A 6-year-old Maryland boy is learning how to read books — and putting greens.
This weekend Christian Moten of Bowie will take on nearly 100 children ages 6 through 8 at the Under Armour Jr. Tour National Championship in Florida.
Christian got his first set of golf clubs at 3 years old. He started lessons at 4 years old. And now, before he starts first grade, Moten is competing nationally.
“People would stop and just watch him hit balls,” said Ralph Moten, Christian’s father. “People would come up to me and they’re like, ‘How old is he?’”
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Christian's love for golf started at an early age.
“He would just sit with me and watch the PGA Tour and he would get up when they do a slo-mo of the swings,” his father said.
Following their lead, Christian would copy the professionals in front of his television.
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"When I bring him out to the golf course, he doesn’t want to leave,” his father said. “I don’t push him at all with this. It's what he wants to do."
When they’re on the golf course, Christian is often compared to golf star Tiger Woods, his father said. While Christian may be too young to understand the sport’s complicated history with race, his parents say they see the game changing.
“Having a young Black son in a predominantly white sport, it is important that we normalize Black excellence,” his mother, Ericka Moten, said. “We want him to have fun but we are also aware of the commitment and the responsibility that we have as his parents to pour it into him.”
Ralph Moten has taken up another responsibility — he is his son’s caddie.
“What’s it like being a caddie for a 6-year-old? It’s some interesting conversations out there,” Ralph Moten said.
As he heads into his tournament weekend, Christian is focused.
“I’m looking forward to having lots of fun,” Christian said. “I’m going to do my best and I’m going to win.”