Delaney Watson already knows the secret to golf.
When you hit a bad shot, “just say, ‘that’s history,’ and move on to the next one.”
Swatting a tiny white ball into a four-and-a-quarter-inch hole can frustrate even the most accomplished golfers – think Tiger Woods after a wayward drive – but Watson, just 9 years of age, knows how to stay cool.
“Sometimes I kind of have a freak out, like when it’s just me and my dad, but in tournaments, I’m not like that,” she said.
Watson plays on the Canadian Junior Golf Association’s Jr. Linkster tour. On May 18, she finished 7th in the Junior World’s qualifying event at the Cambridge Golf Club, shooting 16 over par.
It wasn’t her finest showing, she said, noting her second -place finish in her tour debut last summer, still she enjoyed the experience.
“I like how it’s a challenge to see how well you can shoot. My favourite part is driving because you get to hit [the ball] really far. It’s always been really fun for me.”
As soon as she was able to hold a club, her farther Roy, an avid golfer himself, taught Delaney the game.
“We would always go to Max’s golf dome, so we can hit through the winter and the summer,” she said. “He would also take me to Merry-Hill [Golf Club], which is a pretty short course.”
The St. Jacobs Public School third grader says the hardest part about being a golfer is finding other girls to play with.
“There aren’t many other girls who play golf, but I don’t really see why not.”
Fortunately, she has bonded with Skylar Kew, who also competes in Jr. Linkster competitions. She also has a younger sister, McKenna, who could join the group in a couple of years.
This summer Delaney hopes to play lots of golf, though she has to balance the sport with other interests like dance and time with her family.
“Sadly I’m going to be missing a pretty big tournament because I have camp,” she explained. “We’re going to an overnight camp called Camp Celtic. It’s pretty far, but it’s worth it. We always get to stop at our favourite brunch place because we leave pretty early in the morning.”
In the meantime, Delaney can continue to hone her skills on the putting green installed in her backyard.