Kurt Kitayama has been starring in the golf world ever since his teenage days, following his brother’s footsteps. As a matter of fact, Kitayama also used to be one of the first golf prodigies to emerge from Chico.
Apparently, as a golfer, Kurt has traveled across the globe to play off his passion. Coming this far, he has also been the fastest player to get two wins in European Tour history.
Even as a player and a person himself, Kurt has been the one to pursue only for the best.
Currently, he plays for the European Tour and has bagged its title at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Well, it was only after his third start in the Tour.
|Full Name||Kurt Shun Kitayama|
|Date of Birth||January 14, 1993|
|Birth Place||Chico, California|
|Nick Name||‘The Project’|
|Age||30 years old|
|Height||5’7″ (1.70 meters)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg)|
|Father’s Name||Clifford Kitayama|
|Mother’s Name||Rumiko Kitayama|
|Siblings||An older brother, Daniel Kitayama|
|Education||Chico High School
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
|Current Tour||European Tour|
|Former Tour||Web.com Tour
|Autograph||Augusta National Scorecard COA|
|Net Worth||$2 million|
|Social Media||Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch||Notebook, Golf Merch|
|Last Update||February, 2023|
Kitayama (fully named Kurt Shun Kitayama) was born on January 14, 1993, under Capricorn’s sun sign. Additionally, he is the second child of parents, Rumiko Kitayama and Clifford Kitayama.
Apparently, he has an older brother, Daniel Kitayama, who, in fact, is also a golfer.
As we all know, Kurt has Asian looks, and in one of the interviews, he had opened up, stating he is of Asian descent/ethnicity. Well, his mother is Japanese.
Moving on, Kurt commenced playing golf while he was just a five-year-old.
To elaborate, he was first introduced to golf by his family friend. Following it, he often played rounds of golf alongside his older brother at Butte Creek Country Club.
Afterward, he took lessons from Butte Creek Head Pro Mike Mattingly.
According to the sources, Kitayama was extensive with his game and consistently applied every tip Mattingly had suggested.
However, growing up, golf was not his first love all the time. Back when he used to be in grade four, Kurt had a passion for basketball.
Education and Introduction to Golf
Kurt Kitayama attended Chico High School. During the tenure, he was the Senior co-captain and starting point guard for the Chico Blazin’ Heat, his high school’s AAU basketball team.
Additionally, he has also been named the high-scoring tandem on the court and fellow Chico High alumnus Sterling Smith. Altogether, he also led his basketball team to the 2011 California Northern Section Title.
Moreover, Kitayama also partook in the Championship games when he took his victory over their city-rival Pleasant Valley High School.
Furthermore, later in his high school days, he shifted to golf after realizing he could make it further with it rather than basketball.
As a junior back in 2007–2008, Kurt even played at the University of Hawaii at Hilo with his brother, Daniel. After certain years of playing likewise, the American-born then started working as a professional caddie.
Similarly, he also starred at the 2008 U.S. Open course Torrey Pines, South Course, San Diego, California. The very next year, Kurt played in the 2009 Callaway Junior World Golf Championships.
In the meantime, The Junior Golf Association of Northern California titled him as the 2009 Player of the Year.
In 2009, Kurt graduated from high school and then enrolled in the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. During the tenure, he featured in the top Division I golf program and had flourished by the end of his college days.
During his four years in UNLV, he bagged an All-American honor and the Academic All-MW team three consecutive years.
As an amateur golfer, Kurt’s highest ranking was the 47th stand, and he won the Jackrabbit Invitational at Primm, Nevada, in 2014 as well as in 2015.
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Amateur Achievements and Nickname
As an amateur, Kurt Kitayama was often called selfish and competitive in his rights. However, he is not afraid to be tough on anyone that befalls him.
As often, Kitayama’s former coach Kevin Wilkerson would state, “Kurt can rub people the wrong way because he’s so competitive.” Apart from it, Kurt has avid confidence in himself.
In addition to that, during his college days, Kurt even gained a weird nickname, ‘The Project.’
Indeed, it was not a flattering name back then. As he revealed the secret behind the nickname, Kurt struggled a lot during his freshman year.
To put it in simple words, he wasn’t a good golfer and, thus, would only try and work hard on his games. That was when the director of golf at Southern Highlands Golf Club (in Las Vegas) gave him that nickname.
Overall, that very name stuck with him for the rest of the time. Later in the day, some of his achievements are highlighted below.
- 2014 Jackrabbit Invitational
- 2015 Jackrabbit Invitational
Kurt Kitayama | Professional Career
Kitayama officially turned professional in 2015 and then played for the Web.com tour. During the first few years of the professional days, Kurt had a few successes in the court.
Later in 2018, he mainly played in the Asian Tour. Back then, Kitayama bagged the single Asian Development Tour event, the PGM Darulaman Championship in Malaysia.
During the tour, some of his notable finish was in the New Zealand Open, the Royal Cup, the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup Golf, and the Japan Golf Tour.
During the same year, he was on the European Tour, where he first claimed victory during the Afrasia Bank Mauritius Open. Besides, he also played in the European Tour Q-School and the 2019 European Tour.
By the mid-season of 2019, Kurt claimed another European Tour victory by winning the Oman Open. Right then, he was the fastest player to two wins in European Tour history.
Following it, he also played in the PGA Tours. Furthermore, Kurt traveled all around the world for his golf court.
Kurt Kitayama’s victory as a professional golfer to date is listed below.
- Two European Tours (AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and Oman Open)
- One Asian Tour (AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open)
- One Asian Development Tour (PGM Darulaman Championship)
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Today, Kurt Kitayama has a net worth of $2 million and has a salary of $276,460. Apart from his career earnings from golf, Kurt also earns brand promotion and endorsements.
For the golf equipment, Kurt Kitayama always makes sure to use the best for his game.
Initially, he used the M5 and M6 TaylorMade drivers, and now, he currently uses the new SIM driver in the bag instead.
As for both the golf fairway wood and the utility iron, he uses TaylorMade. At first, he had a TaylorMade GAPR Mid utility iron and now has a new TaylorMade P790 UDI iron. Additionally, he has Graphite Design shafts.
Furthermore, he has bladed P730’s for five-iron to pitching wedge. He carries around three wedges of TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 models with 52, 56 degrees, and 60 degrees of loft during the game.
Altogether, his equipment’s list is as below.
- Driver: TaylorMade SIM, 9 degrees, Graphite Design DI 7 X shaft
- Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM, Graphite Design DI 8 X shaft
- Irons: TaylorMade P750 (4), TaylorMade P730 (5-PW), Dynamic Gold X100 shafts.
- Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 (52, 56, 60 degrees) are fitted with Dynamic Golf S400 shafts.
- Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Fastback 1.5.
Kurt Kitayama | Personal Life
At present, Kitayama is currently single and hasn’t dated anyone to date. As a matter of fact, Kurt is also not indulged in any scandals and rumors regarding his relationships.
In fact, Kurt Kitayama likes to be tight-lipped about his life, and hence, there is not much uploaded about his private life even on his social media sites.
Anyways, he might also be more into his professional career right now, focusing only on that same side.
Kurt Kitayama | FAQs
What is Kurt Kitayama’s major in academics?
Kurt Kitayama majors in business and thus, studies finances.
What is Kurt Kitayama’s highest ranking to date?
Back on January 26, 2020, Kurt Kitayama had the highest ranking in the 66th stand.