By: David Stevenson, age 14, Ace Level Participant.
My time at the Wells Fargo Pro-Am Golf Tournament was the best golf experience I have ever had. I had the amazing opportunity to caddie for a local amateur golfer for 18 holes. Leading up to the event, I was very excited and anxious to participate. Because of my excitement, I told all my friends about my opportunity. I explained to them that I would get to meet professional golfers, get to know local businessmen and experience a golf match at Quail Hollow from within the ropes. They were all excited for me too! I had to be at Quail Hollow Country Club by 7:10 am on Wednesday so I had to wake around 5:00 am and leave my house at 6:00 am in order to get there in time. After my parents and I got there, we had the honor of watching some of the golfers practice. My friend Gavin and I were very eager to start.
We met Kevin O’Hara and Matt Carroll a short time later. They were both very nice. We watched them at the driving range and watched them practice putting. Matt Carroll and Kevin O’Hara introduced us to some of their friends and family members. Matt Carroll introduced us to Gerald Henderson of the Charlotte Hornets. The professional golfer we were paired with was Ryan Moore. He taught me a lot about the game of golf. He made me eager to play and try out all of what he told me.
Gavin and I decided that we would caddie for both golfers by switching players after nine holes. This gave us an opportunity to talk to and experience both golfers and how they played. For the first nine holes I caddied for Matt Carroll. Matt Carroll is a former professional basketball player. He played in the NBA for 9 years. He played mostly for the Charlotte Bobcats. He is now the Community Ambassador for the Charlotte Hornets. He gave me the opportunity to give him advice on how to play different holes. For the back nine, I caddied for Kevin O’Hara. Kevin O’Hara is a local businessman (Senior VP & Chief Administrative Officer at Piedmont Natural Gas) who is serves on the Board of Directors of at The First Tee of Charlotte. He also asked for suggestions on what shots to take. At the end of the tournament, they let Gavin and me keep whatever equipment they didn’t use including, golf balls, tees, divot repair tools, and ball markers. At the end of the round, Team Ryan’s final score was -11. They were in second place when they finished. I felt really accomplished afterwards that I was able to experience this event.
When I first stepped into the ropes, it was really weird to see everything from inside the ropes. My view as a golfer changed. From walking the course to talking to other people, it was completely different. Watching Ryan Moore swing the golf club with ease was unbelievable to watch. Being able to go places where no one else could go, being able to see all of the golfers and professional golf swings up close and everyone watching you was a completely different experience for me.
This experience also allowed me to feel more prepared for becoming a professional golfer because it helped me get the feeling of having a lot of people watching you in a golf tournament. It was an overall amazing experience for me and I really hope participate it again next year.