Kody’s father, Cliff, is a golf junkie who frequently travels to Las Vegas to play in the Golf Channel Amateur League, an event he has won three times in his division. Being retired gives Cliff a lot of time to play golf and he usually plays with his son.
“He wants to play every day,’’ he says. “We might have missed seven days all summer.’’
While Cliff may teach his son the finer points of the game, it’s Kody who teaches his father about handling adversity on the course.
“You or I might be thinking about a shot three or four holes ago, but he steps up and is ready to go. If I shoot a bad round, he’ll say, ‘It’s going to be OK’ and we’ll be laughing about it a week from now.’’
Kody has also been a great influence on his teammates and other golfers around the state, which is evident by the way they interact with each other in the clubhouse after a round.
“Kody’s awesome,’’ says his Union High teammate Jace Woolstenhulme. “We play with him every day and he’s one of our best friends. He practices more than any of us on the team ever thought of.’’
When asked what makes him such a good golfer, Woolstenhulme replies, “The ability for him to leave a bad shot and not worry about it. He just keeps on playing.’’
Union coach Brett Cramer says, “I’d take 15 Kodys. He’s an all-around great kid, a hard worker who loves the game of golf. And the kids love him. He’s inspiring. Players from other teams want to be paired up with him.’’
One of those was Ryan Lowe, the top golfer for Juan Diego High. Kody took a liking to Lowe, so when the Juan Diego team came to play in Roosevelt in a meet, Lowe offered to play a lower spot on the team so he could be paired with Kody.
“It was a lot of fun,’’ Lowe said. “It was at his home course and he played really well. He’s a really cool kid and always positive. I just want to be his friend.’’
Then there’s Park City’s Mitchell Schow, who took first place in the state tournament, winning by eight strokes.
The week before, he had won the region tournament and afterward gave his first-place medal to Kody.
When asked about it, Schow just shrugged it off, saying, “I won, but I believe he’s the real winner. He’s pretty special to me.’’
Kody’s dad almost choked up talking about Schow’s gesture.
“It was amazing,’’ he said. “To give my boy the first-place medal was just unbelievable. Kody took it to school and told the other kids, ‘here’s my first-place medal.’ ’’
Cliff also can’t say enough about how well golfers all around the state have treated his son.
“A couple of bad kids get all the attention, but we have all of these good kids who stand out from the ones you see on the news,’’ he said. “There are a lot of good kids out there in the world.’’
But the one he couldn’t be more proud of is his son.
“He keeps me going he’s my hero.’’