Interviews

"Off the Course" is where we talk to the players, learn about who they are, and get their thoughts about playing the game. From time to time we'll also interview college players about their junior careers and how college golf is different. We welcome your comments and suggestions. E-mail us or call toll free- 888-549-4653.

Cameron Peck

US Junior - 2008




2008

AJGA Rolex -Player of the Year

US Junior Amateur Champion
AJGA – The Junior Players Championship – Top 5
AJGA – HP Boys – Medalist
AJGA – Footjoy Invitational –Medalist
AJGA – Wellstone – Medalist
AJGA – Championship at Traditions – Top 5



Cameron is the reigning US Junior Amateur Champion and we were fortunate to interview him at the US Junior at Shoal Creek just three days before he won

Thanks for joining us Cameron. Let’s start by telling us about your family, brothers, sisters, etc. Who in the family plays golf?

Well I am an only child. My Mom and Dad had to work so they would leave me with my Grandfather when I was young. He was an avid golfer and he used to play every single day. He would take me out to the golf course. Finally he went and got my uncle’s golf clubs and cut them down for me. Then he took me out to the driving range. That started when I was four and my parents did not know I played until I was about six.

So that was your grandfather’s version of babysitting? He would go to the golf course and you got to tag? along

Yeah. My parents came to watch me play with him when I was about six. At age seven they got me a coach. At age eight I played my very first tournament in an 8-11 age group and I came in second. That got me really excited about competing.

Was this all in the state of Washington? Were you born there?

No I was born in Hawaii but moved when I was very little after my Dad retired from the Air Force.

Tell us about school. What year will you be in? What subjects you like and the ones that are not so exciting

I will be a senior. I like school. I’m pretty good at math but I don’t like history or chemistry. Of course my chemistry teacher played golf so I got through the subject pretty well because we had that in common. I still had to work for my grade but we had that interest together.

If you did not play golf, what would be your sport?

I like to snowboard. When I was little I did just about everything. I played soccer, baseball, basketball, swimming. As I got older I would give up a sport to focus more on golf. I quit pretty much all the other sports right before middle school to focus on golf.

What do you think attracts you to this sport?

One of the reasons is because I was the best player out there. I liked winning. Also when you play bad you cannot blame it on other people. In team sports you can play very well and your team plays well or poorly you might not get as noticed as much. If I did not play golf I don’t know if I would even do a team sport. I probably would snowboard. I have been doing that as long as I have been playing golf.

Are you a stylistic snowboarder or a fast snowboarder?

Fast. I like the speed.

Does that also mean you deliberately take time off from golf to get away or do you just play less?

I just play less. Washington has some pretty bad weather in the winter so you don’t get to play as much. But when I have to get ready for a tournament I have to go out and practice in the rain and cold. Which is good because bad weather does not bother me. I have been playing in it all my life. I like the story where Ryan Moore woke up on the last day of the NCAA’s, saw it was raining, and knew he was going to win.

Wide circle of friends or small circle of friends?

Wide circle I think. Especially out here playing golf and at all the AJGA Invitationals. At school I hang out with my school friends but since I practice every day almost, after school I hang out with my golf friends.

Let’s talk about your golf game. Is there one area you feel is stronger than the others?

Probably ball striking, the ability to hit the ball straight. And that’s both off the tee and irons.

Is there a part of your game that will be weaker sometimes?

Sometimes it is my putting. Making enough putts is an essential part of playing well for me so I will sometimes have to go work on it. I usually hit the ball well so when I go low it is because I made some putts.

Tell us about a typical non- tournament week as far as practice is concerned.

I warm up on the range and then go play. The depending on how I played I come in and go to the range or work on my short game. If I hit the ball well, I don’t work on the range, I just go straight to the short game practice area.

Do you have a teacher?

Yes but I don’t see him much. He actually does not want me to be dependent on him to always fix things. He wants me to be able to fix things on my own.

Compare and contrast your game from two years ago to today.

Well I hit it further so I hit different irons into the greens and I am definitely putting a lot better. When I was younger I would hit the greens more than other people and putt okay and win. But on the AJGA everybody can hit greens so you have to make putts to play well.

You really came on the scene this year with your first AJGA win. Tell us how that happened.

Well I had a few second place finishes on the Nike Junior events but then I started playing with the older kids and tried way too hard last year. This year I decided that I did not care how the other players did, that I was going to play my game and have fun. It really helped. I knew I had the game to win, but it was about putting together good rounds every single day. I try to make the best of every single day.

That sounds like a great last comment. Thanks for talking with us Cameron.

No problem, thank you.