A TEENAGER who plays at Poult Wood has received an academy place at the prestigious London Golf Club for the second year in a row as part of a scheme to develop golfing talent in the borough of Tonbridge & Malling.
James Whyte, 18, has been playing at the Tonbridge course since the age of nine – with the encouragement of his father Robert, who -tragically died three years ago.
James recalls: “My dad always used to take me to golf – he never played but walked around with me. I really enjoyed playing and when I had a good round I just wanted to play more and do even better.”
By the age of 11, James was regularly winning Poult Wood’s weekly nine-hole competitions and was coached by their professionals.
“They helped me in every way; from teaching me the basics to how to hit a ball properly. They really laid the foundations,” says James.
Just before James’s 16th birthday, his father suffered a fatal heart attack. James said: “When my dad passed away, I lost all motivation to do anything including golf. I didn’t play for about a year, but then I realised how much I missed it.
“I used the memory of my dad to motivate me and all I have wanted to do ever since is play golf.”
James attends The Golf College in Lindfield, West Sussex and has reduced his handicap to one.
Last year he won the Poult Wood Junior Open Scratch Competition.
James said: “Playing on the London Golf Club course, which is 2,000 yards longer than Poult Wood, has given me the opportunity to experience a different type of golf, and my game has really developed as a result.”