Passion Meets Precision: 10-Year-Old Golf Phenom Masters the Fairways
When it comes to golf, John Paul (JP) Fewell’s got game and a love for the sport that’s simply hard to express.
“I just can’t describe it—it’s the scenery and just the ‘playing golf’ of golf,” says JP, who recently celebrated his 10th birthday.
This past August 3-5, JP competed in the US Kids Golf Championship in Pinehurst, North Carolina. The World Championship hosted 1,500 players ages 5-12 from over 30 countries competing on 10 courses. In his third consecutive year playing in the competition, JP shot +12 through 54 challenging holes at Pinehurst #1 and finished tied for 44th out of 130 in the 9-year-old Boys’ Division. This elevated him to the Top 50 for the first time, although he came in close in previous years, placing 52nd both times!
JP can’t remember a time when he wasn’t playing golf. For his first birthday, a friend of his mom Michele gave him a plastic set of clubs.
“That was literally the beginning of it,” Michele recalls. “He never put them down.”
When JP was five, the family moved to the high desert town of Yucca Valley. JP participated in the junior golf program at Hawk’s Landing Golf Club and scored wins in the club’s tournaments.
During the COVID pandemic, his family joined The Citrus Club, a member community of PGA WEST. JP plays two to three times per week and practices up to 13 hours a week prior to playing a tournament. He, Michele, and his father John often play together on the PGA WEST Pete Dye Mountain and Dunes Courses and The Citrus Course. At the moment, JP’s concentrating on the accuracy of rather than the distance of his golf shots.
“I would like to have 20 more yards, but I prefer to practice on control right now; putting, chipping—that’s what I’m good at,” JP notes.
He counts Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy among his golf idols and dreams of playing at Augusta (quite literally as his bed set design is the Augusta National Golf Course!).
Outside of golf, JP is in the Gifted and Talented Education program at Yucca Mesa Elementary School where his favorite subjects are math and reading, and his extracurricular activities include soccer. The team sport is an ideal balance for playing golf.
“I like to play soccer and it really helps with my sense of control in golf,” says JP, who’s grateful to his dad for building him a four-hole chipping course in their backyard he named TPC Yucca Valley.
His goals for the future include attending college and becoming professional golfer, and eventually designing courses. After that, he says he’d like to become a research-oriented meteorologist. Or he’s thinking about following in his mother’s footsteps to become a psychologist.
For youth who want to play recreationally or start a career, JP offers practical advice: keep your head down.
“If you keep your head down, it might take a little longer to figure out where the ball is going,” he explains. "But, if you don’t keep your head down, you won’t like the results; patience is very important.”
JP recently qualified for the 2024 US Kids Golf World Championship to be held August 1-3, 2024 at Pinehurst in North Carolina and will play in the US Kids Washington State Invitational at Chambers Bay Golf Course. His next tournament is the Southwestern Cup at Angel Park Golf Course in Las Vegas this January where the top two players from each Local Tour in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Southern California will compete. He is representing Team Coachella Valley hoping to bring home the trophy.
Keep an eye out on the course for this talented young golfer.