Saum: King of Clubs

Saum: King of Clubs

Whitman Graduation 2005

Quinton Saum’s remembers every last detail of his first golf hole-in-one. Then 11 years old, Saum drove the ball 175 yards off the forward tee on Kenwood Country Club’s second hole.

“I saw the ball going towards the hole, and saw it disappear,” Saum said. “I turned around and came in [to the clubhouse]; I couldn’t even play. I had to go in and tell a pro. … The feeling you get when you do that? It’s ridiculous, and it keeps you coming back for more.”

Seven years and two holes-in-one later, Saum remains as committed as ever to the game of golf. He graduated from Walt Whitman High School this month after four years on the varsity golf team, and he will attend Methodist College in Fayetteville, N.C. and study in its professional golf management program.

“I love the game, and I love every aspect of it,” said Saum. “When I heard ‘professional golf management,’ I said, ‘Bingo! That’s what I want to do.’ I wanted to be around golf all the time.’”

The four-and-a-half-year program includes internships every summer and through the final semester. Graduates are certified by the Professional Golf Association. Graduates work with Titleist; others become teaching pros at country clubs. “You can do anything you want in the golf industry,” Saum said.

FROM THE TIME Saum’s parents gave him a toy golf club when he was 2 years old, he was hooked on the game. “I started to whack plastic balls around the back yard,” Saum said.

By the age of 8, Saum was playing at Kenwood. At the time, it was a rarity for such a young golfer to play adult courses. “When I was younger and into it, I was probably one of the very few kids my age playing,” Saum said. “Junior golf as a whole has boomed [since then].”

Technological changes in golf clubs and golf balls impacted the game in the last decade, Saum said. “It’s just easier to play the game now,” he said.

Saum attended a small public school in Washington, D.C. before his family moved to Montgomery County. A large high school took some adjustment, said Saum. “You have different groups of friends,” he said.

Golf helped. Saum made Whitman’s varsity team as a freshman, the only one in his class to do so. “I love the competition. It’s just fun to go out and have friends who play the game.”

Saum interned at Kenwood’s pro shop, starter’s booth and bag room this year. He teaches youth golfers ages 11 and up. “I’ve seen it happen to so many people,” Saum said. “It’s just a bug that they get.”

Saum can see himself teaching golf for a long time, perhaps as a club pro after he’s graduated from Methodist. “I’m pretty excited to be moving on,” Saum said. “I can’t wait to get down there.”