Do you want to quit? Have struggles that you just can’t seem to master or issues that cannot be resolved? Kody Conover, age 20, is an extraordinary example of perseverance and hard work dominating obstacles that seem unconquerable. His story is inspiring, awing, and truly motivation for never giving up.
Kody Conover of Roosevelt, Utah, is like most typical 19-year-old male golfers. He’s super competitive, loves to talk a little smack on the course, doesn’t mind a pretty cart girl and dreams about the future.
What’s different about him may surprise you. Unlike many golfers, especially his age, Kody lives in the present, which is a valuable trait in golf. This year, he’s already won five times on the Golf Channel Am Tour and has recorded several rounds in the 70s.
Kody has Down syndrome, which to many might seem like a tough blow, but the Conover Family has done more than make the best of it. They’ve thrived. It’s a condition that affects as many as a half million people in the United States, presenting physical and mental challenges in their everyday lives. Yet it doesn’t keep Kody Conover from playing golf, something he does very well.
“He loves it,’’ says his mother, Kitty. “He goes to bed thinking about golf and wakes up thinking about golf. It’s been really good for him because it teaches him determination. Like today in the miserable weather a lot of kids would give up. But he just kept on going.’’
When asked at what age he started playing golf he answers “8,’’ but his mother sitting nearby corrects him and says he actually has been playing since he was 3. That’s when he received some plastic clubs as an Easter present before graduating to real clubs soon after.
Perhaps he was thinking of his first birdie, which, remarkably, came at age 8. In 2012, he made his first hole in one, his 7-iron just left of the hole on a par-3 on his home course in Roosevelt, spun to the right and into the cup.
He not only graduated, but plans to go to college and perhaps become a golf pro. In the meantime, though, his parents have set up a laundromat business that bears his name. In the morning, he works there as the maintenance man, and when he gets off, he plays golf, most of the time with his father. And when they’re not playing together, the elder Conover caddies for his son in tournaments because Kody needs someone to be his eyes on the course to follow the ball.