2017-05-24 / Local News

Seven-year-old golfer to compete in international tournament

MEET JACK FORSTEIN…
By JAYNE JACOVA FELD Voice staff

FAMILY: Bradd and Randee; brother Max, 12, twin sister, Jordyn, 7

HOMETOWN: Moorestown

JEWISH COMMUNITY: Synagogue Without Walls

FAVORITE GOLFER: Dustin Johnson

HOME GOLF COURSE: Laurel Creek Country Club in Mount Laurel

Jack Forstein was just three years old when he picked up one of his brother Max’s golf clubs that happened to be strewn on the front yard. Imitating his older brother, he started swinging the club for fun.

Just by chance, his father Bradd noticed the preschooler’s technique—and did a double take.

“It was the most natural swing, so balanced,” recalled Bradd, an avid golfer himself who coaches his sons’ junior golf teams. “I took him out to practice on the drive and he started hitting really, really well.”

Before long, Jack owned his own beginner set of clubs and was regularly hanging out with Max’s golf team as a helper, mascot (the eight- and nine-year-olds adored him) and even filling in to play when a member was unable to make a game. While many of the eight- and nine-year-olds tired out after nine holes, Jack was driven to play a full 18. Despite his young age, he was soon allowed to play officially on the team.

“The only thing limiting him at the time was naptime,” said his mom Randee.

Four years later, naps have long ago ceased being an issue. Now seven, Jack has been competing in regional tournaments organized by US Kids Golf, consistently placing in the top five for his age division. Later this month, he will be able to test his skills against some of the world’s best young golfers on some of the most famous greens when he competes in the U.S. Kids Golf European Championship May 30-June 1 in East Lothian, Scotland.

In 2016, some 630 players from 52 nations competed in this premier junior golf tournament that is considered a showcase for up and coming stars. Jack and the other contestants will do their rounds on historic golf courses, including Craigielaw, Gullane, Longniddry, Luffness New, Royal Musselburgh and The Glen.

“In December, the day he qualified, we registered to go,” said Bradd, who will serve as his caddy during the father-son trip.

For Jack, whose furthest flung golf outings have been during family vacations to Bermuda and Florida, there are two things he is really looking forward to: Wearing a suit jacket (a requirement inside the club houses) and experiencing the huge bunker sand traps that he has observed watching programs about golfing in Scotland.

“I will be the one trying to make sure his balls don’t go in there,” joked Bradd, the executive vice president of business development for BlueSkyPower, a clean energy finance and development company.

While obviously passionate about golf, the Moorestown Friends School second grader is not one-tracked. He also plays flag football and basketball and practices karate.

“He is only seven years old, almost eight,” observed Bradd. “We don’t want him to be only focused on one sport. If ultimately, in five or six years he chooses only to do that, we will figure out what to do at that time. But we already signed up for flag football in the fall, and I can’t imagine he won’t want to play basketball in the winter. It’s good for him to take breaks. Then he gets the bug and wants to go out there again.” 

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