by LINDA FRABL | photos by PortrArt Creations

Golf Glory

Who knew that sibling rivalry could result in such a success story? Back when she was just a little girl, Zoë Salinas felt a strong pang of jealously when her older brother, Kai, placed ninth in the world for golfing. Wanting to prove that she could also master the sport, Zoë managed to not only win the California State Championship twice, at ages five and seven, but she also became a runner-up at the IMG World Championship at age six, and eventually won the FCG Callaway World Championship at age eight!

Now that she is a 10-year-old fifth grader at Sycamore Ridge Elementary, Zoë laughed about Kai being the impetus for her golf glory. She admitted, “My brother basically inspired me to play golf because I’ve always wanted to be better than him!” Zoë claimed that she first began playing golf “ever since I could walk,” and became entrenched in golf tournaments by age four. Zoë’s long-term goal is to hopefully attend Stanford University and play on the college golf team.


Name: Zoë Salinas (10)
School: Sycamore Ridge
Grade: 5
Parents: Chad and Myra
Sibling: Brother – Kai (12)
Favorite Local Spot: Bay Club


Discussing the appeal of her favorite activity, Zoë proclaimed, “In golf, it doesn’t matter if you are bigger or smaller than someone else, because everyone has an equal chance to compete.” Zoë also learned a valuable mental skill while competing on the green. She revealed, “The most challenging part of golf is staying focused after you hit a bad shot. You just have to let go of the past and focus on the shot in front of you.”

Utilizing her newfound self-control has also resulted in Zoë making strides in her school’s math club. Zoë stated, “My favorite subject is math, probably because my dad is a computer scientist and he taught me the basics at an early age. My mom and dad actually met in a calculus class at Columbia University, so I feel a family connection with math!”

When she isn’t working on golf or math, Zoë can be found participating in tennis tournaments, playing the piano, doodling, and enjoying the monkey bars at her school. Zoë also continues to practice her proficiency in Mandarin Chinese, which her father taught her and her brother to speak, read, and write. Zoë has proven that she is able to swing her way to a fantastic future.