Taking on the world
Ask your typical seven year-old what their plans for the summer are and you will probably get the standard answer: play some baseball, hang out with friends, play outside.
But ask seven year-old Samuel Perrodin what his plans are for the summer and he will tell you “I am going to Pinehurst, North Carolina to compete in the U.S. Kids World Golf Championships.”
Yes, you read that right. THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Perrodin, the son of Guy and Adrienne Perrodin, will face off against players from across the world starting on July 30th for a chance to bring home the world title. But, it is not the first time the young man has had the opportunity to compete on the world stage.
Just last year, as a six year-old, Perrodin finished 31st out of 81 other participants at the World Championships after shooting a three round total of 123 (44, 38, 41). That finish also put him in the top 20 of all U.S. participants at the tournament.
This from a young man that, until two months ago, has not had a formal lesson in the game of golf.
So, how does a seven year-old get so interested in a game that most consider a more mature person’s game? Follow around your dad and godfather of course.
When Perrodin was about two years-old, he decided to pick up a club after watching his dad and godfather, Lance Chapman, play the game at the golf course here in Ville Platte.
After watching him swing the club, his dad was amazed at the way little Samuel was able to handle the club and hit it with some advanced precision. Over the next few years, Perrodin developed even farther, causing his dad to think out loud that Samuel may have a chance to be pretty darn good.
So, following some research, the Perrodins decided to put Samuel in a golf camp at Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette. It was there that the club pro told the Perrodins that Samuel had something special. He then directed the Perrodins to Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club where a U.S. Kids Golf tour was already established.
It did not take Perrodin long to establish his talent at Le Triomphe. As a five-year old he won all six tour events, despite playing with kids older than him.
Since then he has won three local tour championships and took home the title of Gulf Coast State Champion. Perrodin has claimed 18 first place finishes, nine second place finishes, one third place finish and one fourth place finish since his time with U.S. Kids Golf.
With all of the medals and trophies won, Perrodin still takes it all it stride.
“I just like to go around to different places and play golf and have fun,” stated Perrodin. “I also like winning these big ole trophies.”
Although Perrodin does not lack the one thing any great athlete needs, confidence, he also knows he still has a lot to work on when it comes to his game.
“I have to really work on my chipping and putting,” said Perrodin. “With chipping you have to hit it exactly right so that you can get it close enough for a short put. Sometimes, it is hard for me to read the greens when I putt. Bunker shots were hard for me, but I’ve been working on them and it is a lot easier, but I am still learning.”
For the last two months, Perrodin has been working with instructor Lauren Forney at Le Triomphe. Accoding to Perrodin, Forney has helped him in a number of areas.
“Ms. Lauren has been teaching me drills on how to swing the club the right way and how to look at the course,” said Perrodin.
Getting tips from Forney is one thing. But, getting tips by watching the pros on television is not quite a priority for Perrodin. Rather, the young golfer is just like any other fan.
“I just want to watch my favorite golfer win,” stated Perrodin. “My favorite golfer is Tiger Woods. I like Tiger because he has won 82 golf tournaments.”
Perrodin, who is a left-handed golfer despite being a right-hander when writing, also plays baseball for the Ville Platte Dixie Youth organization and basketball for the Evangeline Parish Youth Basketball league. In fact, Perrodin was a member of the DYB T-Ball All-Star team. Perrodin is also looking forward to playing flag football in Mamou.
There are times that Perrodin’s golf and baseball world collide. For example after playing in an all-star tournament last summer, Perrodin turned around and played in a golf tournament the following day.
Even though Perrodin is involved with a number of sports, their is only one true love for the young athlete.
“I love golf the most, because it is fun,” said Perrodin. “I want to play for a long time. I want to go and play at Stanford when I get older.”
With the confidence that Perrodin exudes and the love of the game he has, there is a huge chance that he will make his dreams come true!!