3-year-old golfer hitting them true|[07/31/08]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tiny feet shuffle on artificial turf as B.J. Crawford lines up his tee shot.

He squares up his shoulders, addresses the ball, and smacks it straight and true. The soft plastic practice ball plops down on the grass about 30 yards out on the driving range, and Crawford smiles with the confidence of someone who has been hitting golf balls almost his whole life.

Actually, Crawford has been golfing since he could walk. He learned both about a year and a half ago. Crawford is 3 years old.

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“He’s not a usual 3-year-old,” B.J.’s father, E.J. Crawford, says with a proud smile. “He knows his ABCs, his mom has him counting to 23. He’s beginning to write his letters. He’s not just ahead on golf.”

The younger Crawford started walking when he was 9 months old, and picked up a putter not long after. E.J. Crawford took his grandson to the golf course with him for the first time when B.J. was 2. Soon, B.J. was acting out his grandfather’s golf swing and the two began making regular trips to the course. B.J. doesn’t hit the ball perfectly every time