Players who don’t know Steven Robarge at Shennecossett Golf Course sometimes think he’s younger than he is.
He’s 5 foot 3 inches tall and weighs less than 120 pounds. People don't expect he'll teach them a lesson.
Then he hits a drive 290 yards.
“I usually go over and just play with random strangers,” said Robarge, 17, of Groton. “I usually come close to tying or beating them. They get surprised. Like, ‘I didn’t know you were that good.’”
Now the number one golfer at Grasso Technical High School, studying drafting and design as his back up, will visit the Professional Golfers Career Academy this summer.
His best run on 18 holes at Shennecossett is 69; he shot it last summer. Par is 71.
“This is my tenth year at Grasso and I’m going to give a honest answer, that I haven’t seen as good a golfer in my time here,” Athletic Director Greg Antoch said.
Robarge plans to attend a golf academy in Hilton Head, S.C. after he graduates high school.
“Stevie’s the number one player (at Grasso) and he’s been that way since his freshman year," Antoch said. “He came in as a very skilled player.”
Robarge started golfing at age 5, playing with his dad in the back yard and practicing at the driving range with his grandfather.
Almost everyone in his family golfs. About 45 relatives gather each year to play in a tournament.
“I just love how it’s so relaxing," Robarge said. "It’s such a fun sport you and play no matter how old you are. My grandfather plays, and he’s 82.”
Robarge lives three to five minutes from the Shennecossett course, so he walks there and plays two to three times a week or more.
He gets frustrated some days; the most difficult part of the game is playing consistently well, he said.
“I have my bad days,” Robarge said. “You have to get over that hump. Golf is such an up and down sport.”