By John Boyle, Special to The Seattle Times
Dylan Goodwin has made rapid improvement since his freshman year at Kamiak, according to his high-school coach. The South African-born golfer shot an 8-under 64 at Everett Golf and Country Club last month.
Thanks to golf, Dylan Goodwin feels right at home.
Wherever that may be.
In his 17 years on the planet, Goodwin has called South Africa, Indonesia, England, and now Mukilteo, home.
At a recent practice, as Kamiak High School golfers joked around on the Harbour Pointe Golf Course driving range, it was apparent that Goodwin feels at home despite a lifetime of changing scenery.
When he moved to his fourth continent in 14 years, golf eased the transition. Golf was his in. His way of making friends in his first weeks in America.
"Golf made it easier to come here and adjust," said Goodwin, a junior. "It seemed like I made friends and fit in straight away."
Golf has been the constant for Goodwin.
Born in South Africa to British parents (who also have Canadian citizenship), Goodwin moved to Indonesia before his second birthday and to London when he was 6. He also spent a summer in Israel. During the summer of 2004, Goodwin made his latest move.
His father, David, is an engineer who has worked in numerous countries in the airplane industry. David Goodwin's latest job brought him to the United States to work for Boeing.
In his first week in Mukilteo, Goodwin played a round of golf with another Kamiak freshman-to-be, Johnny Carey.
Golf provided an instant link between the unfailingly polite and reserved Goodwin and the outgoing Carey. Goodwin is the kind of guy who repeatedly thanks a reporter and photographer for coming to see him, while Carey is the guy who -- with the collar popped on his turquoise polo shirt -- is quick to introduce himself.
"It's Carey. C A R E Y."
"He's quiet, definitely more so than me," said Carey. "Our dads played a round of golf together before Dylan had moved out here, so once he came here we played together and became best friends after a couple of weeks."
Goodwin's game has taken off this year after solid but unspectacular freshman and sophomore seasons.
He won a club championship for his age group last summer at Harbour Pointe by shooting 65, building confidence for this season. Last month, Goodwin shot an 8-under 64 at Everett Golf and Country Club to win the 16-team Tom Dolan Memorial Tournament.
And for the record, Goodwin shot that round of 64 while borrowing Carey's driver. Carey just wanted to make that known.
"He's improved so much since his freshman year," Kamiak coach Jeff Tobin said of Goodwin. "The thing that makes Dylan good is that he's not afraid to go low. Some golfers, when they start making birdies, they get nervous and tense up, but Dylan's not like that."
Goodwin, whose older brother Kyle remained in London when the rest of the family moved here three years ago, misses England. He plans to stay in the states for college.
"I love Seattle, but I miss England," said Goodwin, who returns to England over winter break each year. "And I miss my brother like crazy. It was tough the first couple of months here, but it was easier with golf."
Goodwin's parents are grateful for their son's easy transition to another country.
"Moving around, golf helped him connect," said his mother Aviva. "I was worried when we moved here with him being a teenager. That's a hard time to move and I thought it would be really tough. Golf made it much easier for him to feel at home."
Wherever that may be.
by T.J. Cotterill, Sports Editor, The Western Front
The 2010 men's golf season lasted from September to May, but in the end it came down to one stroke.
After opening last season's NCAA Division II Central/West Super Regional tournament with a 2-under 70 the first round and a par 72 the second, Dylan Goodwin shot a 2-over 74 the third and final round. His dropoff from the first to the third round wasn't a by a great deal, but it was for his team.
The Western men's golf team shot a season-worst 300 the final round of the tournament. The result meant a descent from third to sixth place. The top five teams advanced to the national championship; Western missed the fifth spot by one stroke.
"We learned the hard way that the difference between going to the championship and staying home is one stroke," Goodwin said. "Now we all realize it is just one shot."
Goodwin is back with the team this season in what will be his junior year. With his return, Western gets another chance to witness the reigning GNAC Player of the Year in action.
As a sophomore last season, Goodwin averaged a GNAC-best 72.9 per 18 holes, beating Saint Martin University's Matt Epstein by 1.2 strokes for the GNAC crown. In Goodwin's season-best outing, he recorded a 9-under-par 63 in the first round of the Grand Canyon University Men's Golf Invitational Tournament in October 2010. After three rounds there, he finished as the medalist and the Vikings took first place.
It was the first tournament Goodwin won in his collegiate career -- a career that certainly looks to be a bright one.
"It was a great year," Goodwin said. "I really had no expectations. To do the things I accomplished was fantastic. But we didn't make it to the big dance. We played so great all year, so to not make it to the national championship was disappointing."
Personal successes achieved, Goodwin's focus is now on getting his team to the national championship next May. Western last made it in 2008, before Goodwin joined the team. No golfer on the current roster was part of the team's last championship appearance
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