Coyotes’ star winger Perlini proves

hockey players make excellent golfers

green grass for his career, his passion for the links remains intact. Perlini, 21, is one of the budding stars


on a youthful Arizona Coyotes team that started to find its stride as the 2018 NHL season moved into February. Known for his dazzling speed and powerful wrist shot, the left winger (and left- handed golfer) was a first-round draft pick in 2014 and set a team record by scoring 28 goals in his first 100 games. Born in England, where his father

was a hockey player and coach, his family moved to Sault St. Marie, Ontario, Canada, in 2007. There, he and his brother, Brett, were members at a nine-hole course for kids built by former NHL goalie John Vanbiesbrouck. His parents often dropped the boys off at the course at 9 a.m. and picked them up at the end of the work day. But “Perl,” as he is known to

teammates, actually started playing much earlier, at age 2, with a cut-off 5-wood as he tagged along with his parents on courses in Great Britain. It’s no surprise then that the two trophies Perlini most covets are the Stanley Cup and the Claret Jug. Through his father, he met several

of Europe’s Ryder Cup players and played several prominent courses in

28 | AZ GOLF Insider | SPRING-SUMMER 2018

England and Scotland, but considers his best round to be the 68 he shot last year at TPC Scottsdale. Perlini and his brother, who

plays professional hockey in England, both are scratch golfers. Recently, during the Coyotes’

annual charity golf tournament at Whirlwind Golf Club, Perlini talked to AZ Golf Insider about his love of two sports, golf experiences and the outlook for the Coyotes:

1 How did you choose hockey over golf as your career?

I really loved both growing up.

It was always hockey in the winter and golf in the summer. I was obsessed with golf, but when I was about 15, I kind of stopped playing in tournaments. I had won a few and I enjoyed that and I’ve always liked competition, but I just thought it wasn’t for me as a career. Hockey really took over as my main interest. What I like about hockey is the team concept, where you have teammates

you can work together with and rely on. In golf, you’re really an island. You’re out there all by yourself and it gets pretty lonely if you’re not playing very well.

2 What are some of your favorite courses in Arizona?

Arizona Country Club, TPC

Scottsdale and Troon North are some that I’ve really liked but there are a lot of nice courses here, and I’m hoping to play a lot more of them when I have the time. But the ones on my bucket list are Augusta National, St. Andrews and Pebble Beach.

3 How about that 68 at TPC? Yeah, that was definitely a lot

of fun. The thing is, I was kind

of sick that day, not feeling very well so I took it pretty easy and just tried keeping it in the fairway and hitting to the middle of the greens. That sounds kind of boring but it worked out pretty well. We started on the back nine and I birdied the first four or five holes. I was like, ‘Wow, I hope I can keep this up.’ But By John Davis

rendan Perlini grew up with a hockey stick in one hand and a golf club in the other, and while he chose ice over


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