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2021 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship

Finn Burkholder

The Woodlands , TX
Age: 12 - 13
Gender: Boys
Region: South Central
The Path to the National Finals
  1. Local Qualifier
    Event Completed
    Cypress, TX 77433
    Jun 12, 2019
  2. Sub-Regional Qualifier
    Event Completed
    Cypress, TX 77433
    Jul 15, 2019
  3. Regional Qualifier
    Event Completed
    Roland, AR 72135
    Oct 5, 2019
Home Course and Location:
The Woodlands CC (The Woodlands, TX)

Play Golf Right or Left Handed:
Right-handed

Age Started Playing Golf:
18 months

Lowest Score Shot (9 and/or 18 holes):
67 @ The Woodlands – Player Course (STPGA Tournament)

How did you become interested in golf?
I was given a US Kids fairway wood and iron around 18 months…hit balls (rocks, his mom, etc.) in the backyard…and played holes with my father and family friend Bernie Lang in The Woodlands

Who introduced you to golf?
Father

Who do you normally play golf with?
I usually walk by myself, or play with other competitive players who play AJGA, college or professionally. I also play w/ my swing coach Ben Willman usually 1x per week. Sometimes I play w/ other members at TWCC for a modest wager. Stan Utley & I usually play when we meet.

Who is your golf teacher?
Ben Willman at AXIS Golf Academy. I also see Alan Hodde & EJ Kim (AXIS Golf), Stan Utley & Troy Bassham (Mental Management Systems)

What do you like most about playing golf?
1. I love the competition.
2. I love practicing, skill development & working with my coaches.
3. Choosing and customizing equipment for competition. Typically my clubs have lead tape to adjust feel & swing weights.
4. I’m always trying to play the perfect round… although I understand this an unlikely task.


What part of golf do you like to practice the most?
All aspects – really enjoy hitting bombs & wedge play.

What’s the most difficult thing about golf?
The mental game. I keep a performance journal and record entries often to improve my mental program.

What is your favorite club?
My Ping Anser 4 BeNI Putter

What is your favorite course in the world?
Courses that I’ve played: The Woodlands CC – Tournament
Course Courses yet to play: Augusta National

What is your biggest achievement in golf so far?
Becoming a +1.5 handicap.

Have you ever participated in a USGA or PGA of America event? If so, which one(s), when, and how did you do?
No.

Do you participate in PGA Junior League?
I have w/ the AXIS All-Stars / Team TX. My team advanced to PGAJL Nationals in 2017 (4th), 2018 (3rd), 2019 (2nd).

Do you participate in The First Tee?
No.

Have you tried to qualify for Drive, Chip and Putt in the past? If so, please list each of the years and previous results:
2019 - 1st @ The Alotian Club regional
2018 - 4th @ local Qualifier ... 2 drives didn't score
2017 - 2nd @ Carlton Woods regional... lost by 1 point.
2016 & previous years DCP conflicted w/ USK World Championships.

Did you watch last year’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals on television? If so, what impact did that have on your participation this year?
Yes. I know several of the past competitors. Understanding that it’s difficult to qualify from the TX/Southwest region…I focused on improving swing mechanics and fundamentals, my routine and mental process.

List from strongest to weakest – Driving, Chipping, Putting:
Not sure. I work hard to have a balanced game.

Have you ever been to the Masters before? If so, when?
No.

What is your favorite Masters memory? U.S. Open or U.S. Women’s Open memory? PGA Championship or Women’s PGA Championship memory?
1. Patrick Reed's Masters win in 2018 (…he also lives in Spring / The Woodlands area. We both use same club maker / repair guru - Jim McGee @ TWCC) 2. Tiger Woods' comeback to win @ The Masters in 2019.

What is your favorite memory of watching golf on TV?
Kevin Na’s "quick grab”… almost not letting ball hit bottom of cup... in Saturday’s 3rd round w/ Tiger on #17 @ The Players (2019)

Who is your favorite male golfer, and why?
My coach Ben Willman is my favorite player. Love playing in local pro-am events with Coach Ben. Really enjoyed walking inside-the-ropes during practice rounds when Coach Ben competed in the Houston Open

Who is your favorite female golfer, and why?
My sister Farah (Sporty). We were often paired-together during PGA Jr League local tour competition…and we always won.

Who is the coolest player in golf, and why?
Brooks Koepka. He’s a winner and beast in the gym. And doesn’t care what others think

Have you ever played with someone famous? Who? Please describe the circumstances:
I’ve played w/ Jonatthan Vegas - who also trains at The Woodlands CC. I’ve also played numerous rounds w/ Stan Utley who holds PGA Tour record for least putts in 9-holes & 18-holes of competition.

If you could choose to play golf with a dream foursome, who would the other three people be?
Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson & Tiger Woods @ Augusta National

Do you have any superstitions as it relates to golf? If so, please describe:
None. The Golf Channel ‘fabricated’ my off-center cap as superstition 3 years ago during the PGA Jr. League special/telecast. :)

Do you play any golf videos games? If so, which one(s)?
Favorite golf video game was the mobile Tiger Woods golf. But it no longer works on my iPad / IOS. I also play PGA Tour 2K 2021 on XBox.

What food would you serve at your Champions Dinner at Augusta National?
Baby back pork ribs partially smoked w/ mesquite using Dad's dry rub and shot of espresso in Stubs BBQ sauce. Grilled corn on the cob. Garden salad. Grilled mixed veggies. Mint Chocolate Chip Blue Bell ice cream.

Favorite School Subject:
Mathematics

Favorite Sport (other than golf):
Soccer, NFL Football – Houston Texans, Duke basketball

Favorite Movie:
I enjoy classic comedy TV re-runs more… especially The Office.

Favorite Singer/Music Group:
I listen to mostly podcasts. Some of my favorites are: Golf WRX Radio and KFC Radio.

Favorite TV Show:
The Office

Favorite App:
Instagram (I don’t post much…mostly follow)

Explain any talents or interests outside of golf:
I'm a 2-sport athlete. I’m the #1 Goalkeeper for Houston Dynamo Unidos 14U in MLS Next & ECNL

Describe any obstacles you’ve overcome in your life:
Most of the obstacles I've overcome are sports or competitive in nature. Fortunately nothing serious.

Hero/Role Model(s):
My real life role models are Ben Willman, EJ Kim & Alan Hodde (AXIS Golf).

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
When I met Coach K a couple years ago... he emphasized the importance of Practice. Coach K said the great players he's coached not only loved practice, but were really good at it.

What do you want to be with you grow up?
PGA Tour Professional and EPL Goalkeeper

Describe yourself:
When I’m at AXIS working on my game… my coaches call me “Finntastic”.
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