“I have known Kyle and his family since he was 5 or 6 years old,” said golf coach Jeff Wilson. “His dad has been bringing him to the golf course since he was young, and I have watched him develop throughout the years. I have watched him get better every year (at Midway).”
Roughly a decade ago, Knowles was brought to the course, given a bucket of balls and taught the fundamentals of golf by his father. From there, he has perfected his swing and minimized his handicap in order to lead his team to what he hopes will be a state championship this season.
“He is a leader,” Wilson shared, “he is like my assistant coach. I’ll give him instructions and I know he’s going to tell the guys what to do. I am glad that I have someone out there I can trust.”
For Knowles, being a leader means to play the best he can while motivating his team to do the same.
“I tell them to practice every day and not to let bad putts or drives put them down,” Knowles commented.
Stressing that one bad hole should not shape the outcome of his team’s round, Knowles has assisted in leading the Raiders to two victories this season. Midway won both of their matches after shooting a collective 167 and 169. No team has been within 40 strokes of the Raiders victories.
Individually for Knowles, he shot a 53 and a 42 during the first two nine-hole matches. His best 18-hole game, he added, was a 71.
While individually last season Knowles finished in the top five for Regionals, this season he has the drive for a top three accolade. For the Raiders as a whole, he said he hopes they improve from last year’s second place finish in regionals and 10th place in state competition.
When Knowles isn’t teeing up, he is perfecting his other passion — basketball. “The golf team plays basketball every time we don’t have practice,” Knowles said.
This year Knowles was recognized as an All-County basketball athlete; however, he said he prefers playing golf because he can go further.
The senior Raider will be attending Methodist College in the fall and plans to major in professional holf management.
“I want to be a pro at a golf course,” Knowles said, adding that he looks forward to running the course, teaching lessons, setting up tournaments and keeping the course looking nice.
Jessica Wagner can be contacted at (910) 592-8137 ext.122 or reached by e-mail at email@example.com