The Beginning 2003 - 2005

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Kyle's Golf in the early days.

First Golf Club - Age 2
Well, not really - it's actually his Papa Cox's.

Kyle had watched enough sports on television to know how to hold a golf club and what to do with it.  His Papa Cox, an avid golfer is obviously quite impressed.

What's this?
Not yet 3, Kyle checks out his first plastic golf set.

Practice - Practice - Practice
Knew he was a lefty from the beginning.

In the beginning, Kyle loved all his sports equipment - still does, actually.  However, the poor little plastic club set just couldn't withstand Kyle's swing.  The heads would keep coming undone.  Kyle soon realized that they weren't like the real golf clubs he'd see on television and Paul found a 4 piece set at Academy Sports by Golfmate.  Kyle loved them.  In fact, the first putter Kyle had, a little blade style from Golfmate was the only putter he used until Spring 2007.  Paul just kept changing the shaft but the putter head remained the same.

First Lesson
Left-handed Daddy, helps left-handed Kyle with his real metal golf clubs.

Bam it!!!
"Now, that's what I'm talking about!"

Click here to play video of Kyle's Very early golf swing

There is no sound on the video clip - but after Kyle hits some balls, you'll see Kyle look down at his feet.  Paul is telling him that the swing should finish with his back foot up on the toe and then the very next swing Kyle finishes perfectly - up on the toe.

Kyle and Paul began going out to driving ranges so that Kyle could hit golf balls.  Wesley Francis, teaching professional at Riverchase Golf Club in Coppell began coaching Kyle that summer.  In the beginning, the lessons were a half hour and they let Kyle set the pace.  Being only three, they would focus on one or two things  - like being up on the toe on follow through.  Wesley said that Kyle has a very natural swing and a soft touch around the green, unusual in one so young.

By the time Kyle was 4, he had his first Killer Bee Driver and he and Paul were playing golf courses around the area.  Paul discovered the West Texas Junior Champions Tour ( www.wtjct.com )and decided to see how Kyle would do in actual competition.  First, he wanted to try the course.  He and Kyle went out to Abilene to try the Maxwell Golf Course.  Management wouldn't allow Kyle to play, stating that he was too young, so Paul took him to another course.  Encouraged by Kyle's ability and his desire to play with other kids, he wrote to the Tour and they said that Kyle could declare up in age and he would be allowed to compete in the Boys 6-8 Division.

In November, 2004 we went back to Maxwell and without telling the Pro Shop Kyle's age, registered Kyle for the tournament and he competed against a 7 and 8 year old.  All in all, it was a learning experience.  Kyle learned that if you pick up your ball without marking it - there is a penalty.  I learned that Kyle was going to be able to compete.  He shot a 45.  Second place, one stroke behind the 8 yr old leader.  Unfortunately Paul and I didn't take the time to learn specific penalties and when the dads of the two boys we were competing against said that Kyle would have to take a 10 on the hole where he picked up his ball without marking it, we didn't know that that was incorrect. See what that penalty cost Kyle?   

Still, it was so exciting to watch him compete.  Even back then, he could drive the ball over a hundred yards and made a couple of birdies.  When he sank his last putt, he put up both hands as if signalling a field goal and yelled, "TOURNAMENT!!"  We nearly fell over laughing.

West Texas Junior Champions Tour

Boys 7 - 8

Maxwell GC

West Texas Junior Champions Tour Nov 2004
Warming up on the driving range. Age 4 1/2 - Great form

Teeing Off in 1st Tournament
It was an awesome tee shot and everyone was impressed.

First Trophy
He really is only 4 1/2 years old here.

One Saturday morning, while at the Hank Haney Ranch at Vista Ridge, Paul was told that the Hank Haney in McKinney was having a junior tournament and maybe they'd like to go.  Paul took Kyle out and was told that at age 4, Kyle was too young to enter, but they'd let him play the course as it was set up to see how he did, after the competitors were finished. 

Kyle shot a 48.  Not one of the other kids that played in the tournament got below 50.

So, in the early spring, with Kyle still 4 yrs old, he declared up in age and competed in the Spring Series at Hank Haney.  The night before, we got Kyle to bed early and Paul was all but polishing Kyle's clubs, getting everything just so.  Nana and Papa had given him a golf bag with a stand for Christmas and that was a great boost from the previous little bag Paul had to carry or lay down on the ground before.

Although the sun was out, the wind was blowing so hard that the flags were sticking straight out.  Kyle handled it well.  He shot a 48, while the other boys shot 50, 57 and 63.  The second tournament was rained out.  Two weeks later, we're back for the third tournament and the weather is almost the same. 
He won won his division and watching Kevin give little Kyle the trophy is still one of my favorite shots.

Hank Haney Junior Tournament

Boys 6 - 8

Hank Haney Golf Ranch

Hank Haney Junior Golf Tournament
4 year old Kyle and Paul display his first trophy for first place

Kevin Johnson and Kyle
Kyle receives his second trophy from Kevin Johnson for first place in Boys 6-8

Kyle and Kevin Johnson
Spring 2005

Coach Kevin Johnson's Texas Junior Golf Academy Web site is here:


A powerful stance
4 year old Kyle's form and Killer Bee Driver packs a powerful punch

April 2004
Phil Mickelson's Autograph

I sent in 2 of Kyle's photos and Phil was gracious enough to sign both of them.  He signed one of them "From one Lefty to another - Phil Mickelson".  I had them fromed and presented them to Kyle and Paul for Christmas.  Kyle was only 4 when the photo was taken and he likes to point out that "I didn't even have real golf shoes then".  It was awesome.

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