I have covered golf from inside the ropes.
It was pretty special following Tiger Woods at Firestone Golf Club or Phil Mickelson at TPC Scottsdale on a Sunday round and being just a few feet from these guys as they work their craft.
As great as that was it was nothing compared to seeing my 7-year-old daughter compete in the game of golf for the first time from outside the ropes.
She is steadier on the tee box than I’ve ever been.
The little one participated in the Drive, Pitch and Putt contest at Vistal Golf Club and held her own in the 7-9 age group.
We did it on a whim, even though she gone through the free Dobson Ranch junior clinic for three summers now, after she saw a commercial for it while we were watching the U.S. Open.
I didn’t know what to expect when we got there, but it was first rate. There was plenty of time to warm up, and get familiar with the surroundings.
Then in big letters it said ‘players only beyond this point’ on a sign as we got close to the entrance of the tee area.
I explained that I wouldn’t be able to help her once she started competing as I envisioned her struggling to put her tee in the ground. Apparently she has no such reservations as she responded with ‘Don’t worry, Daddy, I got it.’
I figured she’d be fine, but all of her other sports (baseball and soccer) came with a coach either pitching to her or one the sidelines.
This was different.
And she handled it like a champ. All three drives were down the middle and she did okay overall considering she was on the youngest end of the age group. The only sign of trouble was also an indication of her competitiveness when she get fired up after she realized the top three in each category, and overall, received a ribbon and she finishing fourth.
She was upset but one of the 9-year-old girls who advanced to the next stage of the national event came over and told my little hacker that she did great and hard work will get her into the top three.
My little one said thank you, perked up and asked for a popsicle.
All was well.
Next time, however, I will be sure to bring my press pass just so I can get inside the ropes.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.