Latanna Stone: Youngest Golf Pro
Heads up! Golf newcomer and Kid Reporter on the links.
Golf is not as easy as it seems. Recently I met 8-year-old golf pro Latanna Stone and her golfing buddy Lily Berry on the links near their home in central Florida. Lily is only 7!
They both offered to show me pointers on how to perfect my swing—a swing that didn't exist until I got this assignment.
Obviously they didn’t know what they were getting into when they agreed to work with this non-golfer. My swing compared to theirs was like a toddler to a pro golfer who has been playing her whole life. Well, pretty much they have, but I had never set foot on a golf course before. It was quite a challenge for all three of us.
Latanna taught me how to hinge. Hinge means to take your arm and hold it straight and only move your elbows to drive the ball—don’t move your arm or wrist. Suddenly my short drive of five inches turned into two feet! That was good for me, but not Latanna, who usually drives about 106 yards.
When it was time to putt, Lily and Latanna taught me how to sink it in the hole. Showing me as they spoke, they said to lightly swing the club back and forth barely above the green without moving my wrist. Both of them efficiently reiterated for me to keep my eye on the ball. I obviously had a problem with that. After the tenth try, I finally sank it. Those two girls are miracle workers!
Golf takes both grit and patience, qualities that these young ladies have in abundance. Me, not so much. After one short hole I was beat. Sweat was pouring down my face.
Latanna and Lily both encouraged me: "You did fantastic. That was really great for a beginner."
I laughed, knowing that I was nowhere near their status. Hey, maybe a legend wasn't born that day, but a new interest definitely was.