Edit ModuleShow Tags

Eight-Year-Old Connor Szczechowicz Has Sights Set on the PGA

The junior golfer from Chula Vista is on the fast track to earning his place among history’s most legendary golfers


Published:

Stats

Average driving distance: 180 yards

Longest putt: 90 feet

Hole in one: Hole No. 9 at Colina Park Golf Course

Tournaments won: 40

Favorite food: Grilled cheese sandwiches

Favorite golfer: Bubba Watson

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, and perhaps in the not-so-distant future, Connor Szczechowicz. This junior golfer from Chula Vista is on the fast track to earning his place among history’s most legendary golfers. He has played in the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship every year since he was six, competing against 150 kids and consistently ranking in the top 15. Last year, Connor traveled to Scotland for the European Championship, where he finished third overall and was the top-scoring American, automatically earning him an invite back in 2018.

The secret to his great swing? “The key is to just turn your hips and don’t put your head up. And I don’t really push it,” the eight-year-old lefty explains. His dad, Kris Szczechowicz, noticed his talent at an early age, having first put a club in his hands when he was just one year old. By age two, Connor was out on the golf course, and by five, he was competing in tournaments. “When I took him out there at age two, I saw the excitement on his face,” Kris recalls. “He just kept going, even at that age. He’s always wanted to try to get better.”

Kris admits that the time and financial commitments of raising a golf superstar are significant, but Connor hopes to take his hobby all the way to the PGA Tour. The third-grader at Wolf Canyon Elementary School is coached by Phillip Schmidt III of Salt Creek Jr. Golf Academy, and he practices at Chula Vista Golf Course five days a week for four hours a day, with no plans of slowing down. “He’ll play a tournament and then want to play 18 holes again,” his dad says. “It’s just not enough for him, especially if he didn’t play well. He’ll try and figure out what he needs to do to correct it, and he’ll bring that to the next round.”

Connor still somehow finds time for homework and even plays Little League in the spring. But golf is his true passion. This month he will compete in the IMG Academy Junior World Championship at Sycuan Golf Resort, the FCG Callaway World Championship in Palm Springs, and the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

His competitive drive and growing trophy collection keep him motivated. And according to Connor, when it comes to trophies, size definitely matters. Smiling and stretching his arms nearly three feet apart, he says, “One time the trophy was that long!”

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Nnedi Okorafor on Her Newfound ‘Black Panther’ Fame

The Marvel Comics author brings a sci-fi perspective to Point Loma Nazarene University's Writer's Symposium by the Sea

On the Job: The Gondolier

Sean Jamieson balances it all at Coronado's The Gondola Company

Letter from the Editor: It’s a Date!

Editor in Chief Erin Meanley Glenny dishes on the February issue of San Diego Magazine
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards 2019
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies, and attractions
  2. Best Restaurants in San Diego: 2018
    San Diego's top restaurant owners, chefs, and bartenders name their favorite San Diego restaurants of 2018.
  3. Winter is Waiting in Montana’s Yellowstone Country
    Win a trip for two that includes roundtrip airfare from Long Beach and a stay at the Element by Westin in Bozeman, Montana
  4. The Best Soup Dumplings in San Diego
    My hunt for the best xiao long bao in the city unearthed two surprising winners
  5. Behind the Brands 2019
  6. First Look: Realm of 52 Remedies
    Wildly imaginative speakeasy cements the arrival of design to San Diego’s Asian food haven
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Puesto's Next Top Taco

Submit your best taco recipe for the chance to win a grand prize

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Sony Consumer Electronics Innovator Builds a Future Where Robotics and Connected Devices Prevail

Robust music and pictures ecosystem bring bespoke experience to TV and audio

Live the Dream with the Dream House Raffle

A multimillion-dollar dream home, fabulous trips, luxury cars, and more could be yours
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags