If you haven’t heard them before, there’s an abundance of spectacular stories about the practice regimen some professional athletes endured in their childhood to make it to where they are now.
Michael Jordan would shoot for six hours every evening while in high school, waking up in the middle of the night to go outside and play basketball alone.
Starting at just nine months old, Tiger Woods golfed with his dad in their garage on a mini-driving range the family built.
Needless to say, reaching the ranks of professional athlete takes dedication from an early age.
Bo Dolinsek seems headed down that path. The six-year-old already has shown such a love for the game of golf that a bright future almost certainly lies ahead.
Starting out as a mere toddler, Bo has already competed in and won matches, most recently beating out an 18-year-old playing in the Mandi Luck Memorial Match Play Tournament at Shalimar Country Club in Tempe.
He started playing at age two with a Whiffle ball and a practice club at home.
At four that turned into a beginner’s set of clubs and a summer golf clinic for kids. Since then Bo has been involved in more training and has gained plenty of attention for his skills, including a lot of encouragement laid on by his parents.
“We were very proud of him, not only for competing with kids that were much older but just being able to hang out with them, follow the rules, display his golf etiquette—and all of this for four consecutive days (the length of the Shalimar competition),” said his mother Bonny Dolinsek.
As recently as last summer Bo’s father was allowed to accompany him on the course to give him advice and help guide him. This summer, though, it was all up to Bo.
“In the tournament last week at Shalimar, Bo had to do everything on his own including carrying his clubs, club selection and knowing the rules,” Dolinsek said.
Bo comes from an athletic family with proven talents, ranging from cousins and uncles. The family’s achievements, however, are highlighted by his grandfather John Dolinsek, named most valuable player of the 1969 National Championship Arizona State Sun Devils baseball team and later drafted by the Houston Astros in the eighth round the same year. He went on to play five years of minor league baseball before deciding to give up the game.
Bo has also made friendships along the way, notably including Katie Conosoer, a varsity golfer at Corona del Sol High School. The two have played together on the course despite their nine-year age difference and were able to spend time together at the Shalimar tournament earlier in July.
After the tournament was finished, his mom said, he was so excited to get the opportunity to play with the older kids that he still wanted to be on the course and was even more excited about the sleeve of golf balls he was given at an awards luncheon.
While his golf game is impressive, it’s not quite time yet for Bo to turn pro: he’ll be entering first grade this school year at Kyrene de los Niños Elementary School’s Spanish Immersion Academy.
So how do you say “Fore!” in Spanish? Likely one of the first words he’ll learn.