Young golfer hones world-class game at Duran


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Asher Joseph has been playing golf for less than two years, but the 8-year-old Melbourne resident has already won the U.S. Kids Golf European Championship in May and finished seventh at the U.S. Kids Golf Championships this past August.

CARL KOTALA

Asher Joseph is a young man of very few words, but he sure plays a mean game of golf.

In May, the then-7-year-old Melbourne resident won the U.S. Kids Golf European Championship in East Lothian, Scotland. His three-day score of 98 was 10-under par, which broke a five-year-old course record for his age category.

He turned 8 in July, which meant he had to play in that age group — and on a longer course — at the U.S. Kids Golf World Championships in Pinehurst, N.C. in August. Despite being the youngest player in his bracket, he finished seventh.

“It’s just so cool to watch him get out there,” said Justin Blazer, Asher’s coach and the Director of Instruction at Duran Golf Club.

“He thinks beyond 8-years-old on the golf course. I’ve worked with a lot of good high school players, college players and mini-tour players and there are things that he’s already doing that it took them years to learn.”

Ready for the amazing part?

Asher’s first day on a golf course came on Father’s Day, 2012 when Angelo Joseph took Asher and his older brother, Zubin, out for their first golf experience at Spessard Holland Golf Course in Melbourne Beach.

The normally quiet Asher became more animated and took to the game right away.

“He was so excited to be on the golf course,” Angelo Joseph said. “He had never played golf, never watched golf. Then, he started hitting — the clubs weren’t even fit for him. I took him for fun. And he had this natural thing from the sand.”

Asher started playing more regularly the following January and after only three months, he finished second in his first major event, the national junior golf tournament in Jekyll Island, Ga.

In less than two years of playing, he has become one of the best young golfers in the world. At one point, he won 13 tournaments in a row.

“He doesn’t know what to do if he’s not playing golf,” his mother, Leena, said as Asher hit a few balls nearby. “He gets bored if he’s not here.”

It’s that genuine passion for the game, and his willingness to be coached, Blazer said, that make Asher stand out.

“I want him to keep that love (for the game) because that’s what drives him,”  Blazer said. “I don’t ever want this to get where there’s too much pressure, or I’m asking him to do too many things. I want him to have fun and love the game, because that’s what’s gotten him this far.”

Asher said his favorite part of golf is putting because “you can make it go in the hole.”

Zubin, along with younger sister Anjala, 5, and younger brother Cyrus, 3, can often be found with their brother on the course. The more talkative one of the Joseph children, Zubin has no trouble telling people what his brother would like to be some day.

“He wants to be the greatest golf player to walk the Earth.”