By Mark Harman, USGTF Professional

In the spring of 2019, a 7-year-old boy came to my teaching studio for his first lesson. Paul Morrell’s swing was extremely raw, to say the least, and so we began on the fundamentals. I taught him how to make a proper pivot instead of a huge sway on the backswing, and had him swing into a good finish. It took a while, but by the next year his swing was much better and he started hitting the ball well.

In 2020, Paul started playing on the local U.S. Kids Golf Tour in and around Savannah, Georgia. After a couple of close calls, he finally won the last event of the season. And in 2021, as the number one player in his age group locally, he qualified for the world championships in PInehurst, North Carolina. Although he did not do as well as he would have liked, he earned valuable experience. He also entered the local Drive, Pitch & Putt Championship, and if not for one errant drive, would have been one of the qualifiers for the next stage.

Paul just turned 10, is a big kid for his age, and is now hitting the ball around 200 yards off the tee when he gets a hold of one. His swing is technically very good and he hits a reliable fade. His swing is not “perfect” if you compare it to a theoretical model, but it is extremely functional and repeatable, and we will continue to slowly refine it. His favorite player is Jordan Spieth, and he wears the same Under Armour clothing that Spieth does. He also mimicks Spieth to the point he uses the same ball and putter and incorporated Spieth’s famous chicken wing, but I think we finally got him out of that. In any case, Paul is a good kid who plays other sports, so predicting future golf success is folly. As long as he enjoys the game in whatever capacity he chooses, that’s all I can ask.

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