AUGUSTA, Georgia — It's Masters week and Hartland teenager Cody Guetzke got the thrill of a lifetime competing in the Drive, Chip and Putt competition Sunday at Augusta National in Georgia.
"It started at the local qualifier and I did not have the best day to say the least. I almost didn't even qualify," Guetzke says. "But I got in by a thread."
Guetzke got through several rounds of qualifying to represent Wisconsin in the national Drive, Chip and Putt competition.
"It's winning the golf lottery," coach David Roesch says. "I think 10 contestants advance throughout the country. There's thousands of kids that start. Coming down to hitting three chips. Three drives, three putts. And doing it when it matters."
"He could play all day long. We would go out and play 18 holes and he would never wander off. He was always focused," Guetzke's dad Mike Guetzke said.
"Cody didn't watch cartoons growing up. It was the Golf Channel!" mom Becky Guetzke says.
And playing at the cathedral of golf, Augusta National, at arguably the most revered week of golf, Masters week.
"The history, I don't know, (it is) just gonna be a really cool experience, just thinking about everybody, like the past champions," Guetzke says.
"Not many people can say that they were able to putt on the 18th green at Augusta," Becky says. "So for him to have earned that opportunity is pretty darn cool."
And coach Roesch's advice?
"A 20 foot putt is a 20 foot putt, right?" Roesch says. "It doesn't matter if you're at the Legends clubs practicing or playing, or if you're at Augusta National. The ball doesn't know where you are."
"My goal is to try to get Division 1 golf, and that's why I'm here, right now, playing golf all winter," Guetzke says.
Guetzke finished 7th in his age group.
For more info on how your kids can get involved in one of the 12 local qualifiers, you can check it out on Drive, Chip and Putt or the Wisconsin PGA website.