The 200 yard learning experience! All of us love to blast driver as far as we possibly can. When given a choice on a hole, most of us would choose driver as much as we could. However, if we were truly trying to shoot the lowest score we might take a slightly different approach on certain holes. The pro’s show us on TV all the time that sometimes hitting a 3 wood or long iron puts a player in the best position to score.
Mitchell started his Operation 36 journey in the matches on September 6th, 2015. He was 14 years old and could hit the ball a good distance. Thus, the first few yardages he could easily reach the green in 1 shot.
He breezed through the first few yardages shooting a blistering 29, 30, 29 and 32 from 25 yards, 50 yards, 100 yards and 150 yards. He completed the first 4 Divisions in 1 attempt each. On October 4th, 2015 he started his journey from 200 yards with a score of 48. Who would have thought the jump from 150 yards to 200 yards would have been that different?
1 year and 5 days later, after 20 attempts he passed 200 yards with a score of 36 on his 21st attempt. When asked what he learned, Mitchell said, “From 200 yards, I can hit a 4 iron on the green pretty easily. However, some holes it’s bet
ter to lay up to 50 yards away and avoid the danger of water, hazards and short siding myself. Making a 4 from 200 yards is not going to hurt you on a hole. Making a 6 or 7 by hitting it in a hazard makes beating 36 very difficult. I tend to be a little hard headed at times. After 20 attempts, I started to figure out the way to move myself around the golf course in the least number of strokes.”
Mitchell has been a great role model for our younger students as he has come back and taught our 7-10 year old classes. He’s an active member of his community in his church youth group doing service projects and missionary trips throughout the Southeast. He has been a member of the Harnett County High School Golf team the past two seasons and qualified to play in a handful of matches. He also competes in cross country, wrestling and basketball. He has been a member of the Operation 36 All Star team for Keith Hills on 3 separate occasions.
Mitchell is now working diligently to beat 36 from the Orange tees at Keith Hills in the Operation 36 matches. His low score this spring was a 38 and something tells me it’s not going to take him 21 attempts to beat this yardage. He’s learned a lot from his time at 200 yards that will carry with him into his junior tournaments, high school matches and future Operation 36 matches.