Golf Digest
The Genius Of Amy Image Credit: Golf Digest
The Genius Of Amy Image Credit: Golf Digest

The Genius Of Amy

A lesson in the power of optimism

Mike Stachura

THE MOST ENGAGED video ever on the PGA Tour’s Facebook page doesn’t include Tiger Woods. Or Rory McIlroy. Or Jordan Spieth. Or even the goofy-swinging Ho-Sung Choi. It doesn’t feature a PGA Tour player hitting a single shot. No, its subject is Amy Bockerstette, a 20-year-old girl hitting a 6-hybrid from 117 yards into a bunker, and its three minutes dare you not to cry through your joy. Viewed across multiple channels and platforms nearly 24 million times, Bockerstette’s par full of smiles on the 16th hole during a practice round at the Waste Management Phoenix Open was a revelation.

Defending champion Gary Woodland was overwhelmed by playing partner Amy’s inspiring performance and impressive record, which includes two appearances in the Arizona state high school championship and an athletic scholarship to Paradise Valley Community College, all despite having Down Syndrome.

“I’ve had a lot of good memories in my life, but that’s one I’ll never forget,” Woodland says. “To step up in front of the crowd and to hit the shots that she hit and make par, I never rooted so hard.”

Viewed in another light, Bockerstette’s performance was more than another one of those sweet viral videos that flicker across social media and quickly disappear. It was a master class in human possibility, a teachable moment in the power of positive thinking, a lesson on how flimsy assumptions and limits are in


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