QUEENSLAND Club Professional of the Year Matthew King reckons he was destined for a career in the golf industry.
When he was still in short pants, Matthew honed his skills out the back of the pro shop and on the course at Wynnum Golf Club where his father Paul King was the club professional for more than 40 years.
More golf education followed on camping and fishing adventures.
Paul and close family friend Charlie Earp used to take their sons camping and fishing at Jumpinpin, which lies between North and South Stradbroke islands.
Oftentimes, the topic of conversation was golf and Matthew was all ears keen to learn from two of the best club professionals in the business.
“We used to go camping down at Jumpinpin and nearly get eaten alive by sandflies and mosquitoes,” Paul laughed.
“Matthew and Charlie’s boys loved it.
“Charlie and I would kick back and have a few quiet drinks and the boys would go out and there and have a great time.”
The King of trifectas: It was around that time that Paul, a keen punter, won arguably Queensland’s first ever trifecta at the thoroughbred races.
“I won the very first trifecta at Doomben Racecourse,” Paul told Inside Golf.
“I invested $6, won $6000 and made the front page of the Courier-Mail.
“It happened when my wife Loretta and I went to the track with a doctor friend.
“We were playing $6 trifectas and I said, ‘I’ll pick this long-shot to go in the trifecta’. It was 33/1.
“The doc said, ‘I’m not going with yours, it’s got no chance’.
“He said, ‘you’re on your own and Loretta and I will pick our own trifecta’.
“Well, my 33/1 shot won and I picked up $6000. That was a lot of money in those days.”
It was happy days as Paul splashed out taking the family on a holiday to Fiji.
“We had a nice trip out of that,” Paul said.
Paul, who retired on his 65th birthday in 2002, continues to play golf regularly at his beloved Wynnum.
He loves getting out there, but he says his golf isn’t as good as it once was.
“I played yesterday and I played like a man who has no knowledge of the game whatsoever,” he said.
“I had no idea where the ball or the hole was. It was one of those days when the brain didn’t go to work.”
FOOTNOTE: Charlie Earp and Paul King were the founding fathers of the Queensland Sunshine (Troppo) Tour, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.