We could start the story in Pinehurst, N.C., a mecca for golf. That is where young Ben James of Milford, Conn., was seemingly a summer staple on the leaderboard at the U.S. Kids World Championship – once a winner, twice a runner-up, six times inside the top five.
Or we could shift to the West Coast – Torrey Pines GC in San Diego, to be exact. That is where James used some summer vacation fun to thrive at the World Junior, once a runner-up, four times a top 12 finisher.
But, what the heck, let’s forget Pinehurst and Torrey. Instead, let’s start the story with a backflip or two and perhaps a few handsprings. Simone Biles he may not be, but there was a time not too long ago when James bridged his golf seasons with gymnastics.
“Hey, you can’t get a kid to work out at 7 years old,” laughed Don James. “But we got him into gymnastics as a way to get him stronger. Turns out, it was a lot of fun; he liked it. Plus, he developed flexibility and was in great shape, which he brought to the golf course.”