A 50-cent set of plastic golf clubs and a couple of swings from a little girl is all it took for Carl and Avivi Pearson to realize that their daughter, Hannah, was no ordinary 1-year-old.
Now, three years later, Hannah proved it wasn’t a fluke, recently winning a world competition for her golf swing.
“We realized her unusual talent when we took her out into the backyard and she started hitting the ball. She could hit from our porch to the back of the fence. It was incredible,” said Avivi. “She had such focus and that’s not something you can force a kid to have, especially at her age.”
Carl and Avivi Pearson, at the time, were living in Great Britain. It wasn’t until a year ago that the whole family made their way to the United States because of a job that Avivi acquired.
At 3-years-old, Hannah continued to show that her golf set was her most prized possession, as she daily would hit the ball around the house and in the backyard. Because of her continual interest, her parents decided to buy her a better golf set and look into getting her lessons.
“If she loves what she is doing then we are of course going to encourage her,” said Avivi. “We called different golf places here but didn’t get any calls back. We decided to try and get in touch with Kent Chase. We knew he had coached a lot of other golf players and was really good.”
Kent Chase is a 30-year professional golf instructor for junior golfers around the world. He’s coached golfers such as Alberto Sanchez, who went to the U.S. Open, Kimberly Kim, who was the youngest player to win the USGA Women’s Amateur Championship at age 14, and Cheyenne Woods, Tiger Woods’ niece.
With so many successful golfers coming from his program, Chase’s reputation as a coach was well known. Unbeknownst to Chase, was a little 3-year-old about to surprise him with her advanced abilities.
“She was unbelievable. She had such incredible focus and for a kid that age that is very rare,” said Chase. “She desires to learn and wants to play correctly. If she doesn’t get it she will keep practicing until she gets it right.”
Chase has been coaching Hannah for nearly a year. He’s seen great improvement and says that if she continues the way she’s playing he has no doubt she will be very successful in the future.
“I mean, it’s hard to give such predictions especially because she’s only four, but she could have no problem getting a college scholarship if she keeps this up,” said Chase. “She could definitely get a lot of name recognition and eventually golf for living. I mean, even now she’s getting recognition since recently winning the Best Pee Wee Golf Swing.”
In January, Hannah competed in the 3rd Annual Best Pee Wee Golf Swing, which is presented by Little Linksters. The program is for young golfers, headed up by PGA Golf Professional Brendon Elliot. The contest required contestants to provide a video that showed different angles of them doing golf swings and was solely judged on the golfer’s technique.
On Jan. 26 at a PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, it was announced that Hannah won first place in her age group. Some of the prizes included training equipment and tournament entry fees for the San Diego Junior Masters.
When asked how Hannah felt once she won, a big smile spreads across her face as she says in excitement: “I like my trophy.”
Now looking forward to the future, Hannah will continue to practice five times a week in preparation for the San Diego Junior Masters competition in July.