Eight-year-old Madison Moman has a winning swing and a knack for the game, putting her on the fast track to a golfing career.
Her blond ponytail defies gravity on her quick downswing, and she nearly comes out of her shoes in her smooth follow-through. She ranks No. 10 in the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation’s World Championship and recently returned from a Texas tournament as runner-up in her division.
Madison Moman’s extraordinary talent has produced a pair of proud parents.
“She crushes the ball,” father Matt Moman boasts. “She’s constantly putting it in the hole.”
Madison, 8, has a set of statistics that turns heads. She has competed in more than 60 nine-hole tournaments and has finished in first place or as runner-up 70 percent of the time. She regularly trains from the red women’s tees and averages a score of 92 from 5,000 yards on 18 holes.
“Some adult women can’t score as well as her,” Matt Moman says. “It’s just the truth.”
Madison has a membership card at PGA National, where she practices with coach Josh Davis, head pro at Winston Trails Golf Club. A recent lesson had her working the putting green.
“Coach said to put my weight forward and hands forward and keep my right arm soft, because I don’t want it to take the ball for a ride,” she says.
An almost daily staple on the course, she receives high-fives and hugs from gushing golfers. She wears signature knee-high socks covered with pretty polka-dots and silly stripes, cutely coordinated skirts and tops, and a visor autographed by Camilo Villegas.
“He’s my favorite PGA golfer,” Madison says of the 2010 Honda Classic victor.
A second-grader at Timber Trace Elementary School, she says she loves playing golf and wants to turn pro when she grows up.
“I get to play in tournaments, I get to meet new people, and one-third of the time, I get to do what I like,” Madison says.
A few of her favorite things include playing with Sophie, the family’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, hanging out with friends and writing non-fiction stories. Her favorite subject is math.
“It’s really fun adding and doing times, and when you’re keeping score, that’s math,” Madison says.
She knows education and family come first—values constantly repeated in the household—and that her parents support her golfer-girl dream.
“I think when I’m bigger, I’m going to be better,” says Madison, who weighs a wispy 49 pounds and stands four-feet-one-inch tall. “What my dad tells me is, ‘Today, I am older than I was yesterday.’”
Mother Sky Moman muses at Madison’s natural athleticism and remembers watching the tiny tot play paddleball—a game with a wooden racquet and attached rubber ball—fast and furiously at age 4. Matt Moman remembers recognizing his daughter’s hand-and-eye skills before she could walk. When she was six months old, he would prop her up on a sofa pillow and play catch by rolling a ball back and forth. Both parents say they want Madison to have a happy childhood, whether it involves golf or not.
“I’m constantly asking her, ‘Do you want to do this?’” Matt Moman says. “If it doesn’t work out, that’s OK. It was fun.