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A Kid Who Can Handle His Putter — and, More Important, Hyperbolic Discounting

It’s always good to see someone willing to pass up a certain short-term gain in favor of a potential long-term gain that’s much more significant. In this case it’s a teenage golfer — with a big assist from his father. From the Washington Post:

How much is your high school athletic career worth?
That is the question an Anne Arundel County teenager had to decide last month after winning $5,000 in a putting contest at a charity golf outing.
However, before 15-year-old Garrett Sauls, a freshman at South River High School, could think about a spending spree — perhaps a new putter, some wedges and new tennis shoes — his father realized that accepting the money might present a problem.
Taking the money, Rob Sauls said, might affect his son’s amateur status and his high school and collegiate eligibility. … “He’ll have the opportunity to earn a lot of money if he goes on to play college golf or possibly play professionally.”
Of course, Sauls has heard the suggestion that he could just take the money or have it given to his father and worry later if one of the sanctioning bodies thought something improper had taken place.
“I was thinking [of taking it] because you wouldn’t really get in trouble unless you get caught,” said Garrett Sauls, who added that he has yet to be contacted by any college golf coaches. “It’s like in college football, those players, sometimes they get paid.
“If you know you’re not good enough, then you take the cash. I’m no superstar or anything, but it’s still in my mind that I have the possibility to play.”