17 Things You Didn't Know About Kurt Kitayama

Get to know the Californian two-time European Tour winner

17 Things You Didn't Know About Kurt Kitayama
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Get to know the Californian two-time European Tour winner

17 Things You Didn't Know About Kurt Kitayama

1. He was born in Chico in Northern California

2. He now lives in Henderson, Nevada

3. He started playing golf at the age of 5 with a family friend and his older brother Daniel

4. His mother is Japanese

5. His passion growing up was basketball

6. He graduated in Finance from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2015, the same college that the likes of Adam Scott, Ryan Moore, Charley Hoffman, Chad Campbell and David Lipsky attended

7. He turned professional in 2015 and won his first pro title on the Asian Development Tour at the 2018 PGM Darulaman Championship in Malaysia

8. He earned his 2018-19 European Tour card after playing in all three Q-School stages. He won the first stage at Golf d'Hardelot, which was his first time in Europe

9. He won the Mauritius Open in December 2018 in just his third start on the European Tour

10. He became the fastest player to win twice on the European Tour, with victory at the 2018 Mauritius Open and 2019 Oman Open in just 11 starts

11. He played on the Web.com Tour in 2017 and the Asian Tour in 2018

12. He left the Asian Tour to come to Europe after advice from fellow American and good friend David Lipsky

13. According to the European Tour, he eats candy the night before every round as a superstition

14. His swing coach is Pete Cowen

15. Despite his slender frame at 5'7", he is one of the biggest hitters in the game. He was 3rd in driving distance on the European Tour in 2019 with an average of over 313 yards. After the Travelers Championship, he has averaged of 315 yards on the PGA Tour this season, which is 4th.

16. He made a hole-in-one and albatross on the par-4 16th at Southern Highlands Collegiate Golf Club in 2014

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17. He is currently a TaylorMade staffer, using a TaylorMade ball, 13 TaylorMade clubs and a Scotty Cameron putter

Related: Kurt Kitayama What's in the bag?

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. Elliott graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He is obsessed with the game and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey. His handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Honma TR20B

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x