Junior Exam

What do the kids think? SI asked a group of teenagers, all serious golfers, their opinions on equipment, fashion, women on the men's Tour and if they'd rather be president or win the Grand Slam
August 14, 2005

Like Whitney Houston, we believe that the children are the future, so to get a snapshot of tomorrow's golfers--how they play, what they think, whom they admire--SI polled the entire 79-player field at a recent American Junior Golf Association tournament. The field comprised 40 girls and 39 boys, ranging in age from 13 to 18, with an average age of 15.9. Thirty-nine of the players were Caucasian, 33 were Asian-American, two were Hispanic and one was African-American, while four chose not to identify their race.

How old were you when you started to play?
...7.7 years
[ DRILLING DOWN ]
Girls ...8.8 years
Boys ...6.6 years

Have you ever used a balata ball?
Yes ...41%
No ...59%

Would you ever use a long putter?
Yes ...5%
No ...95%

Do you carry a hybrid club?
Yes ...37%
No ...63%
[ DRILLING DOWN ]
21 hybrid users were boys

Average driving distance?

....264.01 yards
Boys ...285.31 yards
Girls ...243.25 yards

What type of grip do you use?
Overlap ...51%
Interlock ...47%
Ten-finger ...2%

How many days, on average, do you watch golf on TV each week? ...2.14

The AJGA recently banned shirts that reveal a player's belly button on the follow-through. Should such shirts be allowed?
Yes ...44%
No ...46%
Don't care ...10%

LOOSE LIPS
"Only for girls." --BOY, 14

Do you work with a mental coach or sports psychologist?
Yes ...52%
No ...48%

Should Michelle Wie go to college?
Yes ...56%
No ...33%
Don't know/care ...11%

Who's better, Annika Sorenstam or Tiger Woods?

Sorenstam ...24%
Woods ...76%

Should Wie play the LPGA or the PGA tour?
LPGA ...72%
PGA ...16%
Both ...12%

LOOSE LIPS
"LPGA. She's not that good."

Have you ever seen someone cheat in a tournament?
Yes ...86% |
No ...14%

Have you ever turned someone in for a rules violation?
Yes ...66%
No ...34%

Would you rather play Augusta National or Pebble Beach?
Augusta National ...82%
Pebble Beach ...18%

Should women be admitted as members of Augusta National?
Yes ...58%
No ...38%
Don't know/care ...4%

[ DRILLING DOWN ]
78% of the girls said yes

If you were offered a $1 million endorsement deal to turn pro right now, would you take it?
Yes ...57%
No ...43%

Would you rather get a 4.0 GPA or win the U.S. Junior?
4.0 GPA ...30%
U.S. Junior ...70%

LOOSE LIPS
"Why not both?"

Would you rather be president of the United States or win the Grand Slam?
President ...15%
Grand Slam ...85%

LOOSE LIPS
"Being prez would suck."

Do you have a part-time job?
Yes ...8%
No ...92%

Do you know a player who has taken steroids?
Yes ...14%
No ...86%

Who's the best junior player in the world?
Don't know ...23%
Myself ...19%
Brian Harmon ...18%
Julieta Granada ...5%

(21 others received between one and three votes.)

LOOSE LIPS
"Me, duh."

Do you believe you will play professional golf?
Yes ...89%
No ...11%

Would you rather play with Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods?
Hogan ...16%
Jones ...22%
Nicklaus ...9%
Woods ...49%
Other ...4%

Will a woman qualify to play full time on the PGA Tour in the next decade?
Yes ...34%
No ...60%
Don't know ...5%

[ DRILLING DOWN ]
45% of the girls said yes

COLOR PHOTOPhotograph by Todd Bigelow/Aurora COLOR ILLUSTRATIONTITLEIST (BALL) COLOR PHOTOTODD BIGELOW/AURORA (MALE GOLFER) COLOR PHOTOAL FRANCEKEVICH/CORBIS (COUCH POTATO) COLOR PHOTOCORBIS (FREUD, MORTARBOARD) B/W PHOTOCORBIS (FREUD, MORTARBOARD) COLOR PHOTODARREN CARROLL (SORENSTAM) COLOR PHOTO DAVID WALBERG (FEMALE GOLFER)U.S. Women's Amateur finalist Maru Martinez. COLOR PHOTODAVE MARTIN/AP (AUGUSTA) COLOR PHOTOLARRY DOWNING/REUTERS/CORBIS (BUSH) COLOR PHOTOJEFF GREEN/REUTERS/CORBIS (MCDONALD'S) COLOR PHOTOCAROLYN KASTER/AP (PALMEIRO) COLOR PHOTO B/W PHOTOBETTMAN/CORBIS (JONES) COLOR PHOTOTODD BIGELOW/AURORA (GOLFERS)

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)