Son of Ohio State basketball great Troy Taylor prepares for USA amateur

Troy Taylor hasn’t dominated his son on the golf course since the kid started cleaning his clock over a decade ago.

“He started beating me at golf when I was 9 years old,” Taylor said. “It was over at this point.”

Troy Taylor II chuckled. The 22-year-old Michigan State graduate, who starts Monday in his first American amateur game, won’t say his old man is unlucky — it’s not exactly Tiger Woods vs. Charles Barkley − but hey, Dad is unlucky.

“When I was 14, he probably got close a few times,” Troy II said. “Or at least where in the last four holes I had to concentrate.”

Zing.

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Dad manages to make things interesting when disability is added to the equation, but “head-to-head he didn’t come close,” Troy II said.

August 10, 2022;  Delaware, Ohio, USA;  Troy Taylor II plays golf with his father, former Ohio State basketball star Troy Taylor, at the Delaware Golf Club.  The Westerville South product who qualified for the US Amateur is preparing to enter his senior year at Michigan State.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

It’s a different story on the basketball court, where Dad Taylor still boasts the same soft shot that saw him as the 6-foot Ohio State guard finish the 1984-85 season with percentage. impressive shot of 0.518. He ranks 20th in school history with 1,497 career points and holds the record for steals in a single game with eight.

“We are not playing one-on-one, but shooting? I can’t hang out with him,” Troy II said.

I get a load of father-son athletic relationships like the Taylors. What resonates is not just the pride a father has for his child, but the competitiveness between the two. Fathers may act like losing to our sons is killing us, but deep down we want our children to achieve more than we do. At the end of the day, what father doesn’t want his offspring to pass him by?

Taylor II is about to do just that. His father was an outstanding college basketball player, but Taylor II is aiming for an even bigger prize. He wants to play golf professionally and is preparing to achieve this goal. Eat well. Sleep well. Train well. But above all think well.

Golf is played as much between the ears as it is between the strings, and it’s the mental part of the game that Troy II strives to master.

“Self-confidence is important in any sport,” he said. “Once you reach a certain level, everyone has talent. … It’s self-confidence that takes you far.

August 10, 2022;  Delaware, Ohio, USA;  Former Ohio State basketball star Troy Taylor plays golf with his son, Troy Taylor II, at the Delaware Golf Club.  The Westerville South product who qualified for the US Amateur is preparing to enter his senior year at Michigan State.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Usually, self-confidence needs a boost, and that’s where wise parenting comes in. Believing in yourself becomes easier when you know that others believe in you. Troy Sr. Never Doubted II.

“His drive to achieve a goal and his hand-eye coordination are very good,” said Taylor, who watched his son experiment with different sports before getting into golf.

“He played AAU basketball ahead. And he played football and flag football,” said Taylor, who coached girls basketball at Mifflin for 14 seasons, leading the Punchers to a Division II second-place finish in 2002 before retiring. in 2010. “I introduced him to all the sports, and knew that at a certain age he would find out what he liked and what he didn’t like.

August 10, 2022;  Delaware, Ohio, USA;  Troy Taylor II plays golf with his father, former Ohio State basketball star Troy Taylor, at the Delaware Golf Club.  The Westerville South product who qualified for the US Amateur is preparing to enter his senior year at Michigan State.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Cheer. Letting the kids decide where to land is a smart and healthy approach to raising young athletes, but Troy and Sheila Taylor also made sure to be with their son every step of the way. They encouraged, exhorted, explained and equipped.

“I had a plan,” Troy Sr explained. “When he was playing football, he was working on his coordination and his footwork. Football was more the mental part, figuring out where to go and how to get to a certain point. Then basketball, of course. You shoot a lot. I taught him a lot of techniques to be ahead of his age group.

“Then, his freshman year (at Westerville South), he said, ‘Dad, I want to tell you something. I am a golfer. Good. I wanted him to be able to choose the activity he wanted to do. And it was the same process for choosing a college.

August 10, 2022;  Delaware, Ohio, USA;  Former Ohio State basketball star Troy Taylor plays golf with his son, Troy Taylor II, at the Delaware Golf Club.  The Westerville South product who qualified for the US Amateur is preparing to enter his senior year at Michigan State.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Troy II grew up loving the Buckeyes, but a visit to Michigan State sealed his decision. Sometimes you just know.

“It happened in the state of Ohio and the state of Michigan and he asked me, ‘What do you think?’ said Troy Sr. “I told him I didn’t think anything. It’s your decision.” ”

Troy Sr. never missed any of the Troy II tournaments, and that support is appreciated beyond the obvious, as it’s not easy being the only black golfer on the course.

“Wherever we go, we may be the only minority there,” Troy Sr. said. “It’s always tough, but he was raised well, to treat people well.”

“I’m the only African American about 96% of the time,” added Troy II, estimating that only about five black people compete in the entire Power Five. He wants to increase this number.

August 10, 2022;  Delaware, Ohio, USA;  Former Ohio State basketball star Troy Taylor plays golf with his son, Troy Taylor II, at the Delaware Golf Club.  The Westerville South product who qualified for the US Amateur is preparing to enter his senior year at Michigan State.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

“I’m just trying to open a door behind me for young African Americans, like Wyatt (Worthington) and Tiger and all the other guys have made a path for me,” he said. “My goal is to play on the PGA Tour, where a little African-American minority kid can see someone who looks like him.”

But first, a trip to Paramus, New Jersey, for the US Amateur, where Troy II is aiming to win.

“It’s just the mindset I have,” he said. “I’ve been playing with all these guys in junior competitions since I was about 15. I know I can play with them, but one step at a time.

Troy Sr. will be there every step of the way. If you can’t beat him, join him.

August 10, 2022;  Delaware, Ohio, USA;  Former Ohio State basketball star Troy Taylor plays golf with his son, Troy Taylor II, at the Delaware Golf Club.  The Westerville South product who qualified for the US Amateur is preparing to enter his senior year at Michigan State.  Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

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