Golf career sailing

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

For a few years, Michael Knight thought most kids lived a life a la Waterworld.

For the better part of five years, until he turned 10, Knight and his family sailed around the world on an adventure unfathomable by most.

"I kinda thought of it as a normal life," Knight explained. "Then you get home and start getting into regular schooling, you realize how lucky you were to see all those places.

"Fifty countries is a lot to see.

"I remember most of it, partially because the whole trip's on video."

And what a trip it was for the Knight family -- Tony, Arien, Michael and his younger sister Saskia.

"It's tough to understand what goes on around the whole world. You study it in social studies but I was fortunate to have the privilege to visit those places," said Knight, 21. "Like the pyramids in Egypt.

"My mom was doing the home schooling in socials and would go through the curriculum for the whole year and she would teach us that part of the curriculum while we were in that country, like Greece or Egypt.

"We'd learn about the Pyramids of Cheops and then actually go see it."

Of course, Knight also saw some of the ugly side of the world.

"The poverty around the world is unbelievable and quite sad," Knight said.

"Knowing what I know is around the world, I feel privileged to live in Calgary."

Having now lived on dry land for more than a decade, Knight is also in the process of putting together an impressive amateur golf career, which he's hoping to elevate at this week's Alberta Open at the Carnmoney Golf and Country Club, which starts today.

Knight finished as the top amateur last year, beating Kris Wasylowich in a playoff, and ended up one stroke back of overall champ Canadian Tour pro Wes Heffernan.

Since he plans to turn pro in the coming months, Knight hopes to leave the amateur scene with a bang.

He's spent the last year and a half tearing down and rebuilding his swing with the help of coach Kent Chase in Phoenix, a decision that forced him to walk away from a golf scholarship at Mississippi State.

Although an outstanding young golfer, Knight said his swing was "sloppy."

The plane of his swing wasn't correct for consistency -- he'd start inside the line and his posture and alignment weren't correct.

"There were a whole lot of things that weren't working in my favour," he said.

"I had to rely on timing, and under pressure you want to rely on fundamentally sound golf."

Now, his game is to the point he's put the wheels in motion to turn pro.

Knight plans to try his hand at the fall qualifying school for the Canadian Tour and the first stage of the PGA Q-School in October.

"I can see improvements in my swing," said the Earl Grey member. "I still have quite a few things I need to stay up on -- a change doesn't happen overnight and it's slowly being ingrained, a lot of those swing thoughts.

"But once I start mentally going through my routine instead of thinking technically through the ball, I really start seeing improvements.

"It's close. Not all the pieces are 100 percent together, but it comes with practice."


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