There are touching stories everywhere in golf, and then there are those that stay with you forever. The tale of 12-year-old Kayleigh “Buggy” Reinke’s quest to have a closer connection to the soldier father she lost as a three-year-old belongs in the second category.
Buggy (a nickname her late father gave her as a baby) didn’t get to spend much time with her dad, Army soldier Gavin Reinke, before he was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2006, and she didn’t find out that he had been an avid golfer until a year ago, when she was 11. Buggy lives in Rock Hill, S.C., and her story was recently told by The Herald columnist Andrew Dys on heraldonline.com.
Buggy quickly showed great promise as a golfer, and with the help of her mother’s companion Judson Mullis, a teaching pro, perfected her game to the point where she’s now playing on Northwestern High School’s golf team—even though she’s still a 7th-grader at Rock Hill’s Dutchman Creek Middle School. Check out Buggy’s incredible swing in this clip from herald online.com:
As Buggy tells The Herald, she sees golf as a connection to her father, a way for him to live on in her. She’s also become involved in golf events for wounded veterans, where she tells her story about her dad’s love of the game, and she gets to thank her dad’s comrades for their service and sacrifice.