Lee West first picked up a golf club at eight years old, and three years later, he’s become one of the area’s best up-and-coming golfers.
“My mom and dad took me to the driving range at Lane Tree, and ever since then, I’ve just loved it,” West said. “Golf is just really fun, and it’s enjoyable. It’s just fun for kids and grownups.
“I love putting and chipping because you have to work hard to be the best at it.”
West, who attends Rosewood Middle School, recently won the Tarheel Youth Association Championship for the second year in a row. He shot an 18-hole round of 72, while last year, at just nine years old, he shot a 70 to win his first TYGA Championship.
He started competing in tournaments when he was nine years old, and he quickly adjusted to the pressures of playing in golf tournaments.
Most children would be nervous about competing in such big golf tournaments, but not West, who has competed in around 30 tournaments and has won 21 of them.
“It felt really good. I was fortunate to hit the ball well. I putted really good, and I was just fortunate to have a good week out there,” West said about winning the TYGA Championship for the second year in a row.
West’s success on the golf course has happened rapidly, and West said all the hard work and practice he puts in, as well as his passion for the sport, are the secrets to his success.
He practices at Southern Wayne Country Club almost every day during the summer, while he practices three days a week during the school year.
“I usually practice everything in a day, most of the time,” West said.
West also works with his coach Parker King to improve every area of his game. He also has a Youtube channel where one video has been viewed over 16,000 times.
“My coach Parker King. He’s at Lane Tree, and he’s helped me through everything,” West said. “He’s a really big part of this.”
West hopes to follow in the footsteps of his favorite golfer, Rickie Flower, and become a professional golfer and play on the PGA Tour.
But for now, he is looking forward to next year. So, he can try to win a third straight TYGA Championship.
“I want to be world No.1 one day that would be great for me,” West said. “Rickie Flower is cool and stylish, and I like his clothes, so I like that.”