Lyndhurst lad Henry Atkinson qualifies for IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego
NEW Forest seven-year-old Henry Atkinson will compete in the IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego, California.
Henry played in the British Junior Golf Tour qualifier at Cambridge Country Club in September, completing 18 holes to place runner-up in the 7-8 age category and automatically putting him through to the world championships, set to take place in July next year.
Henry, from Lyndhurst, scored an impressive seven over par, and was just one of two boys from his age category at the Cambridge event to win a place in the international event, which will see him compete alongside 1,250 other participants across all junior ages from 56 countries.
The young golf enthusiast will have a chance to play a practice round before competing in three rounds over three days at a course in San Diego.
Henry began playing golf at the age of four and is now the newest junior member of Wellow Golf Club. He was the overall gross winner for his age category in the Hampshire Ezgo Junior Tour this summer, and had the winning gross score in each of the six events in which he took part across the county.
He receives one-to-one lessons from Golf Monthly’s UK top 50 coach Nathan Cook.
Cook said: “I’ve been working with Henry for two years now, and he is an absolute pleasure to teach.
“He quickly moved through the levels on my junior programme and was the first to complete all seven stages at Dibden Golf Centre, which is some achievement when competing against all ages up to 17.
“Henry now has an official handicap of 17 and is continuing to progress. I love working with him – to have so much understanding, talent and desire at the age of seven is very special.”
Over the coming months, Henry will work on perfecting his technique and bringing his handicap down ahead of the world championships in 2023.
Cook added: “The most important thing is that he absolutely loves the game, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.”