Q&A: Anze Kopitar
I’ve been playing for the past five years. I didn’t pick it up until I got to the States, mostly because of [the Kings] charity golf tournament. Every time I hit a few nice shots it makes me hopeful, and that’s what keeps me going out and playing more. The majority of my golf is played in the offseason, but we’re so fortunate with the weather in L.A. that we can sometimes sneak out after practice.
ON GOLF AND COMPETITION
The competitive spirit is definitely there when I play with my teammates. But with golf, you’re competing against yourself and trying to repeat the swing that works for you. I enjoy that. Golf is a hard game. As a professional athlete I always want to get better and that’s why I play golf. It’s so unpredictable, but that makes it fun.
ON HIS FAVORITE SOUTHLAND COURSES
We’re pretty spoiled. Ever since we won the Stanley Cup people seem to invite us to play all the great courses. I’ve played Riviera, Sherwood, LACC, Bel-Air CC, Trump National, Mountaingate. We mix those in when we play. All the members we play with are so nice to us and take us out. I really like Riviera and Sherwood; those are probably my favorite courses.
ON BEING NAMED AN NHL ALL-STAR
It feels great. It’s an honor to be selected to the All-Star Game. It’s a very fun weekend. You get to hang out with 40 of the top players in the world. It’s really relaxed. Everyone has their family there. It’s definitely a good time.
ON WINNING THE STANLEY CUP
The first time around was different than the second one. The first playoff run was a little easier. It was a big grind the second time around, having to play three game 7s on the road. It’s hard to explain, but once you’re on top and win the Stanley Cup, all the emotions you have are what drives you to want to win it again. You want to experience that joy again.
ON PLAYING IN THE 2014 WINTER OLYMPICS
The Olympics were really fun. That was the first time our country (Slovenia) qualified and it was a big thing back home. We had a really good team, good bunch of guys, and we definitely enjoyed our time in Sochi.
ON HIS FUTURE CAREER GOALS
You just want to perform at the highest level you possibly can. I want to win another Stanley Cup, multiple Stanley Cups, but who knows if that is going to happen. We have a really good team here in L.A. and it’s definitely doable but we’re going to have to play up to our potential. There are other teams that feel that way too though.
ON LIVING IN LOS ANGELES
What’s not to love about L.A.? There’s pretty much everything you need. The beach. You want to golf? You can go play golf any day. Go to Hollywood. So many good restaurants. There’s a variety of things you can do, and everything is fairly close. It’s very fun living here.
ON HIS BEST GOLF SHOT
Last year I had a hole-in-one at Sherwood. It was the second one I’ve had. Those are definitely memorable. But I shot a 75 at Riviera CC and not too long ago a 76 at Sherwood CC, so as for my best rounds of golf, those were my best.
-Interviewed by Julia Pine