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Junior Exam

What do the kids think? SI asked a group of teenagers, all serious golfers, their opinions on equipment, fashion, women on the men's Tour and if they'd rather be president or win the Grand Slam
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Like Whitney Houston, we believe that the children are the future, so to get a snapshot of tomorrow's golfers--how they play, what they think, whom they admire--SI polled the entire 79-player field at a recent American Junior Golf Association tournament. The field comprised 40 girls and 39 boys, ranging in age from 13 to 18, with an average age of 15.9. Thirty-nine of the players were Caucasian, 33 were Asian-American, two were Hispanic and one was African-American, while four chose not to identify their race.

How old were you when you started to play?
...7.7 years
[ DRILLING DOWN ]
Girls ...8.8 years
Boys ...6.6 years

Have you ever used a balata ball?
Yes ...41%
No ...59%

Would you ever use a long putter?
Yes ...5%
No ...95%

Do you carry a hybrid club?
Yes ...37%
No ...63%
[ DRILLING DOWN ]
21 hybrid users were boys

Average driving distance?

....264.01 yards
Boys ...285.31 yards
Girls ...243.25 yards

What type of grip do you use?
Overlap ...51%
Interlock ...47%
Ten-finger ...2%

How many days, on average, do you watch golf on TV each week? ...2.14

The AJGA recently banned shirts that reveal a player's belly button on the follow-through. Should such shirts be allowed?
Yes ...44%
No ...46%
Don't care ...10%

LOOSE LIPS
"Only for girls." --BOY, 14

Do you work with a mental coach or sports psychologist?
Yes ...52%
No ...48%

Should Michelle Wie go to college?
Yes ...56%
No ...33%
Don't know/care ...11%

Who's better, Annika Sorenstam or Tiger Woods?

Sorenstam ...24%
Woods ...76%

Should Wie play the LPGA or the PGA tour?
LPGA ...72%
PGA ...16%
Both ...12%

LOOSE LIPS
"LPGA. She's not that good."

Have you ever seen someone cheat in a tournament?
Yes ...86% |
No ...14%

Have you ever turned someone in for a rules violation?
Yes ...66%
No ...34%

Would you rather play Augusta National or Pebble Beach?
Augusta National ...82%
Pebble Beach ...18%

Should women be admitted as members of Augusta National?
Yes ...58%
No ...38%
Don't know/care ...4%

[ DRILLING DOWN ]
78% of the girls said yes

If you were offered a $1 million endorsement deal to turn pro right now, would you take it?
Yes ...57%
No ...43%

Would you rather get a 4.0 GPA or win the U.S. Junior?
4.0 GPA ...30%
U.S. Junior ...70%

LOOSE LIPS
"Why not both?"

Would you rather be president of the United States or win the Grand Slam?
President ...15%
Grand Slam ...85%

LOOSE LIPS
"Being prez would suck."

Do you have a part-time job?
Yes ...8%
No ...92%

Do you know a player who has taken steroids?
Yes ...14%
No ...86%

Who's the best junior player in the world?
Don't know ...23%
Myself ...19%
Brian Harmon ...18%
Julieta Granada ...5%

(21 others received between one and three votes.)

LOOSE LIPS
"Me, duh."

Do you believe you will play professional golf?
Yes ...89%
No ...11%

Would you rather play with Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus or Tiger Woods?
Hogan ...16%
Jones ...22%
Nicklaus ...9%
Woods ...49%
Other ...4%

Will a woman qualify to play full time on the PGA Tour in the next decade?
Yes ...34%
No ...60%
Don't know ...5%

[ DRILLING DOWN ]
45% of the girls said yes

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Photograph by Todd Bigelow/Aurora

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TITLEIST (BALL)

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TODD BIGELOW/AURORA (MALE GOLFER)

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AL FRANCEKEVICH/CORBIS (COUCH POTATO)

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CORBIS (FREUD, MORTARBOARD)

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CORBIS (FREUD, MORTARBOARD)

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DARREN CARROLL (SORENSTAM)

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DAVID WALBERG (FEMALE GOLFER)

U.S. Women's Amateur finalist Maru Martinez.

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DAVE MARTIN/AP (AUGUSTA)

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LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS/CORBIS (BUSH)

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JEFF GREEN/REUTERS/CORBIS (MCDONALD'S)

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CAROLYN KASTER/AP (PALMEIRO)

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B/W PHOTO

BETTMAN/CORBIS (JONES)

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TODD BIGELOW/AURORA (GOLFERS)