Caelan Konganda was introduced to golf at age 3 by his grandfather. It wasn’t until more than a decade later that the elder Konganda was able to watch the youngster play in a tournament.
When Konganda finished second at the Dallas Junior Invitational, it brought a smile to both generations, the elder of which traveled from India for the occasion.
“I knew he’d be watching, so that was a little more pressure,” Caelan Konganda said. “He was happy.”
After dedicating himself to the sport a few years ago, the Highland Park sophomore now competes year-round both at the subvarsity level for the Scots and in youth tournaments throughout the area.
“He’s definitely got some potential,” said HP boys golf coach Jeff Loyd. “Caelan is very mature for his age. He works hard. His swing is improving and his distance is improving, so his scores are improving. Right now, he seems like he’s got all the tools.”
Konganda’s grandfather still plays golf almost every day in India, and his aunt is a touring professional there. He hopes to play collegiately and professionally himself one day.
“I like competing in tournaments,” said Konganda, who takes regular lessons at Trinity Forest Golf Club, which will become the new home for the PGA Tour AT&T Byron Nelson tournament next year. “It’s nice to play at all of these courses.”
In July, Konganda scored his first ace in competition during a Northern Texas PGA event at the Old American Golf Club in The Colony.
Between schoolwork and playing golf 15–20 hours each week, he doesn’t have much time to read books, let alone write them. So even though he’s the author of a fantasy novel for sale online, he hopes his future involves swinging clubs, not punching keys.
His 164-page book, called The Survival, started as a project for an English class at Highland Park Middle School. The idea, about a lone human survivor after a zombie outbreak trying to save the world, came from watching post-apocalyptic movies and playing video games.
After he and his classmates finished the English assignment, many of the young authors self-published their stories via CreateSpace, which led to a listing on Amazon and other online retailers.
“It was a lot of work,” he said. “Over the past two years, some people have bought it.”