Binks Forest G.C. and James Petrokus, Jr.
By George Schissler
We, my visiting friend from Washington, D.C. and I decided to try our skill
(and luck) at a golf course
new to us and selected Binks Forest Golf Club in the nearby Village of
The decision to play here was made after checking their internet site which
noted that the 18 hole,
par 72 Johnny Miller and Gene Bates designed facility had been completely
renovated in 2007 by Bates.
It features pine tree lined fairways, four sets of tee boxes on each hole,
Tifeagle greens which proved to be lightning fast, some water and 85-90
Other amenities include a driving range, large practice putting green, club
rentals, a well stocked pro shop and restaurant.
Binks Forest proved to be a surprising test and challenge to our limited
skills - but the biggest (or smallest) surprise came somewhere toward the
middle of the front nine. It was there that we became aware of the twosome
Because of the lengthy tee shots we practiced good golf etiquette and waved
them on not wanting to slow their pace of play. As the father and son rode
by we remarked to the father that he was hitting the ball well. He then
informed us that he was only driving the cart and not playing at all. It was
his 12-year-old passenger, James Petrokus. Jr. pictured here hitting the
We watched as James Jr., a little lefty. hit his tee shot approximately
220-230 yards down the middle of the fairway and the two of us turned,
wide-eyed at what we had just witnessed. Naturally we had questions and Dad
revealed that James Jr. played his first golf at age three and will be
competing in the U.S. Kids World Championship at Pinehurst No. 4 in North
Carolina in August. He has also competed in the South Florida 2011 division.
The August championship pits qualifiers in separate age brackets and James
will compete in the 12 and under age bracket.
We also noticed that the clubs in his bag were Taylor Made and were told
that his favorite PGA player is Rory McElroy. He is coached by Matt Messor
from Bear Lakes in Palm Beach, Florida, a Jack Nicklaus designed golf
James Petrokus, Jr. just might be a name we will all be familiar with in the
future. But for now we can all wish him the best of luck in August at
Pinehurst No. 4 where he could be No. 1.