The sports psychology maxim that the golfer with no expectations will never be disappointed has no influence on Ryan Borg.
The 15-year-old from Orangeville, Ontario came to the Core Golf Junior Academy this fall with high expectations of himself. So far, the only disappointed golfers are his competitors.
On the Dec. 11-12 weekend, Borg won his second Florida tournament event in as many starts, capturing the Florida Junior Tour event at Lake Wales Country Club in the 13-15 boys division. With a brilliant display of ball-striking, Borg opened with a 68 and closed with 76 in chilly winds to win by a shot.
In November, he won his division in the Future Collegians World Tour event at Champions Gate. That followed a second-place finish in September in the FCWT event at TPC Tampa Bay. He’s also been fourth and sixth in two other events.
“Ryan has high expectations for himself as a player and has worked really hard to achieve his goals,” says Jeff Hay, Director of Operations for Core Golf. “He came to Core with a reputation as a solid player but Ryan knows he can improve in all areas, and he wants to compete with the top juniors in Florida.”
That reputation grew this summer when he defeated players up to four years his senior; he won the CJGA’s Nike Golf Junior Championship in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario in the 15-19 boys’ division, earning the victory on the first hole of a playoff.
He finished fifth on the CJGA’s 2010 Order of Merit for boys 15-19 even though he played in only four of the association’s tournaments. His father Jeff says that Ryan focused mainly on practicing rather than playing last season. Ryan plays at Brampton Golf Club where he is reining junior club champion.
That dedication to developing his game, and putting in the time to hone his swing, is a display of maturity that is beyond most young players. Likewise, Ryan plays with a more experienced player’s mindset. Instead of thinking about what a victory might mean, Ryan says that during competition he focuses on staying calm.
“If I make a birdie, okay, if I make a bogey, okay,” he says. “I just try to keep my composure during tournaments.”
Jeff Borg says Ryan started putting around the house when he was about 18 months old, and by five years old he was swinging well enough that his father enrolled him in group lessons at Carrying Place Golf Club just north of Toronto.
“They were practicing chipping and the instructor asked Ryan to chip the ball in the air where the birds live. Ryan opened the clubface and his stance and he sculled it. Then Ryan moved the ball back in his stance and his hands forward, and he hit a beautiful flop shot.
“The instructor just shook his head and said, ‘You can’t teach that.’ I told him that I never showed Ryan how to do that,” his father says.
“Ryan is a great student of the game, he loves to practice and compete, he’s mentally strong and he hates to lose. He wants to play for a Division I college and play on the PGA Tour.”
Along with a strong work ethic and setting lofty goals, Borg also scores extremely high in a way that’s more important than winning tournaments.
“Ryan is a very good kid,” Hay says. “It is a real pleasure to have him at the Core Golf Junior Academy.”