Fifty-eight-pound Beth Ralston of Bay Village, Ohio steamed around 36 holes of the Rio Pinar Country Club last week in 219 strokes to take second place in the 20th Annual Pee Wee Golf Tournament in Orlando, Fla. Second is not first—first went to 11-year-old Laura Baugh of Cocoa Beach, Fla.—but it is pretty sound work for the first competition of an entrant who is two weeks past the minimum age of 10 and has played the game for a grand total of eight months. "I've seen prodigies before," says Duke Snyder, assistant pro at Beth's home club, Forest Lakes, "but I've never seen anything like Beth. She's a natural athlete—she excels at everything." This includes school, where she makes straight A's. The natural athlete has a natural tendency to tire toward the end of the back nine and to give way to un-Mickey-Wright-like giggles, but with her perfect coordination and her Palmer-method body English, Beth will be a killer when she's a seasoned 11.
Mother is not amused by Beth's midcompetition giggles.
Good advice of Assistant Pro Snyder (below) does not seem to be enough, so Beth tries a little professional agonizing (right).
Perfect postputt form displayed by young Beth (above) shows a histrionic talent worthy of the best of the pros.
The second-place trophy for her first competition almost brings back the giggles Beth had suppressed in scoring four, five and six on the three holes.