Appeal-Democrat Archive Writing

Summer Kids: Kids got game

August 15, 2007

After five days of practice, the only thing that stood between two young golfers was 20 feet to the hole.

The putting competition settled nothing as 12-year-olds Jordan Davis and Trevor Bishop matched birdies on the three holes in regulation and through the first two playoff holes.

The two trained with about 30 boys and girls from age 6 to 17 the Iles Golf Academy for Kids at Mallard Lake Golf Center south of Yuba City. The program introduces children to golf for free who might not otherwise have a chance. Young golfers don’t pay a dime, thanks to a fundraiser earlier in the year.

After learning how to chip and putt during a recent weeklong camp session, the kids got a chance to put their skills to the test during the putting competition. The sixth hole waited for Davis and Bishop with a slight dip to the right. Both slid their putts along the slope the first time around when it was the third hole. Now, the pressure was on.

Davis placed his ball on the makeshift tee box, squatted to double check the line his putt would take along the green. A tap toward the hole left him four feet short. This time though, the second shot didn’t fall in the cup. Nor did the third or the fourth or the fifth.

Bishop sank his ball on the second shot, but neither golfer lost that day. The academy volunteers decided the playoff was just for fun and both boys won. For Bishop, though, it was a relief just to be done.

“That was tough,” he said. “That was a lot of pressure.”

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