Teddy Krivarchka is his name, golf is his game

By: 
Jill Meier, Journal editor
Jill Meier/BV Journal 
Seven-year-old Teddy Krivarchka has a knack for the game of golf.
Teddy Krivarchka is a natural with a golf club in hand.
 
And that should come as little surprise since his dad, Matt, first placed a club in his hands at age two.
 
Matt, a dentist by trade, would often bring Teddy along to the course and started the youngster out putting.
 
“I would put him anywhere on the green and say, ‘Alright, let’s see what you can score on the green,’ and it would take him three, four or five times to put it into the hole,” Matt said. “As he got older, we did it around the green so he would chip up and then putt. This year, when he got to be six, seven, he started developing a little more so he could hit it a little further.”
 
His skills – and knowledge – of the game also enticed Matt and his wife, Megan, to let their son play in youth golf tournaments, where Teddy has experienced some early success. His most recent accolade was winning the 7-year-old division of a USKids Golf Tournament in Lincoln, Neb., where he carded a 38.
 
The Krivarchka’s admit they were surprised by their first-grade son’s success.
 
“I told Megan that when I put him in the first tournament he was only six and it was nine and under, so you never know how you’re going to stack up against third-graders,” Matt said. “He was in kindergarten and was playing against kids that were in third grade but I’d played with him enough that I knew he’d probably do OK just because of what I was seeing when I play with him. The interesting thing when you play with kids who the older, they hit it farther. He didn’t hit it as far as them, but when you get it on the green, he finds a way to get in the cup a little early.”
 
Teddy has also competed in a handful of other youth tournaments, the first being in Brandon in June. He shot a 39 and placed second in the 9 and under division.
 
“It was one of those things, well OK, he can at least comprehend,” Matt said. “But the fun thing to see with him is he’s really competitive. It can be good – and golf – it teaches sportsmanship, because everything doesn’t always go your way.”
 
To date in his youth tournament endeavors, Teddy has won two trophies and three medals.
 
The youngster’s favorite part of the game is driving, largely because he gets to use the “big dog” club, as he refers to it, and because “it goes farther.” He coins his putting and chipping as “not bad.”
 
Megan said she fully supported Matt first introducing Teddy to the game of golf at age two.
 
“I didn’t think a lot of it. He has always loved to golf, even though it’s a time-consuming sport, I think it’s a good sport for life,” she said. “I wish it was something that I did growing up as a kid, because now here I am 33 years old and learning how to golf.”
 
She’s learning alongside her son, who, she said, isn’t always so humble.
 
“I just started golfing this year, and so it’s pretty funny because Teddy and I will sometimes compete against each other. I’m just starting and he’s been golfing since he was 2 and he beats me every single time, not even kidding.”
 
Teddy chides in that he oftentimes beats her by 15 strokes.
 
“Sometimes I beat you by 30,” he said.
 
“You definitely do beat me, clearly not humbly, but that’s OK, we’ll work on that,” Megan answers.
 
Because of Teddy’s competitive spirit, the Krivarchkas believe their son has the ability to deal with the ups and downs of the game. They especially like the fact the tournaments have age-appropriate divisions.
 
“It’s nice that they put them in age-appropriate spots. They’re not playing from the red tees or the white tees,” Matt said. 
 
Seven-year-olds play from 1,500 yards out, he said, which allows the young golfers to score similar to that of adult golfers.
 
“You still have to find a way to put the ball in the hole. Again, I was pretty impressed that he’s able to do that. It’s a good experience, a good life experience at that age and he’s definitely taken to the game and has done real well early on,” Matt said.
 
Teddy writes with his right hand, but plays baseball and golf as a lefty. Matt said he intentionally set his son up to play as a lefty.
 
“In baseball it’s always nice to be a lefty. He plays baseball and actually plays left-handed but does everything else right-handed,” he said.
 
It hasn’t been an easy journey, however, to find left-handed clubs for Teddy.
 
“Then you throw in the fact that COVID is going on,” Matt said. “I ordered him a set of clubs in April or May, and then I wasn’t able to get them or get a status on them, so I ordered a different set of clubs and finally within the last month all of the clubs have come.”
 
Teddy said the most difficult part of his game is putting. His parents continue to remind him to limit his putts
 
“That’s one thing that he does pretty well and it’s tough for kids to read putts and seeing how putts are breaking,” Matt said. “I’ve heard comments on how he’s able to read where putts are breaking. At this age, you help them quite a bit, but you hope by the time they’re 8, 9, 10, that they can be more self-sufficient in tournaments and you’re there more for support than the coaching.”
 
As for carding his golf score, Teddy has little trouble counting his strokes, said Megan, who said her son as “special.”
 
“I think he’s a special kid, I really do. He’s always had a really good brain for numbers, more than me somedays, I swear. He just has the number thing down really well,” she said. 
 
“He’s kind of a polarizing figure,” Matt said. “A lot of people ask how old he is because he’s got a pretty good swing, it’s pretty natural. I can’t say I have a great swing, and I’m actually a little bit jealous of what he’s able to do.”
 
Matt says there’s no one else that he’d rather play a round of golf with.
 
“I made a joke the other day that I will take some Fridays off to play golf in the summer, and it was last Friday and I went to go play golf and my normal golf buddy had first grade, so I didn’t have anybody to play with,” he said.
 
“It’s so true,” Megan confirms. “He didn’t dare ask me to play.”
 
The Krivarchkas also like the lessons that golf provides.
 
“It teaches you life-long manners, how to be respectful and courteous,” Matt said. “It’s nice to see at an early age these kids being respectful to each other and it’s not an easy sport for a kid because it takes a lot of patience and practice.”
 
When it comes to offering his own advice, Teddy says, “Watch the ball” and “work on putting.”
 
Her prefers to use balls with lines on them so he can line up his shot, Megan said.
 
“He plays in these tournaments and there’s a lot of kids that can hit it a lot further, but when you get it on the green, it’s all about your short game. If he can chip and one putt, that’s where he’s been able to compete with kids that are two or three grades ahead of him. It doesn’t matter how far you hit it, it’s how many strokes it takes to get in the hole,” Matt said. 
 

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