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Master stroke

 

Jay Nimmo of Benton, Kentucky, will play in the April 1, 2018, Drive, Chip & Putt junior golf development competition at Augusta National Golf Course. Photo: Brad Rankin Studio
Trinity Beth of Calvert City, Kentucky, will play in the April 1, 2018, Drive, Chip & Putt junior golf development competition at Augusta National Golf Course. Photo: Brad Rankin Studio
Trinity Beth and Jay Nimmo practice at The Golf Complex, Paducah, Kentucky. Photo: Brad Rankin Studio
Trinity Beth practices at The Golf Complex, Paducah, Kentucky, with coach Nathan Wolfe. Photo: Brad Rankin Studio
Jay Nimmo practices at The Golf Complex, Paducah, Kentucky. Photo: Brad Rankin Studio

Kentucky junior golfers head to Augusta National to compete in April 1 Drive, Chip & Putt nationals

 

They are not being measured for green jackets just yet, but on April 1, two young Kentucky golfers will be teeing off at the famed Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia.

Trinity Beth, 10, and Jay Nimmo, 15, are finalists in the national Drive, Chip & Putt junior golf development competition to be broadcast live by Golf Channel from the home of the Masters the day before practice rounds begin for the storied tournament.

“I am preparing by putting on my dining room floor,” Nimmo says. The Marshall County High School freshman has been around golf his entire life. Even before he could walk, parents Rickie and Annette Nimmo, members of West Kentucky RECC, would strap his car seat to their golf cart while they played.

Beth, a fourth-grader at Central Elementary in Graves County, whose family is served by Jackson Purchase Energy Corporation, says she is also practicing putting at home, plus “hitting every week with a golf simulator and taking lessons with my golf coach.”

Beth and Nimmo are among 80 young golfers who qualified for the competition, out of tens of thousands of entries.

“Basically, you get two drives, chips and two putts,” Nimmo explains. “The person with the longest drive gets 10 points all the way down to last gets one.  The person with the closest proximity to the hole on the chips and putts gets 10 points, all the way down to one.  Whoever has the most points is the winner.”

The best advice before a big match?

“Control the controllables,” Beth says. “And play every shot like it’s your last.”

“Be so good that they can’t ignore you,” Nimmo adds.

Their exploits are hard to miss on the links in western Kentucky. Both play at Calvert City Country Club.

“Calvert City Country Club is my favorite course, because I play it so much I know where to hit every ball,” Beth says. Nimmo also calls Benton Country Club home.

Between reading and playing basketball, Beth plays golf every day in the summer “for at least a couple of hours. In the winter, two to three days a week; it depends on what I’m working on. Tournaments are always fun, though.”

Nimmo, meanwhile, says he normally doesn’t spend any time on golf during winter, instead devoting his time to the varsity basketball team. “But during the summer, I would say every day I am either playing or practicing (golf) somehow,” Nimmo says.

Two years ago, Nimmo, from Benton, finished fourth in the boys division for ages 12-13. Now a finalist in the boys division for ages 14-15, he is working on getting more distance on every shot.

After narrowly missing qualifying for the finals last year, Beth, from Calvert City, will compete in the girls division for ages 10-11.

Both express gratitude to their parents.

“They always support me and take me to tournaments all over the country so I can play against the best golfers in the world,” Beth says.

“They recognized that I liked/loved the game and they provided lessons,” Nimmo says. “They have taken me all over the state and southeast to play in tournaments. While supporting me, they have also expected me to do my best.”

While Beth says “not letting your emotions get in the way,” is the toughest challenge about golf, Nimmo may have a secret weapon.

“If possible, I always eat Chick-fi l-A before a tournament round,” he says.

 

More about Trinity Beth


Who is your golf coach?
Beth: Nathan Wolfe

Where do you practice?
Beth: At home, at The Golf Complex in Paducah, in the gym at Graves County High School during my dad’s basketball practice.

What are you best at in golf?
Beth: Putting.

What techniques are your coach working with you on to improve your game?
Beth: Right now not coming past parallel on my backswing.

What is your best score?
Beth: 3 under par.

What is your favorite brand of golf clubs and golf ball?
Beth: Ping clubs and Titleist golf balls.

Tell us about your most memorable moment playing golf.
Beth: Qualifying for the DCP national finals in Augusta.

What tournaments have you played in? Is there one win you are particularly proud of?
Beth: I have played in the US kids World championship in Pinehurst, NC twice and I have played in the IMG Junior Worlds in San Diego, CA.  I have played in the Future Tour Champions Tournament in Greenville, MS the last 3 years and have won each year shooting under par for each of my two-day totals.

Is your goal to become a professional golfer, and where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Beth: Yes, in college then going pro.

Do you have a college in mind where you’d like to attend?
Beth: Alabama.

What professional golfer do you admire and why?
Beth: Jordan Spieth, he’s a good putter, and Emma Talley because she’s really good at golf and a nice person

Tell me a little about your family and home life.
Beth: I live at home with my mom, dad, brother Fisher and sister Ella— I go to school, church at Calvert City Church of Christ, and I am the manger for my dad’s basketball team.

Read more about Trinity Beth and the Drive, Chip & Putt competition.

 

More about Jay Nimmo


Who is your golf coach?
Nimmo: Todd Trimble

Where do you practice?
Nimmo: The Golf Complex as well as Calvert City Country Club.

What are you best at in golf?
Nimmo: Putting.

What techniques is your coach working with you on to improve your game?
Nimmo: I am working on getting more distance on every shot.

What is your best score?
Nimmo: In a tournament it is 66, but just messing around it is 64.

What is your favorite brand of golf clubs and golf ball?
Nimmo: Titleist.

What is your favorite course in Kentucky to play, and describe the course, why you like it?
Nimmo: Olde Stone in Bowling Green.  It is rated number 2 in the state of Kentucky, only behind Valhalla. The scenery that Olde Stone has to offer is just incredible.

Tell us about your most memorable moment playing golf.
Nimmo: Definitely my hole in 1. On the first day of high school golf tryouts, my 8th-grade year, I had a hole-in-one in front of my coach and parents.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Nimmo: Be so good that they can’t ignore you.

What’s the most difficult thing about golf?
Nimmo: I think it is staying calm when you don’t like a shot.

What tournaments have you played in? Is there one win you are particularly proud of?
Nimmo: I have played over 200 tournaments in my life. The one that sticks in my head is an AJGA in Owensboro, Kentucky. I shot 73-67-71 to finish -5 and a second-place finish.

Is your goal to become a professional golfer, and where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Nimmo: I definitely want to play professionally, but if that doesn’t work I would love to be a high school basketball coach.

Do you have a college in mind where you’d like to attend?
Nimmo: I am currently visiting many places about their golf program.

What professional golfer do you admire and why?
Nimmo: I admire Phil Mickelson because I play just like him.

Tell me a little about your family and home life?
Nimmo: I am an only child and have been playing golf and sports all my life. When I am not playing golf, I am playing basketball.

Do you have other hobbies or sports that you play?
Nimmo: Basketball and Xbox.

Read more about Jay Nimmo and the Drive, Chip & Putt competition.

 

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