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.

Brad Dalke

USGA Junior Amateur - 2012


2012

Medalist - National Christian Homeschool Championship
Runner-up - Rolex Tournament of Champions
Top Five - Junior PGA Championship

2011

Medalist - AJGA Thunderbird, LJT - Winter Classic, NTPGA - Azalea Trail Junior Classic

2010

Medalist - US Kids World Championships, Callaway Junior World Championships



A rising freshman at the Jim Mclean Academy in Dallas Forth Worth, we sat down with Brad at the US Junior Amateur in New Hampshire.

Tell us about your family first. Do you have any brother or sisters?

I have six older brothers and sisters. Four sisters and two brothers. Yup, Iím the little baby in the family.

Any golfers in there?

Two of my brothers play a little bit.

Do your parents play?

Yes my mother played at OU (Oklahoma). My dad played football at OU but he is also a scratch golfer.

When was the first time you beat him?

Itís been a while. Iíve been beating him for a little bit, the past few years. The first time I think was when I was nine or ten. Now I was playing the shorter tees.

Do you play other sports?

I do other sports for kinda of fun. I played basketball quite a bit until two or three years ago.

How did the golf start? Did Dad take you to the course?

When I was 11 months old, I would go along to the course, stick a club under my armpit and swing at the ball.

When did tournament golf start for you?

My first tournament was when I was three. It was three 40 yard holes, par threeís. I used a driver, 7-iron and putter. I went par-birdie- par, 8 in three holes. That was my first trophy and I broke a 50 year record by seven stokes. I played in my next tournament when I was four or five in a U.S. Kids event and I played in those events until I was eight. I wanted to qualify for their US Worlds Championship. I played in that for several years. It was a family vacation too.

Sometimes itís a family vacation for the rest of the family but not for you. Its kinda work for the player, not like lying on the beach during the day.

True. We came here three days ago and I have been on the course every day. Came here to get a job done.

Do you play for your high school team?

No I go to the Jim Mclean Golf Academy. I live there during the week and come home on the weekends since weíre only an hour away. Of course I stay at home during the summer. But at the Academy I go to a private school and they donít have a golf team.

If you couldnít play golf what would you play?

Probably football. My two brothers played it. My Dad played it. My Dadís team won a national championship at OU and he was playing linebacker.

What do you do away from the golf course?

Well at the academy, maybe on Thursday night we might go to the movies or bowling. Something thatís different to do. But bowling is not my thing. Itís a little frustrating. I can put some spin on it but itís just not consistent.

Share with us if you will, the preparation you do before a tournament.

If I know the course, then I will use the practice facilities at the academy to help me duplicate what I know I will be facing. At the academy you can create all kinds of situations, like tight fairways, long rough, or fast greens. I think about the tough things about the course and then go to the part of the practice facility that helps me practice what I need.

What part of your game do you rely on the most?

Iím pretty consistent in everything, not great in any one thing. My misses are pretty playable.

Do you do any mental training?

Yes we use Mental Management System with Lanny Basham. He was an Olympic gold medalist in rifle shooting. He talks a great deal about the ďmental gameĒ. He stresses for how you prepare for a shot, getting into a positive mindset, finding a ďtriggerĒ to do your routine, and then stepping up to the ball and staring at a spot on the ball. This helps you focus on the shot and not other things around you. And after the shot if it is a good shot you applaud yourself on doing well. Itís a lot of positive thinking.

Bob Rotella talks about composure, concentration, and confidence in his books. Describe yourself as to these three things.

My composure could get better. I tend to get down on myself. I donít throw clubs but I could be less tough on myself. Confidence is a strong part of my approach so no problems there. My concentration is probably my strength, I donít mess around out there.

Whatís your lowest competitive round?

66 at Rolex a few weeks ago. Iíve had a few 67ís

Are your circle of friends at home or the academy?

Both. There are only 12 to 15 kids at the academy so its nice, not too big.

Are you into music at all?

Yes, I like it all. Iím not into country too much but all the other music is something I like.

If you could drive any car what would you choose?

Lamborgini or a Ferrari Sypder. Those are my dream cars.

If the people at the academy where to describe you, what would they say. What words would they use?

Iím confident. They might say cocky (laugh). I think Iím pretty fun. Iím the youngest so they call me ďbabyĒ. But I hope Iím still fun to be around.

What about school? What subjects do you like and donít like.

Well math is not my favorite. I mean Iím ok but itís a lot of work. Iím taking a course now because I want to graduate early. I like taking subjects that I didnít know anything about before. Those are fun.

Why do you play golf?

I have always been real patient with it. I like the technical part of it, for instance when you are making a swing change. I like the game because it tests you in so many ways. You have to be confident but humble. You have to be patient because you are going to be tested all the time while you are playing. You have to have a good mental game, you have to be coordinated, you have to have good fitness, and most of all itís just you. And you enforce the rules on yourself. You have to be honest.

Well thatís a great note to end on. Thanks Brad and good luck in the tournament tomorrow.

Thanks, I enjoyed our talk.