TV ads. International tours. And this golfer is just eight years old
Traigh Hunter Pathon made his golfing debut when he was still in nappies. Even at that nascent stage, his stance was so sophisticated it landed him a Pampers advert. Early on, Pathon displayed a natural talent for the sport, with excellent hand-eye coordination. His first clubs were green and purple plastic, but now Pathon is fast becoming a national golf prodigy.
Pathon, only eight years old, grew up with golf. He crawled on the greens watching his grandparents play, and his father pushed him along in a pram when he practised his own swing. Today, Pathon’s dad is his caddy. At the age of four, he competed in his first South African Kids Golf tournament. This year, he placed ninth out of 53 players at the US Kids Golf European Championship. Pathon’s reason for pursuing the sport at such a young age is simple. “I love playing golf because I’m good at it,” he says. Pathon’s parents are determined to get him as far on his journey as possible, while still ensuring he lives like a normal kid. When he’s not on the driving range, Pathon is either going to school or having fun with his playstation.
That doesn’t stop him from dreaming big. “When I grow up I want to be in the PGA Tour,” Pathon says. “I hope to be world number one.” He’s already on his way to the top. Although small in stature, Pathon’s swing is technical and precise. As the youngest member of the Royal Cape Golf Club, Pathon proves age doesn’t determine talent. “To all of the kids in South Africa, follow your dreams and never give up,” he says.