Asterisk Talley preparies to drive the ball on the course. She will be headed to the U.S. Kids Golf Championship in Pinehurst, NC in August. (Courtesy of David Talley)
After winning a statewide golfing competition, a girl from Madera County will be going to the world championship in August.
Asterisk Talley, 7, of Chowchilla, took the state title for her age category of 7 and younger, when she finished with 66 strokes over nine holes. She will next compete in the U.S. Kids Golf Championship in Pinehurst, NC, where she will be competing against more than 1,500 other children from 50 different countries.
“She finally gets to play with kids her age,” said Asterisk’s father, James Talley. “Most of the time, otherwise, she plays with my friends.”
“Only at tournaments I get to play with my age group,” Asterisk said.
She has played in 35 tournaments, winning 29 of them, along with titles in five championships and her recent state championship.
Talley was only a toddler when her father introduced her to the sport.
“Probably around 2, we gave her a little plastic set, and she just picked it up pretty easy,” David said. “She was able to hit really good at a really young age.”
Her plastic set, however, was replaced shortly afterwards with a real club when she started golfing with her father at age 4.
“She started doing it just to be with her dad,” Asterisk Talley’s grandmother, Linda Doumas said. “Because her dad worked nights, he’d pick her up from daycare when he got off work at about 3 p.m., and they’d go out and just mess around, and that’s how she got started. She does something every day with her dad.”
James Talley, an officer with the California Department of Corrections, has been golfing for 15 years.
Golf, however, is not Asterisk’s only activity. She is also involved in softball and gymnastics, and plays piano.
But for Asterisk, there is a special satisfaction that comes with sinking the putt, or as she puts it: “getting it in the hole.”
The Talley family also has the advantage of living near the Pheasant Run Golf Club.
“We practice on it a lot,” Asterisk said. “We play a couple of holes on it ... almost every day.”
Asterisk will be heading to Pinehurst next month, with the championship beginning on Aug. 4. While there, she will be playing against some of the world’s best, and spending even more time with her father.