Just living adjacent to the 10th hole at Jones Creek Golf Club isn't enough to satisfy Dylan Lyons.
Dents in the furniture and doorways at the Lyons' home are evidence that the 11-year-old can't get enough of his favorite sport.
"I'm constantly telling him, 'Don't swing the club in the house,"' said Dylan's mother, Marty Lyons. "And he'll say, 'But look,Mom - look at my swing!"'
Dylan was 2 years old when his aunt introduced him to golf, and the rising sixth-grader at Lakeside Middle School hasn't been able to put down the clubs since.
"He falls asleep watching The Golf Channel, and he's usually the first one up and out the door when the course is open," Mrs. Lyons said. "He's gone before we've even had breakfast."
Dylan is content with a steady diet of golf, and he's made it a habit of feasting on his junior opponents.
Dylan Lyons, 11, has been playing golf since he was three years old. He poses at the Jones Creek Golf Club 18th fairway. 7/10/03 CNT
Annette M. Drowlette/staff
Photo by Annette M. Drowlette
Last summer, Dylan won all five Augusta Area Junior Golf Association events in which he played, he captured a title at the Rob Perry Junior Tournament and placed second in the U.S. Kids Junior State Championship.
This year, the lefty got it right with a runner-up finish at the Plantation Junior Golf Tour National Championship in Orlando.
In all, Dylan has won more than 30 trophies in his young career. He currently sports a six handicap, and his lowest score is a 69.
"Dylan works hard and he loves the game," said Jones Creek golf professional Gregg Hemann, who helps Dylan hone his swing. "He's mature beyond his years, and he's learned to play the game almost entirely on his own. I've just tried to guide him in the right direction."
Dylan says he likes golf because "You can play it your whole life," and his favorite player is Tom Lehman, "because he's a Christian."
Faith and a lot of practice both have played key roles in Dylan's development on the course.
"He's a great kid, and a tremendous asset for Jones Creek, in the way that he conducts himself," Hemann said. "Everyone enjoys being around him. I think he's going to do very well in golf, as long as his desire and dedication stay high."
Dylan says he hits the ball shorter than most golfers his age, but he makes up the difference by keeping a level head and letting his short game do the talking.
Still, Dylan knows it's just a matter of time until he makes a statement with his driver.
"I'm going to grow bigger, so I'll start hitting it farther, so I should be able to lower my scores," he said. "I've just got to keep practicing my short game. I hope to become a pro some day."
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