17 Year Old Amateur Akshay Bhatia Makes Pro Debut at Valspar Championships

J.B. Cobb III

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https://www.golfdigest.com/story/akshay-bhatia-on-being-the-worlds-best-junior-golfer-and-his-big-decision-to-skip-college-and-turn-pro

17 year old Akshay Bhatia from Wake Forest, NC will make his Pro debut this week at the Valspar Championships in Palm Harbor, FL. He is the #1 Junior golfer in the world. He has decided to skip college and go directly to the Web.com tour. A guy in my class was team mates with him in high school(home school?). Seems like a good kid who is extremely talented. My student was telling me about the home simulator Akshay's parents just installed for him, recently when he was at his home! Good luck to a young, talented young man!
 

JB

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Neat story.
 

zbeekner4

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I’m slightly torn on this situation. I think it’s great and he will most likely be successful but I can’t help but think he might be better served getting a degree for free and then go pro.




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I’m slightly torn on this situation. I think it’s great and he will most likely be successful but I can’t help but think he might be better served getting a degree for free and then go pro.




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If he's legit and can compete I don't think a "free degree" helps him at all IMO. He can always go back and get a degree if he wanted if his career failed early on. Being able to focus 100% on his career at an early age has to be an advantage. Would love to see him do well out of the gate at the web.com.

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Nikhil

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I had seen a Youtube of this kid a few months ago and did not know what to make of it. Good to see that he is making progress. I also have mixed feelings about turning him pro so early. But it's a whole new world now and as has been mentioned one can always get a degree later on if needed.
 

IceyShanks

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zbeekner4

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If he's legit and can compete I don't think a "free degree" helps him at all IMO. He can always go back and get a degree if he wanted if his career failed early on. Being able to focus 100% on his career at an early age has to be an advantage. Would love to see him do well out of the gate at the web.com.

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I agree with you on a few of those things for sure. But my point was that unlike other sports such as baseball where you get big signing bonuses, you don’t have the luxury of getting paid right when you turn pro, if at all. I hope this doesn’t happen (& probably won’t with his skill level) but what if he never really “makes” it? And he’s made some earnings here and there but uses most of it to keep funding his dream. Sure he could go back to school after but he’ll be footing the full bill then.

A free degree helps if he can’t make it later on or gets burned out. And what is it costing him truly to go to college? I’m sure he could have a full ride just about anywhere.


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Good for him, hope he plays well!

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Sox_Fan

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Great story! Wish the young man all the best.
 

J.B. Cobb III

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Went and followed this kid on Instagram. He's living the dream already. Really big fan of his swing and he's a huge lanky lefty... What's not to love about that?

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Golf Ghost

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I remember they featured him some last year during the US am. Kid seems super driven. Hope it works for him, it's a tough go out there.


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ForeOnFour

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There is confidence and there is cockiness, I think he is on the cocky side. He definitely has the game to back up his talk but after watching him lose to Thorbjornsen last year his attitude kinda spoiled me. Hope as he matures he grows mentally into his awesome ability.
 

Greg Kulbick

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There is confidence and there is cockiness, I think he is on the cocky side. He definitely has the game to back up his talk but after watching him lose to Thorbjornsen last year his attitude kinda spoiled me. Hope as he matures he grows mentally into his awesome ability.
I saw that match, too. Really didn't like him walking off the green and too the next tee before his opponent even attempted his birdie putt without conceding anything.
 

Big SoIL

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He’s another George Gankas student, who seems be building quite a stable a rising young talent. Kids got a great swing and it’ll be interesting to see how he progresses. He’s got a silky smooth move.
 

Cjgolf25

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I watched a YouTube video of him where it appeared to be vlog style. One thing for sure the kid does not lack confidence.


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