FARR WEST -- The flushed drive, the spinning chip, the dropping putt: These three things can make a golfer's day.
All three are uniquely tough, and require a perfect combination of natural talent and practice to happen consistently.
Nine-year-old Taylor Butler, a resident of Farr West, knows the formula for getting an exact combo of the three, and is using her skills to compete in the regional qualifier for the Drive, Chip and Putt competition, a tournament sponsored by America's governing bodies for the game of golf.
The prize for the regional winners is a chance to compete for the national title at the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters tournament, the week before golf's first major. That includes badges to attend practice rounds the Monday before the tournament.
Taylor, who practices at Remuda Golf Course, first got interested in the game when she was 6 years old after watching her father play.
After becoming an active golfer, Taylor and her father, Andrew Butler, noticed the announcement of the Drive, Chip and Putt competition during the telecast of this year's Masters.
After confirming his daughter wanted to participate, Andrew entered Taylor in the tournament's random draw, and she was selected to participate in the Southwest region.
Taylor ended up winning a local qualification event at Stallion Mountain in Las Vegas, in early July. Now, she finds herself preparing for the regional qualifier at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Aug. 25, with the winner advancing to Augusta National next spring for the national championship event.
During the tourney, Taylor felt mostly confident from the beginning, due to her physique.
"I knew I could do it because all the girls were smaller than me," she said.
While their emotions were somewhat different during the competition, Andrew Butler was filled with joy over Taylor's win.
"It was interesting," he said. "She was pretty calm, but once she started playing I got pretty nervous. I'm very proud, though."
Golf has played a vital part in Taylor's development as a child, and the game's effect on her has been noticeable to her father.
"I think it's taught her good values, like honesty, respect and to be a good person," Andrew Butler said. "I think it's taught her quite a bit."
She said her favorite particular golf skill is driving and her favorite golfer is Fred Couples.
Like Couples, who has a well-documented love for the Masters, she is excited to have the chance to play at Augusta National Golf Club.
"I would scream at the top of my lungs, probably," Taylor said, on the chance of playing at one of golf's most hallowed venues.
With those stakes in mind, she noted her nerves are a bit higher for the regional qualifier than they were in the previous competitions.
"I'm a little nervous," Taylor said. "I just really hope that I can win it."
The opportunity for her now is high, but Andrew Butler believes this is just the start of Taylor's potential.
"I could see her playing in college," he said. "I could see her taking it to the college level and beyond, if that's what she wants to do. I know I'll support her 100 percent of the way."