To help develop his skill at the game, King founded the California Players Tour, which he runs and plays in. King’s most recent success came at Lake Merced on April 2, when he defeated 108 local pros to win the largest event of the tour.
King has 12 professional wins on his resumé, dating back to when he turned pro in 2005 after playing at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. And the thrill of victory hasn’t made him complacent. “I want to play a PGA Tour or Nationwide event in the next year or two,” King said. “I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time. I’ve missed the U.S Open twice by two strokes.”
While King has never played in a PGA or Nationwide Tour event, he’s not unfamiliar with those who do. In 2004, he qualified for the U.S. Pub Links Championship and started his run with a match against Ryan Moore. After taking an early lead, King fell victim to a hot golfer and lost the match.
Had he won, King would have taken on Brendan Steele in the next round and Brandt Snedeker after that. Moore, Steele and Snedeker are not only PGA Tour pros; they’ve all recorded victories.
King began playing when he was only 3 when his father William took him and brother Sean out to the course. It didn’t take long for Zack to begin striding the fairways of the Ventura, Calif. area as a serious competitor – at the age of 7. From there he broadened his scope to national competitions at the age of 12.
While King has yet to qualify for a PGA or Nationwide Tour tournament, he’s confident success will come when he does. Qualifying usually comes down to one round, so it’s not uncommon for a golfer to catch fire. Over the course of a four-day event, his consistency would serve him well. In 2011, he recorded a scoring average of 70 on the California Players Tour, while his 2011 average currently sits at just over 71.
“My swing’s pretty consistent,” King said. “The move I make from the top to the ball does pretty much the same thing every time. I’m a good ball striker. I hit a lot of greens and a lot of fairways. I just have to make putts.”
In addition to playing, King spends much of his time traveling the country while learning about all aspects of golf. He enjoys teaching, especially juniors. “I’m always going to compete,” King said. “If it doesn’t pan out, I’d like to do stuff like be a tournament director, or teach, eventually becoming a head professional.”