It’s not every day when you see a little girl walking alongside some of the best female golfers in the world. Being that person has been quite a blast this week at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Throughout the week, I have found much inspiration from all the great players in this field. Coming here and seeing the female golfers that I have watched on TV for many years is a dream I thought would never come true.
Especially having the opportunity to see Rose Zhang stripe beautifully straight drives that split the fairway. Or, when getting to watch the stunning wedge game of many players on the famous 7th hole here at Pebble. Or, even witnessing Nelly Korda’s never changing tempo on her outstanding iron shots.
Pebble is a truly one-of-a-kind place and I would never change anything about this extraordinary event. Getting to be here with my dad is one of the biggest gifts I could’ve gotten. Being at one of the most prestigious golf venues in the world is a plus too.
Growing up around golf means I have watched so many highlights of the greatest moments in the history of this game. Whether it’s watching Tiger hole out for eagle or a chip-in from Gary Woodland, Pebble Beach has some fantastic shots within its lengthy résumé. Also, having an amazing dad who is just as addicted to golf as I am means he’ll be willing to tell me stories about golf moments that I will never, ever forget.
What I pictured Pebble Beach to be before I got here is the description you normally hear: "Oh yeah, the greens are small, the wind is strong, and the views are great." That description really underestimates the actual green size. When my dad and I were watching Lydia Ko in her practice round, he even said, “Wow, those greens really are small.” Being it his first time at Pebble Beach, he was surprised too. And he really knows golf.
Watching these players try so hard on every shot they stand over is really inspirational. When Allisen Corpuz was walking up the 18th fairway, you could see the determination in her eyes.
Most importantly, this week has taught me that all great players hit bad shots and they just have to accept it. Dwelling on the bad ones will only continue them. Being a golf lover means I watched a lot on TV. But they don’t show everything, they only show great shots. That leads everybody to set really high expectations for themselves. Even though we aren’t professionals, we can still have an expectation.
Little KVV out!
Keegan Van Valkenburg, age 11, lives in Baltimore. She’ll be in 6th grade in the fall.