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Golf:

Young Pham well on his way

November 19, 2008|By JOHN REGER

Kimberly Tran and her husband, Cu Pham weren’t sure what to think when their 11-year-old son, Michael, announced about a year ago that he wanted to be a professional golfer.

Tran, who is a dentist and Pham, a surgeon at Hoag Hospital, didn’t know much about golf, but the couple, who live in Newport Coast, were about to find out.

“He told me he loved golf about a year ago,” Tran said. “He wanted to be a professional golfer. Ideally we would like him to become a doctor or dentist. It is more stable. In sports it is so hard to make it, but this is what he wants and I have to support him.”

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Michael Pham started slowly with the sport and his intensity slowly increased.

“We live close to Pelican Hill and he would see people go there and one of his friends was interested in golf,” Tran said. “He asked me if he could go hit balls and it is almost next door so I thought, ‘Sure, that is fine.’ He didn’t get serious about it until a year ago.”

While Tran and her husband might have thought this was just a phase that would pass, they soon realized how serious their son was about the game.

“Whatever he wants he does it,” Tran said. “He didn’t get serious about it until a year ago. He plays a lot of sports. He swam competitively before, but now he has quit everything just to focus on golf.”

It was an education for all three. While Michael was learning the finer points of the game, Tran and her husband were also getting educated.

“My husband and I don’t know anything about golf,” Tran said. “I just learned about birdies, pars and bogeys. I thought bogeys were good.”

The learning curve will be long for the family. As serious as Michael is, they are discovering not only the devotion needed, but the time and money. Cu Pham sat his son down and told him the dedication he would need to succeed.

“My husband told him, it is very hard and if he wanted to become a professional golfer and get on the PGA Tour you have to focus at least eight hours a day and be serious about it,” Tran said. “My husband always says anything is possible if you follow your dream and work hard for it. We just want to give him a chance. We told him he can try and if he changes his mind it’s not a problem.”

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