Just sharing my experience
I had the good fortune of playing with a sophomore of University of Louisiana's Golf team member, Christian Verrougstraete
Conditions were tough that day (Saturday) at Anahita (Mauritius), the winds was howling, and it was at least a 2-club extra into the wind kind of day
I watched him hit lots of knock-down shots, bombed his drives, accurate iron play. It was a pleasure to watch and a sight to behold how he execute those shots.
He explained that he left Reunion Island (a part of France) when he was only 15 years old to go to France to further his development. That move paid off when he got picked for a full scholarship with UL
Although Reunion Island only has 2 golf courses, it did not prevent them for developing such a talent.
He said the talent pool is deep in USA. We just witnessed Jordan Spieth (19 years old) won on the PGA tour yesterday. Christian said he was considered 'short' in driving distance in his team, averaging 250 ish meters (no more than 280 yards), he often gets picked to compete by virtue of his short game.
Man, I did witness some serious short game. He drove one of the green and hole his chip for eagle. He also made a lot of clutch putts. What a talent. I think he was just being modest about his driving. For one of the holes, his drive was 280 plus meters (well over 300 yards), again, the affable young man downplayed it to being just downwind, good bounce etc.
But unlike the other story about China's nouveau riche having their 8-year old skipping school altogether and hitting 1,000 balls a day; Christian also enjoys his Biz degree and if the golf dreams did not materialise, he has a plan B.
I thought I share this personal encounter with you.