Moore's Grandfather Has Lasting Impact On His Golf Game

- Championship Central

By Ryan Reiswig

All family relationships are special.

One's relationship with parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, are all very special and irreplaceable.

However, there's something about one's relationship with a grandfather that has a little something more to it.

A grandpa will buy you the candy your parents won't. A grandpa will tell you things about life your parents would never dare tell you. A grandpa will let you play outside as long as you want. A grandpa will buy you things your parents wouldn't buy you.

In the case of Oregon State's golf standout Alex Moore, his grandpa taught him the sport he fell in love with, and he is well on the way to making it his career.

"He taught me most of everything," says Moore of his grandpa, Robert Baldwin, who passed away just a few years ago. "When I was about six, we went [to play golf], and it got me interested in it and it went from there."

As the Pac-10 Championships fast approach on April 29 in Stanford, Calif., at Stanford Golf Course, Moore will be putting the skills to use his grandpa taught him years ago. Early on though, things didn't go smoothly for Moore and his grandpa on the golf course.

"He let me drive the cart," says Moore, laughing. "I remember running the cart into a tree with him on [the golf cart]. Not hard, but just trying to stay on the cart path but not being able to drive cause you're six. That's kind of my first memory of playing nine holes."

Along with teaching his grandson golf, Moore's grandpa even made him the instruments needed to play the game. In his garage he had a golf workshop area where he made shorter golf clubs to accommodate Moore's size at the time. Moore's grandpa was fully engulfed in making his grandson into more than just a weekend golfer.

On the course, his grandpa taught him more about golf than how to swing the club and how to play certain shots. He taught him etiquette.

"He was always a gentleman," says Moore, a junior. "I never saw him mad on the golf course, I never saw him upset. He just played because that was what he loved to do and if it didn't go well, it just didn't go well. If it went well, it went well."

These are lessons Moore has held close and are part of what makes him the player he is today.

"I really try to emulate the way he acted, the way he conducted himself on the golf course," says Moore, a native of Smithtown, New York. "I felt like maybe that's something that would help me."

Grandpa Baldwin's lessons certainly helped. During his senior year at Hanford High School in Richland, Wash., Moore set a school record with a season average of 70.25. Moore's golf resume also includes the 2004 Junior World Golf Championships, being a member of Team Washington in 2004 and 2005, a two-time Washington state champion, and he played in the 2007 U.S. Amateur Public Links Tournament.

This year, Moore took it up a notch. On March 23, playing on rival University of Oregon's home course, Moore shot a 9-under 63 in the second round of the Oregon Duck Invitational. This accomplishment, which stands as the lowest round of golf in OSU history, certainly had grandpa smiling from above.

"That round was kind of a culmination of everything coming together," says Moore of his exceptional round. "I felt really good out there, I've had success at that golf course in the past. I think I finished fifth there my freshman year so I felt really good on that golf course."

During the remainder of Moore's time at Oregon State, his ultimate goal is to win a national title, both team and individual. He wants to take his game to the next level upon graduating from OSU just like any other standout college golfer might.

"My goal would be to have my senior year to go well and get some sort of investment deal to turn professional after my senior summer," says Moore.

No matter what happens in Moore's golfing future, good or bad, Moore will always remember what Grandpa Baldwin taught him years ago during his senior year in high school when he went through a period when he was struggling.

"Get back into the love of the game, like what my grandpa taught me growing up," says Moore. "You play because you love to play, it's not about money or fame or anything like that. It's what you want to do; it's what you love to do."

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