Golf is a sport that takes many years of practice and experience to perfect a swing that is never ultimately perfected, considering the level of difficulty of the sport.
Turlock's Ezekiel Roque has taken the sport into his own hands and has proven that age is just a number —and that is saying something as he is just five-years-old and is competing for U.S. Kids Golf.
“I like golf because I like to play against my friends and the competition, and I get to have fun with my dad carrying my clubs and I also get to have fun with my friends like Cruz Sullivan,” said Ezekial.
Since the age of one, Ezekial was already showing flashes of a unique blend of hand-eye coordination that is uncommon for such a youngster.
His father, Duraye, who is a 1997 Turlock High graduate and former baseball player, started playing catch with son at a young age, hoping he'd follow in his dad's footsteps on the diamond.
“I was throwing overhand when he was 2 years old and he was making contact with it as well,” said Duraye. “And then when he switched to golf, I followed as well.”
So young, but yet so driven, just last year at four years old, Ezekial watched, “The Short Game,” which is a film about kids ages 7, 8 and 9 who compete in golf around the world and in other countries at a high level of competition.
From there on, his mind changed entirely and golf became the sole focus after re-watching the film over and over again.
“Ever since then he went from baseball videos to golf videos and all the different players... he knows all the golfers names that I don't know,” said Duraye. “And it’s really cool and I don't push him but he likes going out and having fun with it and he does so well.”
Recently Ezekial competed at Creekside in Modesto in the U.S. Kids Central Valley tour, which consists of seven tours from all over the valley.
“There are different courses from Stockton, Modesto and the area and he got third and played well, the competition is amazing how these 5 or 6 year olds can do the things they do,” said Duraye.
“He is really good in school as well, he reads well. He has a twin sister as well and he is so far advanced in school, he is reading at a higher level. He is really smart,” said Duraye.
Ezekial will continue to go out on his own and practice with his dad whenever the opportunity arises.
“We take it seriously but I want him to have fun while we are out there. I am not on him or yelling at him but he has fun and I let him do what he does and he is a natural,” said Duraye.
“I'm getting really good at putting, but I need to take my time when I'm on the green getting ready to putt,” Ezekial added.
Next for Ezekial will be a competition in Stockton at Brookside on Monday.