Take Ten with Koala Karl, U.S. Kids World Champion Karl Vilips


Name: Karl Vilips

Hometown: Melbourne, Australia

Age: 10

“Koala” Karl Vilips, on the practice range at Pinehurst Resort. Note the “Koala Karl” logo image on his sleeve.

Karl Vilips is a big name in the world of Kids competitive golf. Already this year he has won the San Diego Junior Masters and the Callaway Junior World Championship in his age division. He considers winning his 10-year-old age group at the U.S. Kids another major championship and would give him “The Trifecta,” this year. Vilips won the 7- and 9-year-old division at U.S. Kids World in 2009 and 2011, respectively. He’s nicknamed Koala Karl, has his own YouTube channel and website, and even has a Facebook fans page. Karl can be seen practicing around Pinehurst Resort this week in preparation for the U.S. Kids World Championship, which is hosted by Pinehurst.

What is your earliest golf memory? “I got my first set of plastic golf clubs for Christmas in 2002. I was 1.”

Who is your favorite golfer and why? Bubba Watson, because he’s the most adventurous and likes to have fun with his golf swing. And I love that he won The Masters.

What do you know about Pinehurst? “I know there are 8 really good golf courses here and that most of them were designed by Donald Ross, who was pretty important.” About No. 2: “I’ve played nine holes of it. That was in 2009.”

What is your dream foursome? “Me, Bubba Watson, Luke Donald and Ernie Els.”

My best talent outside of golf is… Running

Nickname? Koala Karl

Favorite website? YouTube

Favorite club? “Driver, because I get to hit it far.”

Favorite TV show? Fairly Oddparents

Favorite athlete outside of golf? Adam Gilchrist, cricket player.