We sat down with the Egypt Valley Women's and Men’s Club Champions, Kay Zubkus and Derrek Klimek, to learn bit a more about their golf history and get their perspectives on lessons learned through playing golf competitively.
It’s true: Golf is a sport that requires the skill and precision only achieved through lots---and lots—of practice! And the Women's and Men's Club Championships at Egypt Valley brings out the best of the best.
Something Derrek Klimek knows quite well, having won seven out of the past eight years.
Derrek’s interest in golf stemmed from the ability to get better along the way.
“I like that there’s the opportunity to improve even as you get older, along with the individual nature of golf.”
Kay Zubkus has been around golf her whole life, with her parents and grandparents being avid golfers. She began to play when she joined the junior golf program at age 7. Golf has been a part of every summer she can remember, so it should come as no surprise Kay is the current Women’s Champion.
“Winning the ladies club was pretty cool. It has been my goal for a while and to achieve it so quickly was something I was very proud of!”
Derrek and Kay have learned a wide array of lessons—personal and technical—while playing golf over the years. For Derrek, it’s all about keeping your cool.
“First, you don’t have to play perfect to win. Everyone is going to make mistakes. Second, don’t try to force things during the beginning of your round; get into a rhythm and let them happen.”
It’s a philosophy Kay agrees with.
“Getting mad doesn't help anything. I used to get extremely frustrated and try to force things to happen, which, anyone who has ever golfed can tell you, only makes things exponentially worse.”
How does she stay level-headed?
“The key in high-pressure and high-stake situations is to just breathe and resort back to instinct. Even on your best days, you still might not win. In golf, all you have control over is yourself,” said Kay, who was quick to note that years of preaching from her dad and golf coach have molded this mindset. “You may play your best golf, but someone may come in lower than you. It is important to focus on the process and let the results fall into place.”
When it comes to advice for other golfers, Derrek said, “Aim for the middle of greens, not at flags. Try and pick a club and target that a miss will still result in a playable position.”
Derrek prefers the comradery of golf more than the competition aspect.
“The friends and relationships I have through golf have been life-changing. (Just don’t tell them.)”
For as good as Kay is at golf, it was the last sport she picked up on.
“I have always played golf, but up until sophomore year I was a three-sport athlete: hockey, lacrosse, and golf. It wasn't until the winter of my sophomore year that I decided I wanted to focus on golf competitively.”
After she graduates in May, Kay will continue her academic and athletic career at Oakland University.
Written by Egypt Valley Country Club.