“The Short Game” Has Big Appeal
By Skip Sheffield
Even if you don’t you may like “The Short Game,” which features two
children who are
star golfers. Palm Beach
Allan Kournikova, 7, of Palm Beach, and Alexa Pano, 7, of Lake Worth are two of eight world-class golfers aged 7 or 8 competing in the youngest class of champion golfers at Pinehurst, North Carolina in a documentary film by Emmy Award-winner Josh Greenbaum.
The title is a pun of course. These kids are equally good at short, middle and long games, and they are so darn cute. The others are Zamokuhle Nxasana, 8, of
Kuang Yang, 7, of China; Jed
Dy of the Philippines;
Augustin Valery, 8, of France;
Sky Sudberry, 8, of Texas
and Amari “Tigress” Avery of Riverside, California.
Greenbaum introduces us to each of the children, then shows them competing, under pressure.
Allan Kournikova and Alexa Pano get a lot of camera time, as do their home courses in
The astounding thing about “Short Time” is how good these kids are, and how
graceful under pressure. They are a virtual United Nations of golf, yet they
are still children and subject to childish emotions. Sky Sudberry is so tiny
she looks 4 or 5-year-old rather than 8. If she tires of the game of golf she
could be a beauty queen.
Greenbaum also shows the parents and coaches and their roles in the grooming and training of the young athletes. Some of the parents are distinctly pushy. Others have superstitious quirks. A couple are completely clueless about the game of golf. To put the game in perspective we hear from old pros Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Chi Chi Rodriguez and John Nieporte and Bob Toski, who coached in
The culmination of “The Short Game” is the final day of three days of the annual world competition at Pinehurst. I will not spoil the plot by revealing the winners. It is safe to say getting there is 90 percent of the fun. This short (100 minutes) fast-moving film is a wonderful advertisement for the challenges and joys of golf. You may leave with a mad desire to take up the game.