When VJ Trolio first met Jonathan Randolph when the now professional golfer was 14 years old, he saw the natural talent Randolph possessed.
He also saw Randolph make common mistakes and face the same adversities all young people eventually face.
Like countless others who have been instructed by Trolio, the game taught Randolph about life and how to achieve the goals he set for himself.
“I happened to be at the right place, at the right time, at a wonderful facility,” Trolio said of the Old Waverly Golf Club during his presentation at the West Point Rotary Club on Thursday. “People say that if you want to get good at golf in the state of Mississippi, go to Old Waverly.”
If youth want to get better at golf through Old Waverly, Trolio is the man to teach them.
While getting better at golf is the ultimate reason the kids show up, they leave with lessons that should carry them through successful careers.
“As I see kids grow up, they all face adversity, first in sports, then in education and finally in their jobs,” Trolio said. “Golf is a very good way for a kid to build a foundation.”
Trolio says that through golf, kids acquire “grit,” they learn to cooperate and they learn to be honest with themselves.
“I don’t necessarily mean honest like in a virtuous sense, but you have to have the ability to take a look at yourself and see what your strengths and weaknesses are,” Trolio said.
Trolio says that learning the skill of playing golf can be broken down into four steps.
1. Learn the concept.
2. Learn skills integration.
3. Transfer those skills to everyday life.
4. Automate the skills.
That fourth step is about process, says Trolio.
“When you start to see someone excel in whatever they want to do in life, you see a process,” Trolio said.
Trolio says that if someone is good at what they do, they are good because there is a process involved.
He is imparting those steps to more kids, thanks to the Junior Golf Foundation that was recently established for young aspiring golfers at Old Waverly.
Thanks to multiple contributions, a cottage has been build for kids to come and stay for two to four days and learn more about golf.
“It’s a part of Old Waverly, but more importantly it’s a part of our community,” Trolio said of the foundation that attracts families from all over. “It’s a place where kids learn the process.”
Trolio says that parents and grandparents need to talk to kids at an earlier age about their goals so that they can start learning skills at an earlier age.
He lays these things out in his book “Castles Made of Sand.”
He is also the author of the book “The Final Missing Piece of Ben Hogan’s Secret Puzzle.”
Trolio was the guest of Rotarian Perry Green.