At just 8-years-old, Bella Dovhey from Oviedo, Florida has already been a Junior World Golf Champion and brings tons of fun and personality to the game. With help from her Dad, Mike, we caught up with Bella to find out what makes her tick.
Hi Bella, it’s easy to see that you love everything about golf. How did you get started so young?
My Dad starting playing golf with his friend from work and I wanted to go too. I was 4 years old. I liked to ride in the cart and fill the divots with sand. I liked to play putting games with Dad and afterward, we would get chocolate ice cream. We started playing scramble tournaments together and that was lots of fun.
Have you got somewhere nearby to play and practice?
I mostly practice at Tuscawilla Golf Club. It’s great because I don’t have to wait to play on the course and all the people there are my friends. I know everyone’s name and they know mine. The putting greens are usually fast.
Are you having lessons (where and who from)?
Mostly my dad is my coach. He has learned from watched YouTube videos and reading books. I also get tips from the good golfers that I meet. Twice a week I hit balls at the Tee It Up driving range near where we live. The man who owns the range, Nick Franz helps me with my swing. He reminds me to keep my left arm straight and keep my hands up. He has been great and I’m thankful for his help.
Doug Rhea the head pro at Lake Nona has also given me some lessons. Lake Nona is very nice and I get to meet lots of pros there. I went there about 10 times and he helped me with my short game. I only played on the golf course once and I got to see Annika Sorenstam’s house.
What do you love most about golf?
I love to be outside with my mom and dad. The golf course is peaceful and beautiful. My mom doesn’t play golf but rides in the cart and tells jokes and takes pictures. Dad sometimes plays but drives the cart and plays caddy. I love putting games most of all and Mom can play too.
Which of your clubs do you love the most and why?
My favorite club is my putter. I won the 6-year-old Callaway Junior World Championship in San Diego with it. I was in a playoff and had to make a 6-foot putt on the 5th hole to win. My second favorite is my driver because I like to swing it the fastest.
Who is your favorite player and why?
Jack Nicklaus because I have watched him play for the last 4 years at the PNC Father/Son Tournament. He signed my glove when I was 5 and my special golf ball last year. He is the greatest champion and has made the world a better place with his talent. My Dad works on a helicopter and takes sick people to the hospital and when I got to walk two holes with Mrs. Nicklaus at the PNC, she told me that Jack donated 4 new helicopters to children’s hospitals last year.
Bella's Dad, Mike Dovhey
Thank you Bella (and Mike). It’s great to see such enthusiasm and skill at such a young age. We look forward to watching Bella have even more fun in the future as her game develops.
Follow Bella Dovhey on Twitter @dovheybella
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