Golfing buddies Schow, Chugg taking their play to next level
It starts with family.
Mitchell Schow Jr. has been golfing with his father and grandfather his whole life, but can't quite remember the first time he picked up a club at the age of 6. For Dylan Chugg, it began with his mother working graveyard shifts. His father found it easier to take care of the family for a few hours at the course, hitting balls with his sons on the range.
Now Schow, 15, and Chugg, 14, are again heading to the Calloway Junior World Golf Championship in San Diego. This will be the third time in four years for Schow and the second year in a row for Chugg.
The two Ogden boys have been playing together since they were 6-year-old tournament rookies. It's a relationship that Chugg appreciates. For two golfers who make it a point to practice every single day, finding competition of an equal caliber is difficult.
"It's very important to have someone to play with," Chugg said. "It brings out our best and pushes us to the next level."
While playing in tournaments and competing on the course helps, Schow feels the most important part of the game is what you do in between.
"I try to spend at least an hour every day putting and chipping," Schow said, "and if I'm not practicing, I'm playing. Missing just one day makes a difference."
Schow developed his work ethic through the tutelage of his coach, Kirk Abegglen, an instructor at Schneiter's Riverside who has been teaching for 30 years. Abegglen saw promise in Schow right away and was the one who advised Schow's parents to start him in tournaments at an early age.
He related it to a normally good golfer walking onto the Masters without ever playing a tournament. Simply the thought would cause the average person to break out in cold sweats.
"That's his domain he's comfortable there," Abegglen said. "Mitchell has been there and done that. He plays with confidence. It's just another day at the golf course for him."
Abegglen has coached hundreds of boys, but feels what separates Schow is his willingness to learn. Even after nearly a decade of golfing, he still seeks out Abegglen to work on the mechanics of his swing.
"He's focused on implementing the fundamentals," Abegglen said. "He's also very coachable. He'll go out and pitch for hours if I tell him to."
Schow hopes to get a college scholarship in the future, but knows there's still work to put in. Chugg said he is looking forward to playing at Fremont High School next year and proving himself on the team.
At a Glance
Ogden natives Mitchell Schow and Dylan Chugg will compete in the Calloway Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego on July 7-15.
Schow has hit two hole-in-ones in his career, one at Mt. Ogden and the second at Mulligan's South Course.
Chugg has won the Utah Junior State Amateur Match Play event twice in his career.