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Freddy Adu, Getting a Kick Out of Golf

D.C. United's 15-year-old star is shooting for another goal: breaking 80 this summer.

By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 20, 2005; Page T08

Freddy Adu is consumed by soccer these days. Just 15 years old, he has already played a full season for D.C. United, winning the MLS championship as a rookie last fall, and represented the United States at two youth world championships. Almost every day he is working on his ball skills or his physical conditioning in pursuit of becoming perhaps the most accomplished American soccer player in history.

But there are times when Freddy needs to get away and, like so many athletes in team sports, he has found his escape on the links. There's no threat of him dropping MLS for Q-School or the PGA, but when Freddy isn't at RFK Stadium, you might find him on the fairway of a local course.

D.C. United soccer player Freddy Adu, shown here at a charity tournament last fall at Reston National Golf Course. He was 10 when he picked up his first club -- and proceeded to par the first hole he played.

Find a course in the Washington area, get some pointers or take a look at some of the most scenic courses in the area. Full coverage.

Area Golf Scenes:
The Post's Gene Wang ranks his top five courses in the metro area when it comes to scenery.

___ Live Discussions___
Transcript: Swing Editor Craig Stoltz and Capitol Golf Weekly's Dave Lucas were online to discuss local golf.

Transcript: Steve Loesher, Director of Instruction at the Nike Golf Learning Center was online to discuss ways to improve your golf game.

Transcript: Pilates for Golf. Sarah Christensen, president of Pilates for Golf, and Marianna White, program director of the Pilates for Golf program, were online to answer your questions about getting in shape to improve your game.

Transcript: What's Next for Tiger? Inquisitive about the PGA Tour? Washington Post staff writer Leonard Shapiro was online to talk golf.

___ Feedback___
Have comments on Swing or our local golf coverage? Please e-mail us at swing@washpost.com and share your suggestions.

Golf and soccer actually cover some common ground. The modern-day versions of both sports were born in Britain. You swing a golf club, you play for a soccer club. You pitch a golf shot, you play on a soccer pitch. Neither game allows you to propel the ball with your hands (unless you're a goalie or a hacker). Both sports have chips, draws, flags and out of bounds. And of course, a ball is the centerpiece of competition.

Although United was busy preparing for its 2005 season, Adu took time out to discuss his interest in golf.

When did you start playing golf?

About five years ago. Some of my friends introduced me to it, and I've loved it every since. I had never played before, I didn't know what to expect. It's good because we went to the driving range, I took a couple of swings, they taught me the right form and everything, and then the first hole I ever played, I parred it. It was a-mazing!

So you had it figured out right away?

(laughing) I thought it was so easy, but then after that, I started playing like crap.

Did you take lessons?

I took a few lessons at Congressional, just to get my swing right. But I don't play enough to get a consistent swing. . . . I've got a long way to go.

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