It’s understandable that Woodinville resident Nathan Eshwar struggled a bit when he first started learning to play golf. It’s a difficult sport, and he was just 6 years old.
“At the beginning, it was a little frustrating, and then I got used to it and started hitting better shots,” Eshwar, now 9, said. “I started liking it more, and I put in the work.”
He recently won his age division in a US Kids Golf Foundation local tour at the Golf Club at Hawks Prairie in Lacey, Wash on March 28. The win qualifies him for the state open.
Eshwar competed in his first tour last year, placing in five of the six tournaments he participated in, but this recent tournament was the first time he’d gotten first.
“He’s always dreamed about coming first,” said Eshwar’s father Sundar Jayashekar.
Now that his confidence has gotten a boost, the third grader is setting his sights on playing the sport in college and possibly beyond.
“I might play professionally, I’m not sure,” he said.
For now, he has to balance his practice with Woodinville Montessori School work and swim team. As a self-described “weekend golfer,” Jayashekar began taking Eshwar along to the range at a young age. And although Jayashekar said he himself is a “terrible golfer,” his son took a liking to it.
“I wanted him to get into some sport, he seemed to gravitate towards golf,” he said.
Eshwar now practices three times a week, usually at Redwood Golf Center in Redmond, Eco Falls Golf Club in Maltby or Harbour Pointe Golf Club in Mukilteo. Leading up to a tournament, he’ll likely go out five times a week, Jayashekar said.
In addition to his drive for success in the sport, Eshwar said he has also liked how golf has brought him and his father closer.
“I like playing with my dad,” he said. “I think it’s a really good sport if you want to have a good relationship with your dad.”
It’s also helped him make friends and meet other kids his age, he said.
During the nine-hole competition in Lacey, he managed through difficult weather conditions to finish one over par with 21 strokes. The second-place finisher, Eric Roy Kim of Mukilteo, finished four over par with 24 strokes.
“It feels good,” Eshwar said about his first-place finish. “The last game, it was pouring, so I had to show a lot of determination to make it through it. It felt good when I won.”