on the Champions Tour.
“Learning from the pros and just playing Pebble Beach was just a lot of fun,” said King, who has been part of The First Tee of Fort Worth since 2012. “I was overwhelmed. I was so excited and in awe.”
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The 51-year-old Parnevik was duly impressed with his amateur playing partner. On the Golf Channel telecast of the event, he told an interviewer: “I’m very impressed with Trinity. She can hit shots normal girls can’t hit. She’s ready for the LPGA now. She can practice for a few more years.”
Pebble Beach — where King played a practice round and round two of the open tournament — offers stunning coastal views and an assortment of challenging holes. Yet, King had plenty of success on the elite course. Her favorite hole was 7, a downhill Par 3 that she birdied both times she played it.
“It was like nothing I had ever played on or experienced before in my life,” said King, who, during her trip, also had a chance to sight-see in San Francisco and visit her dream school, Stanford University.
Parnevik acted as a sort of caddie, conferring with King before she took each shot. And after a stroke, he often had a piece of advice for the young golfer. “After I hit a shot, if he saw another way, he would say, ‘Hey, next time you should try this,’ ” King said. “I’ve already benefited from it.”
Putting Parnevik’s advice to use is just one of the ways King is working to take her game to another level. The sophomore plans to advance to state again in the spring with a goal of finishing in the top three — or perhaps winning the whole thing. But her main driving force is to qualify for state as a team. The Lady Warriors narrowly missed qualifying for state in 2015.
“I’d rather go as a team and finish last than go by myself,” King said. “The team aspect is very important to me.”
Martin girls golf coach Ken Rose, who took over that role this season, admires King’s maturity and her focus on improving every aspect of her game. He’s even looked to her for ideas and input as the team plays its fall slate of tournaments.
“You hope they’re grounded, and especially Trinity, she is,” Rose said. “She’s a good teammate to all the other girls. I’ve bounced things off her. ‘What do you think we need to do here?’ She’s been a big help.”