A tiny Tiger on the tee
No-one told William Tye that most 3-year-olds can't whack a golf ball 90 metres with precision.
The Wellington toddler just declares his incredible drive a "big one" and lines up another ball. Now the Miramar wonderkid's form has been judged the third best for his age in the world. The accolade comes from the Little Linksters Best Pee Wee Golf Swing in the World Contest after his father, Stephen, posted a video entry on YouTube.
"When he was about 20 months I bought him some plastic clubs from The Warehouse and next minute he was sinking 10-foot putts and striking the ball, so I thought I'd better get him some decent ones," Mr Tye said yesterday as William happily blasted rubber balls at the neighbour's fence.
"I wouldn't call myself a golfer. I'm one of those social golfers who goes out occasionally. I have clubs but I'm not dedicated although he's inspiring me to up my game or he might beat me at 5."
It would be easy to dismiss the Tyes as proud parents, but William's swing has to be seen to be believed.
The toddler, who turned 3 on Thursday, has incredible tempo, technique and rhythm for a boy who has only just begun to talk.
"Big one," is a regular comment as his ball sails up to 90m in a dead straight line off the face of his "Little Mate" driver.
Blue and purple tees and orange balls are favoured and he will happily drill 200 drives at the Petone range without complaint.
His mum, Suzanne, said he had always had an innate "almost photographic" ability to memorise things, including maps and diagrams. His swing developed after his father showed him a video of Tiger Woods.
"He loves the balls, the tees, the precision of it. It suits his personality," she said.
The Little Linksters judges, who included former Kiwi professional Frank Nobilo, wouldn't have taken long to place William in the top three of the under-3 division. He was still only 2 when the video entry was shot.
"We went down to a park where the Taupo Golf Club had an area set up with tennis balls and plastic clubs and William walked up and smashed the ball right out of the whole area.
"The person running it came up and said you should enter him into this [Little Linksters] competition. So the next day I took him down to the hole in one challenge and shot some videos."
Despite his incredible talent, William did not take out the top place, with the honour going to Texas toddler Ben Wooley. But then there is always next year.
The Dominion Post