ENGAGE. ENCOURAGE. ENJOY.

THE DESTINATION FOR PARENTS OF KIDS WHO LOVE GOLF.

Golfer of the Month

 

 

Congratulations Caroline Howes!

 

November, 2013

Caroline Howes

Caroline Howes, age 18 from Granite Falls, NC, is in her fourth and senior year of playing on the Ladies South Caldwell High School Spartans golf team. Caroline has been around golf all of her life, by watching her dad excel in the game over the years.  She spends many hours taking lessons and practicing and has become the “mom” of her younger teammates.  Although her scores have at times varied by 10 strokes, she keeps going, figuring things out and working hard towards improvement.  Golf is one of those sports that requires self-confidence, mental stamina, finite techniques and perseverance.. it’s all “you” out there and what a valuable life lesson these “kids” learn from the game.  Caroline would select these two memories as her favorites: 1)The fun times and friendships she made during Junior year, last year, with the Seniors on the team 2)Recently, playing with a friend from a competing high school, and shooting 41 for 9 holes!  Making new friends is an added benefit of golf and this past summer she made a new friend from Germany.  Caroline’s goal is to play golf in college.

Congratulations Caroline – keep up the great work and positive attitude!

 Submit your Junior Golfer of the Month for December Now!

 

Congratulations Lewis Eccles!

October, 2013

LewisEccles

Lewis is a 12-year-old junior golfer from Doncaster in Yorkshire, England.  At the start of the season, he had a 28 handicap, but has worked hard and is now an 18.   Just this month, Lewis was given an international debut and starting place on the England Disabled Golf Team to face Wales.  Lewis is Autistic with ADHD and Dyspraxia, so he struggles with coordination and concentration problems.  He was the only junior golfer on the team, and managed a half in doubles and 4&3 win in the singles match.  He was given this honor to join the team after winning the UK Disabled Open Championship as a champion junior.  He capped off a great year by becoming the first junior golfer in 60 years to win an England Golf Foundation Presidents Award for overcoming disability to excel in golf!  His favorite golfer is Luke Donald and is coached at Peter Cowen’s Academy by coach Nick Huby.

We are all very proud of you Lewis!  Keep up the great work – Congrats!!

 

Congratulations Jake Benanti!  

September 2013

Jake BenantiJake Benanti had an outstanding summer, finishing the summer with a stroke average of 72.07 in his 14 competition rounds.  In June, he won the TaylorMade Invitation at The Tribute with scores of 64-69. His 1st round 64 included a 29 on the front 9.   He capped off his summer by winning the NTPGA Ewing Automotive Tour Championship by 5 with scores of 68-70. What made this so impressive is that he shot 39 on the front of his 2nd round. Knowing that a player in front of him had caught him, Jake made 5 birdies on the back 9 to shoot 31 and capture the title.

Jake has seen steady improvement over the past few years. He has worked hard at every aspect of his game, including the mental side. He is now one of the top players in Texas in a loaded class of 2018.  Kevin Johnson, his instructor, says “Jake is a dream student.” Few have the ability to go on a run quite like Jake. But, everything he has accomplished has been done because he has worked hard.

Jake is from McKinney, Texas and is now in 8th grade.  Congratulations Jake – keep up the great work!

Congratulations Wilson Furr!

August 2013

2013 U.S. Junior Amateur

 

At the Future Masters this year, we had the great fortune to play in the last group, on the last day, with 14-year-old Wilson Furr.  He was in the lead by two going into the final round, and started the first hole with a triple bogey.  His maturity level and the way he handled this initial set back showed his character, and what a great person indeed Wilson is.  At the time, I didn’t know anything about his charity, so when I ran across this article by the USGA, it just confirmed what an amazing young man he truly is.  By the way, Wilson Furr is your 2013 Future Masters Champion. 

This article was written by David Shefter who is a senior staff writer with the USGA.

When Furr, of Jackson, Miss., was about the same age as his young friends, he started a charity called Just Have A Ball, along with his then-7-year-old sister Hartwell. Furr had read that his home state of Mississippi – he’s from Jackson – was statistically the most obese in the country. Furr had always been an active child, playing with a football or basketball before discovering golf.

The precocious 9-year-old developed the idea of giving every elementary-school-age child a ball to stay active and healthy.

“We had no idea when they started [the charity] that it would not be some weekend project,” said Denise Furr, Wilson’s mother.

What’s even more remarkable is that Wilson and his now-12-year-old sister had the confidence to go door to door asking strangers to contribute any type of ball.

Still, it didn’t take long for the project to catch on. Soon donations were piling up. An area fruit company had a truck deliver the balls to Furr’s home and he and his friends utilized two electrical pumps to fill them up. The National Football League donated 1,000 footballs to the cause.

Soon, others caught on.

Luis Bruno, who was then the chef for the governor of Mississippi, and who had once weighed 400 pounds before he embarked on a program of diet and exercise, added financial support to the cause.

The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping citizens improve their lifestyle, also caught wind of the project. The partnership assisted with grant-writing and manpower to get the message out. The project has since gone statewide and Wilson has spoken at more than 35 schools.

“The partnership has taken it to a different level,” said Denise Furr. “They print the balls with the name of the charity, ‘Just Have A Ball.’”

Solving childhood obesity isn’t something that will happen overnight, but Furr is happy to be making an impact.

“I think we’re getting better,” said Wilson of the project, which has raised $90,000 in the past six years, all of which has gone to purchase balls. “It’s not that quick of a process.”

Said Denise Furr: “I love being at a Wal-Mart and somebody saying, ‘You gave me a ball. I love my ball,’ or we ride around the neighborhood and we see different kids playing with them.”

Now that the partnership has taken control of the program, Wilson has become something of a front-man. He enjoys going to elementary schools and talking to youngsters when his schedule permits.

“Every school is really nice about it,” said Wilson, who has done countless television and newspaper interviews to promote the initiative. “It’s worked and it’s going to work.”

Furr has also shown he’s pretty good with a golf ball.

In May, he advanced to U.S. Open sectional qualifying at Colonial Country Club in Memphis, Tenn., where he shot 76-68 in a field full of PGA Tour and Web.com Tour players. He missed qualifying for the Open by five shots, but the experience was invaluable for Furr, who turned 15 on July 8.

He tried to absorb everything, from range habits to course management.

“I learned how to handle the situation,” said Furr, who plays out of the Country Club of Jackson under the tutelage of teaching pro John Howell. “Everything about it was a cool experience.”

Things got even better when he qualified for his first U.S. Junior last month, earning medalist honors by three strokes over his roommate this week, Ben Fuller, at the Country Club of Birmingham (Ala.), the site of this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur.

A few weeks before he qualified, Furr got a call from the USGA that he had been chosen as one of eight golfers – four girls and four boys –to play in the third USA-China Youth Match, which will take place Aug. 2-3 at Nanshan International Golf Club in the Shandang Province of the People’s Republic of China.

Team members are all 16 or younger and each player, in addition to being a strong golfer, had to be a participant in Leadership Links, a jointly administered program of the USGA and the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) that promotes service and volunteerism among aspiring junior golfers.

Furr had to quickly procure a passport and visa for the trip. His parents are driving him to San Francisco – a 3½-hour drive from Martis Camp – on Sunday where he will meet the rest of the team, along with USGA officials John Bodenhamer and Matt Sawicki. It will be Furr’s first trip overseas.

Last year, the USGA hosted the event at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. The competition will consist of four foursomes (alternate-shot) matches, four four-ball matches and eight singles matches over two days. The inaugural match took place in 2008 in conjunction with the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Of course, Furr still has plenty of golf to play at Martis Camp. He finished qualifying at 2-under 142, which easily earned him a spot in the match-play draw.

“This is 25 times better than I expected,” said Furr of the Junior Amateur. “It doesn’t get too much better than this. I’m having a great time.”

To Denise Furr, all of the golf accolades pale in comparison to what Wilson and Hartwell have done for Mississippi elementary-school students. They have made a positive impact on their community and state.

“I just beam every time I think about it,” said Denise Furr. “To me, it makes me proudest as a mom.”

Congratulations and best wishes to Wilson!

 

Congratulations Declan Lickerman!

July 2013

DeclanDeclan Lickerman started formally taking lessons at age 3 and a half,  however, he seemed to have embraced the love of the game long before that while terrorizing household items with his Dad’s clubs.  He enjoys watching golf, hey….it’s true, and has become a fan of Rory, Hunter, and Snedeker (the speed with which Declan pronounces Snedeker is amazing).  His favorite golfer, and one who Declan is confident he will one day defeat, however, is Tiger.  One of his favorite things to do is visit the golf course with Mom and Dad.  He will play several holes before turning his attention to one of his other pastimes…catching butterflies, ladybugs, and all sorts of insects.  He also likes to watch planes fly over the courses in Laredo, Texas.  He is going to be a pilot and pro golfer, according to his own comments.  He truly enjoys practice and views Rudy Gonzalez (rggolfinstruction.com), his instructor, as a friend and coach.  The relationship is one that will surely flourish. 

When away from Laredo, he keeps up his practice with Wendy Werley Bullock at Rancho Viejo, Tx.  At 4 and a half, he already has achieved a few birdies and an eagle, the latter coming on May 21, 2013.  He also recently participated at his first father and son tournament.  Although carrying Dad was tough, the two enjoyed the outing tremendously.  Declan fuels his own passion for the sport, but is very thankful for Mom, who is as constant in her passion for her son’s practice and personal growth.

Congratulations Delcan – keep up the great work!!

 

Christopher Weaver!

June 2013

ChristopherweaverChristopher Weaver, age 5 from Florida,  has only been playing golf for about 6 months, but he is an amazing little golfer!  He lives and breathes golf all day, every day. Christopher plays golf twice a day – before and after school.  He just started playing in US Kids Tournaments and just received his first a 3rd Place Medal which he is very proud of.  He is so excited to continue learning and participating in tournaments.  Along with playing golf, he also loves watching the Pros play on the Golf Channel.  Christopher is a sweet little boy with a heart of gold.  Besides golf, he loves nature, animals, and being outside.

Congratulations Christopher – keep up the great work!

 

Luis Esteban, Jr!

May 2013

LuisJrLuis Jr, age 14, is a Spanish junior golfer from Madrid, Spain.  He has one goal in mind – to do his very best at the US Kids Teen World in Pinehurst, North Carolina this summer.  Luis is working hard and focusing on three key areas of his game during the winter:  technical, physical and mental.  Each day, after coming back from school and doing his homework, Luis practices his putting routine and dedicates at least 45 minutes to his personalized gym session.  Luis is starting to see the results – he reduced his handicap from 7.8 to 6.6 in the last month.  Of course, Luis is not forgetting his long-term goal which is to get a golf scholarship and play College Golf  in the United States.  All the Esteban family is supporting Luis’ dream…without forgetting the  most important thing: being a great student at school.

Congratulations Luis and keep up the great work!

 

Kenzie Wright!

April 2013

Kenzie Wright

Kenzie Wright is a talented 15 year old from Frisco, Texas.  Her love for the game has been very apparent since she started playing at the age of 6.  Kenzie’s great attitude and strong work ethic has helped her develop into one of the top members in a loaded class of 2016 in Texas.  She is known for her never give up attitude and her positive demeanor.  Like every golfer, she wants immediate success, but she also appreciates the challenges of the game and the process that all junior golfers must go through in order to reach their goals.  Because of this, Kenzie is definitely a player to watch as she continues to develop her game.

 Her early success started at the age of 9 when she won the Texas-Oklahoma Junior Golf Tournament as well as multiple events on the U.S. Kids Golf Dallas Tour.  She was a 7 time U.S. Kids Golf Dallas Tour Player of the Year and is a 6-time qualifier for the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships, where she finished 9th in 2012 as a 14 year old.  Kenzie is determined to make 2013 a year to remember as she has gotten off to a hot start.  In her 5 high school events, she has a scoring average of 74.6 while winning 4 of them.  She has also finished 2nd in both of her Texas Junior Golf Tour events so far this year.  To top things off, Kenzie tied for medalist honors at AJGA Qualifier at the Traditions Club at Texas A&M with a score of even par 72. 

Off the course, Kenzie is just like every teenage girl and enjoys going to Justin Bieber concerts and to the movies.  She also loves working at the games for the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.  Kenzie is currently finishing her freshman year at Spring Creek Academy in Plano, Texas.

 

Kayley Marschke!

March 2013

kayley

Kayley Marschke, 14 years old from Suwanee Georgia, started playing golf when she was 7 years old.  She is filled with “golf spirit” – while getting ready for her tournaments she is always humming a tune and when she is out on the course, you can sometimes hear her humming as she walks down the fairway. When she was younger, she had a little “skip” in her step as she walked down the fairway. Kayley has a friendly demeanor on the course and always encourages her competitors.

While Kayley has an impressive junior golf record, one would never know how she has done unless you ask her, even then she is very modest!  Kayley played in the US Kids World Championships when she was 12 and came in second place. She shot under par in the 3 day tournament and was the number one seed on the US Team that beat the International Team in a Match Play Event.  In 2011, Kayley was first alternate for the US Girls Junior Championship shooting 75, and in 2012 she shot 74 and missed qualifying by 1 shot. In 2013, it is Kayley’s goal to be able to play in the tournament and make it to the match play rounds. Kayley has a very positive attitude and never gives up. This was evident earlier this year when Kayley was playing in a tournament under very cold and windy conditions. She started out 5 over for the first five holes, but she fought hard and birdied 7 of the next 13 holes shooting 75. The next day she had 4 birdies and shot 71.

 

Luke Scealf!

February 2013

 

LukeScealf

Luke Scealf, 13, from Knoxville Tennessee has played golf since he was 5.  He would rather be involved with golf than anything else – playing, practicing, watching.  He is currently ranked #2 in TN for the class of 2017 on the Junior Golf Scoreboard.  He just played at Sugarloaf in a AAJGT tourney where he shot a tournament low round in any division with a one under 71.  With that, he claimed his 5th win of the 2012/2013 season on that tour.  He recently played up as the #1 high school golfer (as an 8th grader) at Grace Christian Academy.  He also made all region golfer this past fall in the high school division.

When Luke isn’t on the golf course, he likes playing guitar and helping at the food pantry at church once a month.    You can find him on twitter @lukescealf1.  Congratulations Luke – keep up the great work and enjoying the amazing game of golf!

 

Marianne Li!

January 2013

Marianne Li

Marianne Li, 15, from Seattle, Washington, was selected by the First Tee of Greater Seattle to compete in the World Junior Golf Series, 12/20-12/22, at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fl.  She tied for 3rd and was low American against a world class field.  The next week, Marianne went to Arizona to compete in the Joanne Winter Silver Belle tournament that showcases golfers from age 13 to 23.  In her first attempt at this tournament, she tied for 16th out of a field of 112 golfers.  Marianne plays for Newport High School in Bellevue, WA and is very passionate about golf. Camille Surdi, cslpga@aol.com LPGA T&CP Class A member,  has been coaching Marianne since she was 11 and has high aspirations of playing on the LPGA Tour someday! Congrats Marianne for great play and goodluck in 2013!

 

Ben Burton!

December 2012

Ben Burton in action!

Ben Burton in action!

Ben Burton is a Freshman at Bishop England High School on Daniel Island, SC.  Ben has been playing golf since he was a little guy and loves nothing more than spending time at the club hitting balls.  Homework tends to get in the way, but he knows that school always comes first, golf second. He loves hanging out with his friends at the practice facility and is known for joking around and making people laugh.  This summer he journeyed to Kentucky to win a huge tournament.  In return, a trophy larger than he is.  Congrats Ben – we are proud of you!