July 18, 2013

All that she can be

Golf is latest challenge met by King


Still training others

King mixes golf with reminders of her military service while on the course. She plays out of a camouflage bag, has U.S. Army headcovers for her clubs, and had some of her service patches sewn on the bag as a present from her sister-in-law. Even on the golf course, she is still a sergeant giving orders, this time to her shots.

Most of the time, they listen and obey. Just like a good soldier.

Others are listening, too, and King is more than happy to share her love of the game with them. She is still an instructor, but it is a kinder, gentler one than the Sgt. King who laid down the law and drove fear into the hearts of her recruits.

“You would not think that she was ever a drill sergeant,” said Sherrie Wells, 58, who has been playing for the last two years. “I am bad, and anyone else would have given up on me a long time ago. But Sue has a lot of patience, and she is a good coach and teacher and she doesn’t want anything for it. She is that kind of person.”

She likes to help. Likes to pass things on.

“She doesn’t know a stranger,” Reese said. “She will help other golfers and she will go out and help and give them the knowledge. She loves it that much. She loves to get people involved in a game that she loves. She gets excited trying to get people involved in the game.”

She particularly enjoys working with youth. She has become a staple at Bagley Middle School golf matches with coach Bob Campbell, and she really enjoys walking a couple of holes with a younger golfer and offering tips, praising accomplishments and sharing her knowledge and passion for something she didn’t discover until later in life.

“I enjoy the game, and something that I love and believe in is helping people get better,” she said. “One of the girls I have worked with keeps me paid off with some outstanding (home-baked) muffins. ... I just like seeing people get better at anything they are doing, and I am way ahead in the muffin tradeoff.”

That love of helping others be their best is nothing new.

“I had a recruit tell me after she graduated basic training that when she first saw me with my hat pulled down low over my eyes on the first day that she was terrified of me,” King said. “But she said she learned so much from me. Then she said that in the end I was just a big marshmallow.”

Believe that if you want to about Sue King.

Just don’t bet any money on it if you are playing against her.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. You can write to him at

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