Player diary: Brad Dalke (Part 1)
Brad Dalke proposes to Natalie Gulbis
Brad Dalke joins the Golfweek.com staff as a player blogger for the 2013 junior golf season. Here's his first player diary, which he wrote from Las Vegas, where his was competing in the Winn Junior Cup:
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I'm Brad Dalke. This is my first blog for Golfweek. I'm excited to bring you some stories and results about golf and my life.
I'm 15 years old and I live in McKinney, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas. I'm the youngest of seven kids (and Uncle Brad to three nieces and three nephews).
I became the youngest person to ever win an AJGA Invitational when I won the 2011 Thunderbird International Junior. I am also the youngest to verbally commit to play college golf – I committed to the University of Oklahoma when I was 12 years old. I chose Oklahoma because my parents and grandparents went there and they are developing something really special in their golf program with Coach (Ryan) Hybl and Coach (Blake) Smart in charge.
My dad actually started on the 1975 National Championship football team as a linebacker. Crimson and Cream is just in the blood!
I currently attend the Jim McLean Junior Academy in Fort Worth, Texas, and my instructor is Joey Wuertemberger. Joey has been my instructor since I was 9 years old. He has been a huge part of my success. This is my third year in the academy and I feel like I have improved so much from the start. I thank God everyday for giving me the talent and the opportunity to play the wonderful sport of golf.
I like to do a lot of things outside of golf. I like to play about any sport for fun. My favorite video games are the Call of Duty, NBA 2K and NCAA Football series. An interesting fact about me is that I bowl better left-handed than I do right-handed.
I just played the AJGA Winn Junior Cup Challenge at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas. The tournament is an East vs. West competition with two girls and two boys on both sides. My teammates were Cameron Champ, Alison Lee and Andrea Lee. The East team consisted of Adam Wood, Jim Liu, Casey Danielson and Nicole Morales.
The East captain was Butch Harmon and my West captain was Natalie Gulbis, who I built up the nerve to "propose" to at the 2011 Evian Masters in France when I was there competing in the Evian Junior Cup. She was really cool about it and accepted!
The West won pretty big in the Winn Junior Cup. It was a lot of fun getting to play with Cameron, who seemed to have averaged about 450 yards with his drives over the weekend! He is the longest hitter I have ever played with.
On Saturday night we had a game of laser tag, which my green team lost. Thanks a lot, Alison! After the last day of the tournament, Cameron, Adam and I went down to the strip and walked around. We were wanting to ride the roller coaster in New York, New York, but it was closed probably because we were seeing our breath outside. I hope I get to come back next year because the environment is so much fun.
It was another outstanding event run by the AJGA and sponsored by Winn Grips. Thanks to Mike and Don from Winn Grips for making sure we had everything we needed!
My next tournament will be the Jones Cup Amateur Jan. 31-Feb. 3 in Sea Island, Ga. An OU golfer, Charlie Saxon, and I have already scheduled a practice round together. It will be my second really big amateur event, so we'll see how I can hang with the college boys.
I played in the Trans-Mississippi Amateur last July and finished eighth. After that I'll get to travel four hours south to The Woodlands, Texas, to play in the AJGA HP Invitational Feb. 15-18 at Carlton Woods Country Club. I didn't play my best last year so I'm gonna get revenge this year.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy the future blogs to come!
And . . . Boomer Sooner!