How would you feel if you were a 34-year old, 10-handicap, father of 3 arriving to play in an officially sponsored “men’s” tournament to learn that you would be playing against a 4′ 11″, 9-year old boy. Ha…you’d probably think it was a joke! Well, the last laugh would be on you!
Richard Martin, owner of a signwriting company, is going down in history as the first adult to lose against, youngster, Marco Penge in matchplay.
But he shouldn’t feel too bad (someday he might be famous for exactly this reason). Marco, a 15-handicapper, is a golfing prodigy in the UK who started playing when he was 5.
Another Tiger Woods? Well, we’ll have to see, but he’s been described as “a nice young lad…very calm, very focused and mature for a nine-year-old.” (focused and mature – that’s Tiger-like). But what I love…he’s still a kid too. In one club match, partnering with his father, his competitors found him climbing a tree.
I hope he stays a “nice young lad” for a long time and enjoys childhood.
My experience with young “super talented” golfers in Canada has not been very positive unfortunately (the untalented ones are great :)). I’ve played a few times with low handicap younsters whose parents think they are the next Tiger Woods/Lorena Ochoa. And frankly, they are spoiled rotten brats. I won’t play with them anymore. You can tell who they are…they are the ones whose parents don’t play with them – they just caddie for them and pamper them hole after hole after hole.
Perhaps it’s unfair of me to say that, but it’s not just in golf. I taught figure skating for many years and the same thing happened there. The kids were great, until the parents started to believe they were going to be Olympic champions. Once the parents started to live vicariously through their kids, the kids started to demonstrate arrogance instead of confidence, on and off the ice. I quit teaching because I just couldn’t stand the parents and what they created (or should I say…destroyed in their kids).
Anyway, enough ranting. I’m going to keep an eye on Marco and see how he turns out. He’s just too cute for words. I hope he stays that way.
How would you feel if youwere beaten by a 9-year- old?
By Peter Higgs
The Mail on Sunday Section 1
17 Feb 2008
THINK how Richard Martin felt when he turned up for his crucial singles match in a major golf competition to be told that he was playing against a nine- year- old. Then imagine his demeanour a few hours later when he walked off the Sussex course having… read more…