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Friday, 04 December 2015
Nine-year-old Toby in Year 5 has been named Bolton Golf Club’s Under 14 Champion! He beat off competition from the whole of the U14 section at the club in order to win the trophy: a particularly impressive feat given his young age.
This was not Toby’s first taste of golfing success: earlier in 2015, he won several mini junior competitions at Bolton Golf Club. He is also a member of the club’s U18 Junior Team, and has won six, drawn three and lost two matches. This is a great achievement, particularly since his only two loses were against boys aged 17. However, the highlight of the year was certainly taking part in the European Junior Golf Tour in Cheshire, where he beat opposition from China, Dubai and the UK to take home the trophy as U10 Regional Winner!
Toby said, “Out of all the sports I play golf is my favourite. I like playing to win as an individual and also playing my part in a team. I really enjoy being able to play golf with my brother, my dad, my granddad and all my friends at the golf club. In 2016 I will be looking to retain my Under 14s title and I will be playing in more away events with the European Junior Golf Tour. My favourite player is Rory McIlroy and one day I hope to be a Master like him!”
Given his success so far, this certainly seems to be a possibility for the future. Toby has been playing golf for five years, but particularly began to improve when Bolton Golf Club opened a short course for both juniors and senior members. He mastered his driving and iron play on this course and developed a great short game, then transferred all of these skills successfully over to the normal course, where he went on to become the U14s champion.
In addition to playing for his local club, he is part of the Lancashire U14s coaching programme, and has two coaching sessions each week. As a passionate golfer, he makes sure to practice his game most days after finishing school and homework, which in winter means either visiting Regent Park driving range or hitting balls into his golf net at home.
Interest in the sport runs in the family: Toby’s granddad Michael Yates is a member of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and was President of Lancashire Golf. He commented: "Naturally the whole family are very proud of Toby's achievements during his first full season playing competitive golf. He joined Bolton Golf Club, Lostock Park in 2014 and quickly showed great promise and enthusiasm for the game. It's always a good sign when children show continued interest in the game and are willing to learn. Toby is very competitive and shows a tremendous enthusiasm in reducing his playing handicap.
In spite of the recent cold and wet conditions during the Christmas school holidays he has insisted on playing or practising every day when possible. From my experience, junior golfers who are willing to learn without too much peer pressure usually go on to become well respected amateurs.”
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