Park Rapids’ Natalie Martin Set to Participate in Drive Chip & Putt Tournament at Augusta National



Meet Natalie Martin. At 11 years old, her room is full of hardware. And this weekend she is looking for more. For the second straight year, she is off to Augusta National —home of the masters — to participate in the drive, chip, and putt tournament.

“She just gave me a hug,” said Rachael Martin, Natalie’s Mom. “And was like Mom, I can’t believe I did it. She doesn’t cry, but she teared up, just tears of joy. That was when you could tell that meant so much that she did it back to back years.”

The success for Natalie goes back years before these accomplishments.

“I got into golf because of my dad he helped me,” said Natalie. “He took me out when I was little and we went out to the golf course and I played in sand trap while he putted.”

Out of the sand traps now and on the links, Natalie is committed to becoming the best golfer she can be.

“In the summer, [I probably [practice] out there six days a week,” said Natalie referring to the golf course outside her house.

And it’s not just Natalie in the Martin household. Her dad John played in college and now all three of his girls are having success on the links.

“You know, Rachel, my wife will be on Isabella’s bag and I’ll be on Natalie’s,” said John Martin, Natalie’s father. “And then the next tournament we switch. Just being out there for a couple hours and enjoying them and talking with them. And Maddie played her first tournament last year, so we’ll see if she plays more this year.”

Yes, even five-year-old Maddie is winning trophies. Between Bella, Maddie and Natalie, the Martin sisters push each other and have a lot of fun doing it.

“I love my sisters Bella and Maddie,” said Natalie. “Bella is a great encourager and Maddie puts a smile on your face when you’re playing.”

Natalie hopes to make the LPGA when she’s older, but for Dad, he’ll be happy as long as she’s doing what she loves.

“I would hope that when she comes home to visit, she throws her clubs in the back of that car just walking and playing nine holes as a family,” said John. “That would be awesome if they have a passion and a love for the game that they’re passing it down to their kids and we’re able to go and walk and talk and hang out.”

Natalie has more trophies than I can count so I let her give me some tips and got a decent swing off.

But I won’t be playing at Augusta, Natalie will. You can watch Natalie’s skill on display this Sunday on the Golf Channel as she goes for first.


Categories: Minnesota News