WP 5-Year-Old in World Championship Golf Tourney

Michael Ott Goes for the Gold

2014 PNC Rich Ott & son MichaelMeet Michael Ott. He appears to be a healthy, normal 5-year-old – that is, until you put a golf club in his hand. Then, he’s all business.

Michael lives here in Winter Park with his Mom and Dad and his sister. He will begin Kindergarten in the fall at St. Margaret Mary.

Years of Experience

Michael has been playing golf since he was two. His father, Rich Ott, says Michael has only had two formal lessons, from Justin, the former head Golf Pro at the Winter Park County Club. One golfing enthusiast, upon hearing about this 5-year-old phenom, quipped, “I’ve got candy bars in my golf bag that are older than that!”

Making Long Drives

Michael plays golf every chance he gets. He regularly hits the ball 100+ yards. He told me that one time he hit it 121 yards. Since Michael is still fairly small in stature, that would be approximately 121 times his height. Eat your hearts out.


Better than Chocolate??

Michael told me he likes golf better than he likes chocolate ice cream. Go figure.

When I asked Michael what his secret is, he said, “I just putt it and it goes in.”

Next World Champ?

Michael has become something of a celebrity in Central Florida golfing circles. This picture appeared on the cover of the Winter Park Parks & Recreation 2014 Annual Report. 2014GolfBoy

On Memorial Day weekend, Michael won the Regional Qualifier, ages 8 and under, for the 2016 World Putting Championship. On July 9, Michael will be one of 30 competitors in his age group at the World Putting Championship in San Diego. His dad Rich will caddy for him. http://futurechampionsgolf.com/contests/putting/

When I asked Michael if he thought he might win the tournament, he said quietly, “Yes.”

Rich Ott has promised to keep the Voice updated on Michael’s progress in San Diego. Watch for updates over the weekend.

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    By: Anne Mooney

    Anne Mooney has assumed the editorship of the Winter Park Voice from founding editor Tom Childers.

    Mooney got her start in New York as a freelance line editor for book publishers, among them Simon & Schuster and the Clarkson Potter division of Crown Books. From New York, she and her husband and their year-old toddler moved to Washington, D.C., where the two ran a newswire service for Harper’s magazine. “We called it Network News,” said Mooney, “because it was a network of the Harper’s writers, whose work we edited into newspaper style and format and sold to papers in the top U.S. and Canadian markets. We were sort of like a tiny UPI.”

    The newswire ceased operation with the death of Mooney’s first husband, but Mooney continued to write and edit, doing freelance work for Williams Sonoma cookbooks and for local publications in D.C.

    In 2005, Mooney moved to Winter Park, where she worked as a personal chef and wrote a regular food column for a south Florida magazine. She took an active interest in Winter Park politics and was there when the Winter Park Voice was founded. She wrote occasional pieces for the Voice, including the Childers bio that this piece replaces.

    The Winter Park Voice is one of a large number of “hyper-local” publications that have sprung up across the U.S. in response to the decline of the major daily newspapers and the resulting deficit of local news coverage. The Voice’sbeat is Winter Park City Hall, and its purpose is to help the residents of our city better understand the political forces that shape our daily lives.

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