November 3, 2011

Local high school golfers hit the links with Lee Trevino

Lee Trevino gives advice during a round with four area high schoolers.

Late Thursday morning, Mansfield High freshman Nicholas Narcisse was on the practice range at Diamond Oaks Country Club, working on his golf swing.

But the range session was nothing like his normal practice time he takes at least five times a week.

Narcisse was surrounded by area golf coaches, three other high school golfers and their families, and Lee Trevino.

"It gave me the jitters," Narcisse said. "That's never happened to me. I was so excited."

Narcisse was joined by North Crowley freshman Daniel Dahlinger, Fort Worth Western Hills senior Adam Austin and Saginaw junior Dalton Martin. The legendary "Super Mex" gave them all advice from how to grip their clubs to getting out of a sand trap.

"I'm a competitor, but I'm too old to compete anymore," said Trevino, the Hall of Famer whose six major titles include the 1968 and '71 U.S. Opens. "I know a lot about this game, about chipping and putting, and how these kids should put their hands on a golf club. All I'm trying to do is spread it. Keep it alive. I love working with these kids."

Fort Worth home builder Lee Hughes won the golf outing with Trevino for a $20,000 bid at the O.D. Bounds Golf Classic, sponsored by Texas Wesleyan University and the Fort Worth Junior Golf Association. Hughes then donated the prize to the First Tee of Fort Worth, where the students are members of the Junior Advisory Committee.

"Mr. Hughes wanted to donate the gift to four deserving kids who are involved with the community," Texas Wesleyan golf coach Kevin Millikan. "He wanted it to mean a lot to them. So we picked The First Tee. That was a great place to draw the winners."

Trevino, 71, was full of energy, encouraging the students and joking around.

"I'm going to remember getting to shake hands with Lee Trevino," Narcisse said. "I'm going to work on the grips he showed me. My heart's pumping and it won't stop. I just want to thank him for doing that."

When Martin hit a powerful drive straight down the practice fairway, Trevino threw up his hands and said: "Case closed. Let's go to lunch." He also peppered his students with multiple "atta-boys."

"These kids here, I can see that they have a passion for golf," said Trevino, who also won Fort Worth's Colonial Invitational in 1976 and '78. "This is absolutely wonderful."

Trevino was thrilled to work with young players because it reminded him of playing with his son.

"I'm having a ball with these guys," he said.

After their range session the five played a round together. Martin and the other students shot their rounds in the mid to low 80s. Trevino showed the flash that made him famous.

"He shot about a 70 or 69," Martin said. "I knew he was just messing around, too.... He was always in a good mood. And anytime he did hit a bad shot, he didn't let it bother him."

While the experience was nerve-racking, the players enjoyed the experience.

"There really are no words to say how exciting that was," Austin said. "No way to describe it. You are nervous, but for some reason you can keep the club moving. It was an amazing experience. For [Trevino] to take his time to do this is great."

Brent Shirley, 817-390-7760

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