Freshman golfer cites patience as most important trait

During golf season, freshman Leslie Young drives her cart down the street from her garage to the Cold Springs Golf and Country Club fairway.

Young is a competitive golfer. She plays for Country Day, junior, and statewide tournaments.

Young was immediately intrigued after her parents took her to the local Haggin Oaks course 10 years ago.  Soon after her first visit she was taking lessons at 5 years old.

Tiger Woods and Natalie Gulbis are Young’s golf idols. Young watched Woods play at  the 2012 US Open in San Francisco.

“Watching Tiger Woods tee off was spectacular. It was so silent, but you could just see that he was completely focused on hitting the ball,” she said.

In local junior tournaments Young has done well.

Four years ago at Cold Springs Golf and Country Club Annual Junior Tournament Young placed third. Additionally, Young won a sportsmanship medal at the Rancho Murieta junior classic in 2010.

At the Cold Springs Tournament Young recalled making an amazing shot.

“I took a shot over the water, and I was aiming for the green,” Young said. “I didn’t hit with as much force as I expected, and the ball skidded across the water like skipping stones and the ball jumped up on the green,” Young said.

Tying for first in the Parochial Athletic League championship and scoring one over par, Young was equally successful playing for Country Day’s middle-school team.

Matt Vargo, middle-school assistant coach, praised Young’s skill in the league championship.

“It was a culmination of all her work through the spring,” he said.

Young also has a private coach.

Often Young receives comments on how golf is not a sport.

“People don’t understand that usually when you play golf you play nine or 18 holes and every stroke takes strength and concentration,” she said.

However, Young does regard golf as accessible because it doesn’t require a particular trait in order to be successful.

“You don’t have to be extremely tall or extremely strong.  You just have to be patient,” Young said.

According to Vargo, Young’s best skill as a golfer aside from her shots is her calm demeanor.

Young expects to play for the high-school team in the spring.

“She is on the right track.   She just needs to continue to play and improve her game,” Vargo said.

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