Demsey said he gets his competitiveness from his father, who played collegiately at Wake Forest and was his first golf coach. But once Todd turned 14, Bob Demsey let Welty take over his son's career.
"You see parents who are trying to live their life through their kids," said Bob Demsey, president and founder of Health Examinetics, a mobile health testing service. "I vowed, whatever my kids are doing it would be their idea. I very readily stepped aside and gave Carl control."
And even though he realized early on that his son had an opportunity to be something special, Bob Demsey said he always tried to keep golf in perspective for Todd.
"I made a point of introducing Todd to my former teammates at Wake Forest who were very good college golfers but never made it on the pro tour," Bob Demsey said. "I wanted to make sure Todd got his education and didn't depend solely on golf."
When it came time for Demsey to choose a college, he could have easily followed his father to Wake Forest. But Demsey didn't want any appearance of favoritism, so he chose ASU, a budding golfing power that was close enough to his home in Rancho Santa Fe.
Initially, Demsey wondered if he had made the right choice. ASU golf coach Steve Loy chose to redshirt Demsey as a freshman even though he was qualifying to play in most of the tournaments.
"It was frustrating," Demsey said. "I wanted to play. I wasn't told that I was going to be redshirted going in. I wasn't too happy, but it turned out to be a good decision. It got me so hungry to play and play well."
Said Bob Demsey: "I know it was tough for him. But my feeling was I knew it was going to be a learning year for him anyway. And I think you need a little adversity to grow."
Playing with Mickelson, a three-time NCAA champion and U.S. Amateur champion in 1990, hasn't stunted Demsey's growth either.
"His confidence is contagious," Demsey said. "He has such an air of confidence that I think I've developed a little more confidence in myself. He's supported me and gone beyond the call of duty for treating a freshman."
Welty said Mickelson has helped Demsey with the one area of his game that needed it--his short game.
"He's given Todd an appreciation for the wedge and putting," Welty said. "Mickelson's a genius at wedge play and putting. For Todd to be exposed to that is tremendous."
But outside of his short game, Demsey has needed little help with anything else lately. Welty said Demsey now does much of the teaching during lessons. He realized during Demsey's junior year in high school that Demsey was more advanced that his average student.
"I was in the middle of a lesson with (PGA players) Mike Donald and Bill Britton," Welty said," and were analyzing swings on a TV screen. I had to go somewhere for a while and I told Todd to take over jokingly. After an hour I came back and those guys were dumbfounded. Mike Donald told me, 'I've learned more in the last hour than I've learned in the last 14 years. Where did this kid learn all this stuff.' It's funny how they both won tournaments not more than a month after that."
With ability to analyze his own swing on videotape, Demsey has become the new age golfer. When his game is struggling, Demsey simply goes to the videotape and figures out where his mechanics were flawed that particular day.
But Welty said the mechanics of Demsey, a wiry 6-3, are rarely flawed. He said the smoothness and power of Demsey's swing is something to behold. Welty said Davis Love, Fred Couples and Greg Norman have three of the quickest swings in the game at 125, 123 and 121 miles an hour with a 1-wood. But Demsey at 116, is not far behind.
"Everybody that has dominated golf has been a big hitter--Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus," Welty said.
"I definitely have higher goals than being a second-team All-American," Demsey said. "I've got a lot of work to get to where I want to be. A top, top college player. Then I want to turn pro and see how far I can go."
And how far might that be?
"My dream would be to play four tournaments in a row, then take a break and fish a little," he said. "Then keep doing that for the rest of my life."