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Blog Ambassadors Share Lessons from a Young Golf Pro

Throughout the year we'll hear from eight bloggers as they share about their family's time in the brand-new Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience and how it inspires them to explore these sports back at home. 

This post was written by Children's Museum Blog Ambassadors Katie and Luis Ruvalcaba. Follow their posts on the blog or follow them @ruvalcademy on Instagram and Facebook.  

When kids come into the Riley Children's Health Sports Legends Experience they're given a chance to try their hand at all kinds of sports and get a feel for what it takes to be a master of the game. While the sports at the museum are right there in front of you, for many kids the idea of being a legend in their own right is years off. But any great will tell you that to be the best of the best you have to start young. We're very lucky to have our cousin, Aiden, who is the nearest thing to a professional golfer a child can be, available to tell us what it takes to become an earl of the eagle, a lord of the links, sultan of the sand trap—a real golf legend.

Photo credit Mpu Dinani.

Aiden is eight-years-old and started golfing when he was just a little guy, going with his dad to the course. He got into golf the way most kids get into anything, he saw it on TV and thought it was cool! Aiden says that golf can be a lot of fun and very exciting, a fact he wants kids to learn from him. Aiden practices golf 7 days a week for at least 30 minutes a day. Training for golf involves more than just practicing your swing though—Aiden participates in overall fitness training. You can see him on Instagram running through obstacles at @aidendinanigolf.

It's not all as easy as Aiden makes it look though, Aiden told us that the hardest part of golf is getting out of bunkers, which are big sand traps. You can see simulated versions on the Camferdam Golf Experience in the sports experience—look for the tan patches on the course. Aiden says the real trick of them is to get just the right amount of sand: “If you get too much sand the ball won’t go anywhere, if you hit no sand at all the ball will go super far!” Aiden probably doesn’t realize it yet, but golf is full of complex trigonometry that can really throw an adult for a loop, much less a kid!

Aiden has had a pretty amazing time with his golf career. He’s gotten to visit courses all around the United States—Colorado, Las Vegas, North Carolina, Arizona and of course at his home in California. Thanks to his hard work and dedication to his sport, he’s been featured in two magazines (Golf Digest and a local magazine in his home town), got to meet his golf hero Jordan Spieth on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and he says his greatest golf achievement so far is a hole in one just a few weeks ago.

Aiden’s dad says he’s not a pro yet; his dad would call him a “junior golfer” but Aiden prefers “junior pro.” Aiden has a plan to get to full pro-status: lots of practice, confidence, and not overthinking it. Aiden’s advice is to just to have fun!

We decided to take his advice and head over to the Sports Legends Experience to get our golf on. Armed with Aiden’s advice, we were pretty sure we could make some pretty great strides here. We were on the look out for scouts who might sign us for endorsement deals but shockingly none approached us. It could be because of our intimidating golf stances or possibly because one of us (not naming names) managed to score an astounding 14 strokes on one hole. In any event we had a great time learning a sport that we don’t normally spend a lot of time with. Maggie managed to get her ball into one of Aiden’s infamous bunkers. She kept her cool though and remembered his advice: don’t over think it, just have fun.

Kids are all about growing up to be a professional sports legend, but few of us have the discipline it takes to really get it done. But you don’t have to wait for your kids to show interest in a sport on TV, check them out at the Sports Legends Experience and see which ones really chip your wedge.

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Categories: Blog Ambassadors, Exhibits
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