At just three-years-old, James — known as “Baby James” — is the pint-sized pride of southern Louisiana for his skills on the golf course.
“He would start hitting the ball around the house while he was crawling,” James’ mother Nicole Grimes told ABC News’ “Nightline.” “We’d just moved here and he started crawling it, hitting it.”
A self-described “golf mom,” Nicole Grimes drives James to practice at two nearby golf courses at least four times a week.
While he couldn’t get enough of his plastic driving irons, James didn’t start walking until after he was 17-months-old.
“I called my dad, and I was like, ‘I can’t believe he’s just hitting the ball, making contact with it, when he’s not even walking!’” Nicole Grimes recalled.
According to his dad, James Grimes, James often wanted to play with his plastic golf clubs — even bringing them to restaurants when they went out to eat.
“I guess we just kind of let him have fun with it and doing it, so then he would just do it all the time,” Grimes told “Nightline.”
James showed so much promise that it wasn’t long before his parents brought him to real golf clubs.
“A lot of people do compare him with Tiger Woods. Of course Tiger Woods is an amazing golfer,” Nicole Grimes said. “That’d be great if he went to the PGA tour. Who knows? He’s so little. Who really knows?”
“We know he will be in the PGA tour,” James Grimes said.
James’ coach thinks it’s possible.
“I’ve seen kids that can hit balls and have fun, but not the level he plays at,” Michael Watts told “Nightline.” “And I guess what sets him apart is his focus and how he can come out every single day and practice.”
At a tournament for child golfers, James was the youngest of the golfers he was competing against. But he held his own, making a par on four on the first hole of his second day. With his mom as his caddy, James came in at fourth place out of eight at the end of the tournament.
As long as James continues to have fun, his dad said they’ll keep bringing him to play golf, but won’t pressure him.
“My dream for him is for him to be the best,” James Grimes said.
“And a lot of people will look at him and say ‘He’s a great inspiration,’ and … ‘We can do that too.’”
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