What's the matter with kids today? Not a thing if you're talking about Smylie and Luckie Kaufman. As a matter of fact, we could learn a thing or two from these young golfers. They have a passion and a cause. A really good cause.
Jason Sobel, ESPN.com:
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- They get it. They understand. Brothers Smylie and Luckie Kaufman will meet folks who don't want to know about their burgeoning junior golf careers, don't care to ask about the thousands of dollars they raised for their Kids vs. Cancer organization. Not yet anyway. The first question, invariably and inevitably, is about their names. So, ask away. Smylie and Luckie don't mind. They are expecting it.
The answer is pretty simple, really. Carter Smylie Kaufman, 15, was named after their grandmother's cousin, Smylie Gebhart, while Connor Luckie Kaufman, 13, was named for their great-grandfather, Austin Luckie Shipman.
But these are more than just family hand-me-downs. Shakespeare once asked, "What's in a name?" For the Kaufman kids, the answer is everything. The names define the boys, their values, their optimism, their philosophies on life.
Wait a second. Teenagers? Philosophies on life? While most kids their age are defined by how much pizza, Nintendo Wii and instant messaging they can eat, play and do each day, Smylie and Luckie enjoy two things above all: Playing golf and helping people -- and not necessarily in that order.
Last year the boys came up with a plan. They wanted to raise money for children with cancer, a charitable cause that had become important to them when they saw so many others in their community of Birmingham, Ala., suffering from the disease.
The boys set up a marathon day of golf, sending out close to 1,000 letters asking for donations to the charity they had founded, Kids vs. Cancer, with all of the proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. (Just the thought of licking all those envelopes makes Luckie scrunch his nose in disgust. "It was so hard," he said.)
Read the rest to find out how the brothers' marathon day of golf turned out. It will make you "smile".
I love to compete with the best in golf, but I also like the way it makes me feel when I help others in golf.