Every golfer has courses and resorts he dreams of playing. The vast majority of them never make it to such places, and many who do find their golf game to be far inferior to the sports’ toughest layouts and greens.
Local nine-year-old boy Colt Jeffress had the opportunity to swing away at one such resort during last weekend’s U.S. Kids Junior Golf World Championship.
Colt was among the 120 contestants who qualified for the event, held at the exclusive Pinehurst Country Club and Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
It was a tough outing for young Jeffress, finishing the three-round tournament with scores of 95, 96 and 95, respectively.
“It was really tough,” said Jackie Jeffress, Colt’s mother. “Nothing could have prepared us for the way this course was laid out.”
Any golfer to stroll the fairways and greens at Pinehurst would likely agree. The number two course there has been the site of numerous U.S. Open Golf Championships through the years.
The junior event was held on a separate course, Pinehurst number three, but still offered plenty of challenges, especially for golfers aging only nine.
Jeffress said the course catered more to players with long-driving ability, whereas Colt’s reputation has been built more on his short game and putting.
“One of the officials told us Colt has one of the best natural putting strokes he has seen on tour,” Jeffress said.
Jeffress is working to improve his long-game for future events. He is taking lessons from Coach Justin Pointer at the Jim Mclean Golf Academy, and has spent two months restructuring his swing.
“He’s not comfortable with it yet, and that probably hurt him at Pinehurst,” his mother said, “But the new swing should help him in the long run.”
Despite his driving handicap, the young Stephenville golfer remained positive throughout the event.
“For us, it was all about the experience,” his mother said. “We knew it would be tough, but we wanted thim to have the experience of playing at that level.”
Part of the experience was the opening ceremonies that featured the Marine Corps Choir, and gave the young golfers the chance to meet and greet one another.
“It was amazing. Colt met kids from all over the world. He stayed so upbeat the entire time, and really represented Stephenville well,” Jeffress said.
Before attending the Junior Championship, Jeffress was victorious in a nine-hole PGA junior golf event, shooting a round of one-over-par 31 at the Academy at Waterchase in Fort Worth.
The Jeffress family expressed their gratitude to the community for all the support, especially the members of Legends Country Club who provided Colt with extra money for the trip.