On the linksPublished 8:49pm Saturday, July 28, 2012
Suffolk girl puts a lifetime of work into her game
By Titus Mohler
Amellia Boyer was just 2 when her father noticed she showed promise as a golfer.
“We literally got a picture of her at 2 years old, and she’s holding one of those little plastic clubs,” Ken Boyer recalled recently. “And she’s actually swinging that plastic club and hitting the little plastic ball, and just the way she was standing and gripping the club and swinging …”
Dad was excited that he might be able to share the game he was so passionate about with his little girl.
“Of course, I’ve always been a golf enthusiast, not all that good, but in love with the game,” he said. “I’d take her up to the driving range and she clearly had a really good athletic swing.”
Amellia remembers the beginning at age 4 or 5.
“He used to give me the little plastic clubs when I was a kid, and then he got me the first tee,” she recalled. “And I used to go up there all the time, and I fell in love with it.”
Amellia is 17 now. Her average score for an 18-hole round is 85, and she has nine tournament wins under her belt.
Back in May, she was the lone player on her team to make Metro All-Conference after shooting an 85 at the Sleepy Hole Golf Course while representing Isle of Wight Academy.
In June, she played on the College Prep Golf Tour at the UVA team’s home, Birdwood Golf Course in Charlottesville. She took first place in the two-day tourney, shooting 204.
Later the same month at the Richmond Country Club, she tied for first with another round of 85 in the Virginia State Golf Association’s one-day event.
While not every tournament brings a win, she has nevertheless shown consistent success.
“I practice every day,” she said. “I go to the driving range in the morning. Sometimes I play nine holes with myself. And then, later on in the evening, when Dad’s off work, we go up to the driving range some more. So, I practice maybe twice a day each day.”
This month, she won a single day VSGA tourney at Sleepy Hole with a score of 81.
“I think golf is a great life lesson,” she said. “I mean, it really shows you that you have to put in work and dedication to achieve your goals. I really like improving. I love the feeling of getting better and trying to beat your scores.”
And it is no mystery to her who has been the greatest aide to her success.
“My dad, for sure,” she said. “He sets everything up for me. He does the tournaments for me, he sets me up with instructors. So, definitely my dad.”
He also has set an example of sacrifice for her to follow.
“When we first started getting serious about it, I tried to keep being serious about my game and then help her focus on her game, and that just never worked out,” Ken Boyer said. “And really, it’s just more (than) getting her to the tournaments. Trying to figure out what tournaments (to enter), getting her with the right coach, getting her in the right mindset to go out and try to be successful. So, it really does become a full-time job.”
As she approaches the conclusion of her high-school career, Amellia has a clear goal in mind.
“I would really like trying to play golf in college,” she said. “For me to get a scholarship, that’d be a great goal for me.”
The VSGA tournaments and college prep tour events are all vital to helping her be noticed by college coaches looking to fill out their golf rosters.
“The tournaments that I do during the summer, that’s actually what the coaches look for,” she said.
With at least six more tournaments this year — the next starting on Monday — Amellia will continue to develop the talents her father first spotted when she was 2.