Rogers among area's top youth golfers

Jordan Rogers can hit a golf ball about three times farther in yards than what he weighs in pounds.

So while Rogers may not look like an imposing presence on the golf course -- his golf swing was this past summer for his age group. Rogers won three tournaments over the summer for the 11-12 age group, competing against golfers from around Northern Nevada.

His biggest performance came at the Tournament of Champions where he took second and shot a 41 in the par-36, nine hole event at Dayton Valley.

"It was difficult, but fun," said Rogers, who turned 13 this month and is a seventh grader at Eagle Valley Middle School. "There's a lot of hills, a lot of water, very narrow fairways."

Rogers also won at Mason Valley Golf Course in Yerington when he shot a 42 in the par-36, nine hole event. In addition, he won at Sunridge when he shot a 39 in the par-36, nine hole event.

"That's very impressive," said Eagle Valley Director of Instruction and Carson High girls golf coach Terry Gingell about Rogers' scores. "That's really exceptional. He's an exceptional golfer at his age."

Rogers says he weighs 83-85 pounds, but has driven a golf ball as far as 250 yards.

He said his normal distance is 190 to 215 yards. "I don't weigh much," he said. "Everyone says I'm real skinny."

Rogers said the key to long drives is hitting the ball with the sweet spot of the club.

"It's hitting the ball on the right spot on the club," he said. "Making good connection with the ball is more important than power."

It's tempting to look ahead at the possibility of Rogers playing in the first stage of the PGA qualifier at Dayton Valley. "That would be fun," Rogers said.

But Rogers has that way in the back of his mind. His goals are in order: Keep practicing, play in high school and earn a college scholarship.

"And then from there, just take it as it goes, see how I'm doing," he said.

"Of course he has the potential," Gingell said. "He's got phenomenal talent to start with and he's got work ethic. He really loves the game.

"You never know what's going to happen in the future. He's got a great mental approach to the game. He's mature beyond his years."

Gingell stopped short of making any predictions concerning Rogers' golf future.

"There's no telling how far he could go," Gingell said. "I don't like to get that far ahead of what they can do. You have to take it one step at a time."

Rogers enjoys playing other sports including inline hockey. "I've got good speed on my skates," he said.

He also plays tennis and plans to play for Eagle Valley's seventh grade basketball team. In track, Rogers has long jumped 13 feet nine, inches, triple jumped 28-2 and high jumped 4-6.

Rogers said he would like to play tennis in high school as well, but doesn't know about basketball.

"I don't know if I'll grow enough to play basketball, but I'm a pretty good basketball player," he said.

"He plays a lot of sports which I think is a good thing," Gingell said.

Gingell said he knows of youth who have concentrated on just one sport as early as the age of 10 only to be burned out by the time they're 14 or 15.

Rogers' strength is he has a complete golf game, Gingell said. "That's the nice thing about his game," Gingell said.

"He just has a solid game from tee to green. His short game is sharp."

Charles Whisnand is the Nevada Appeal Sports Editor.

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