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The golf students from South Korea with their coach Hyunseung Kim, John Saxon and Soon Duk Park, and Paeroa club captain Colin Anderson. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

Future pros visit Paeroa Golf Club

Five South Korean golf students who have made Paeroa their home for the past three months will be leaving with a number of achievements, with one breaking a long-standing ladies course record by five shots.
Teenagers Yul Park, Hayeon An, Seungyeon Shim, Seunggu Kang, and 12-year-old Shioh Heo arrived in the country with their professional golf coach, Hyunseung Kim, in December.
They travelled to Paeroa and, to gain experience, joined the Paeroa Golf Club, as well as the Hauraki and Te Aroha clubs.
For three months they have lived with Paeroa golf member John Saxon and his partner, Soon Duk Park, whose son is coach Hyunseung Kim.

John said he was initially daunted by the idea of having five teenagers living under their roof.
“We don’t have a big house, but we have a nice caravan, so that solved that,” he said. “But we’d have them back, definitely.”
John said the students’ routine typically consisted of waking up between 5.30-6am, having breakfast, and getting ready to head to the course on Rotokohu Road, 6km from Paeroa’s town centre.
Usually, they’d play 18 holes of golf before returning home for lunch and a rest.
At about 2.30pm, it’s back to the golf course for practice under the “watchful eye” of coach Kim, before the day comes to an end at about 6:30pm.
Club captain Colin Anderson told The Profile that the young players’ passion had been “an eye-opener”.
“I get here fairly early most mornings and they’re already on the course,” he said. “They’re here all day and practise six days a week, and when they’re not here, they’ve been going to other tournaments.”
Tournaments have been held in Rotorua, Taupo, New Plymouth, and Hastings, with the teens doing well in the Danny Lee Springfield Open 2023.
And back at their home course of Paeroa, Yul Park broke the ladies’ long-standing course record more than once.
The record was a round of Gross 69, but Yul achieved a Gross 66 and a Gross 64.
Colin and John said there was potential among the young players, and possible Lydia Ko’s in the making.
The students and coach Kim will depart New Zealand on March 2 and said they were “very grateful” for the help and hospitality provided to them from the club.
DETAILS: Paeroa Golf Club welcomes new members of all ages. For info, visit