Putting with the Pros.

Author:Kimble-Ellis, Sonya
Position:Teenage golfers
 
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Talented teen golfers are realizing their hopes of playing against the best the sport has to offer.

Over the past five years, the game of golf has fueled the athletic aspirations of thousands of children and teenagers across the country and around the globe. A large part of the phenomenon is due to the success of Tiger Woods, a brilliant golfer who first captured the attention of sports enthusiasts as a child prodigy and later while still in high school. Tiger's accomplishments, and the current interest among youth in the game, has spawned a number of golf clinics, tournaments, and organizations dedicated to developing the skills of young, would-be golf pros. Among one of those would-be pros is Tiger's 10-year-old niece Cheyenne Woods, and two such organizations are Teens on the Green, located in Miami, and the National Minority Junior Golf Scholarship Association, which is based in Phoenix. Both groups aid students with training, college scholarships, and exposure to national youth competitions. In fact, Cheyenne has won about 30 times since she started participating in the tournament five years ago. Here are four other success stories arising from these programs:

Stephen Reed

Stephen Reed, a 19-year-old golfer from Houston, knows firsthand about the immeasurable influence Tiger Woods has had on aspiring young players.

When he was 15, Stephen met Woods at a golf classic he attended under the banner of the National Minority Junior Golf Scholarship Association (NMJGSA). In 1999 he played for the Tiger Woods Foundation as part of a team that competed against golfers from Japan, Australia, and South America. Although they didn't place, the young golfer felt that it was the start of big things to come. Currently attending Texas A&M, and with an average this year of 74, Stephen first learned to play golf at age 5. His father, who runs the Gus Wortham Golf Course in Houston and is also a professional golfer, taught Stephen and his younger brother, Jeremy, how to play. It wasn't long before they began taking the game seriously. "Golf is like any other sport," he says. "After you get past playing it for fun, you want to play competitively."

Stephen's thirst for competition was evident throughout his high school years, and during that time he was state champion for the Texas Interscholastic League golfing competitions for three consecutive years.

Presently a college sophomore, he received an NMJGSA/Tiger Woods Foundation Scholarship for the...

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