When talking to golfers, some say they were swinging a club almost after emerging from the womb.
Others, like Woodinville junior Brian Rutherford, didn’t catch the fever until much later.
"I was 15 years old, in the summer before my freshman year of high school," Rutherford said. "I had golfed a lot earlier in my life but I never really liked it. When I was in the fourth grade, my dad won a gift card to Sports Authority and bought me a set of clubs. But it didn’t really click for me until I was 15. And I fell in love with it. In golf you’re always working on improving and if you put in the time you’ll see the results. You just keep coming back because you want that perfect shot. I keep coming back to it. I’m just addicted to it."
At 6’0" tall and 155 pounds, Rutherford doesn’t have a lot of quick muscle movement. But he likes to generate power with his arms and use his height to gain leverage on his shots. It was that skill set that enabled him to shoot -1 under par in a recent match victory over Newport.
Woodinville coach Terry Agnew was asked what he appreciated most about Rutherford.
"Brian has a great sense of humor," he said. "He brings a lot of levity to what goes on. He’s a great kid, and fun to be around. The players appreciate his sense of humor. He knows when to lighten things up."
When Rutherford was asked about his coach, he demonstrated that levity.
"Coach Agnew has so much experience with baseball and football," he said. "He’s probably been coaching since dirt was used as a toy ... I tease, I tease. But he just has so much competitive experience. He loves the game. He loves to compete. He loves to motivate kids. He has a lot of fun with us out on the course and he’s done a great job motivating us and getting us on the right track."
When asked what he likes most about golf, Rutherford didn’t hesitate.
"The one shot you hit every round that you compare yourself to the pros," he said. "You’re like ‘Oh, I can do what they can do!’ It’s that one shot that keeps you coming back for more. Whether it’s the 7-iron that you put to a foot (from the pin), or the 40-foot putt you drop, it’s the shot that keeps you coming back for more."