DALLAS — She showed up for our interview black-clad in her golfing attire. Eight-year-old Avery Zweig wanted to talk golf, but it was readily apparent she was much more interested in playing golf.
“I like playing and having competition,” she said.
You may want to remember her name. Zweig has burst on the junior golf scene, showing remarkable promise.
She first picked up a club when she was two, started lessons a couple years later, and it didn’t take long for her to start rewriting record books.
Avery shot an eight-under par 28 in a tournament at Bear Creek golf course in July of 2014. It’s the lowest score in relation to par ever recorded by a junior playing in a North Texas PGA event.
“My dad didn’t tell me my score until the end and I had a big grin on my face when I was done,” said Avery, nearly blushing as she recounted the story.
She has so much skill and talent packed in a pint-sized frame. She’s won 72 of 128 tournaments, most of them 9-hole events. And at the 2014 U.S. Kids World Championship she fired a final round five-under 31 to finish second.
“There’s really no secret, you just have to practice a lot,” she told me.
You can also easily tell that Zweig has a competitive fire burning within. “She’s competitive, it doesn’t matter,” here father Ivan said. “Spelling, math, she wants to be done first. So, I’m trying to teach her it’s about quality not quantity.”
Avery’s one of eight kids across the country featured on the Esquire Network’s new reality show called “The Short Game.” Ivan was concerned all the cameras could be a distraction, but Avery took care of that.
“There was no hesitation whatsoever,” said Ivan as he relayed what she told him, “Dad if I’m going to be on the LPGA tour I have to get used to the cameras. I was like ‘wow, that’s the answer I needed to hear.'”
The show provides an unvarnished look at junior golf and what it’s like when Dad is also your caddy. A recent episode showed Avery crying during a tournament. Ivan said it was a teachable moment, showing Avery the importance of resiliency and winning the right way.
“She got to see it you know a few weeks later and it was teaching tool and it was phenomenal,” he said.
Just like his daughter. She’s at the point now where she has to play older girls to have meaningful competition. And even though its tougher Avery thrives on the competition.
She like to wear mostly black because Dad turned her on to singing legend Johnny Cash. And it’s more than that, according to Avery.
“I love to wear black on the last day because that’s when I’m going out for blood,” Avery said before starting to giggle.
Don’t let the giggles and cute face fool you, though. On the course she’s not kidding. I found out first-hand in a three-hole mini-match.
Once we got on the course it was obvious I was no longer some TV guy trying to tell her story. I was just another player in the way of her winning.
She’s got tons or personality to go along with that much game. And when she sank a birdie putt on the final hole, Avery couldn’t have been happier as she flashed an angelic smile.
I lost the match, but no worries. Avery’s already beaten better golfers than this seven handicapper. And someday she may beat the best.