TEEN golfing prospect James Sayce has been rewarded for his performances with Ross Golf Club’s most improved Junior player of the year award, reports Keith Ray.

Throughout the past decade, the Gorsley-based club’s ‘investment in young people policy’ co-ordinated alongside the ‘continuous improvement’ ethic provided by the services of head professional Tim Hall and qualified assistants, James Dobbs and Zach Galliford has delivered many highly successful and meaningful outcomes.

Fourteen-year-old student James enjoyed considerable golfing success in 2022 and received the prestigious annual John Gabb Trophy for most improved youngster from Ross club captain Sally Fycun at the Ross Juniors Academy Programme Awards evening.

His journey since he joined the Ross Club 12 months ago has a fairy-tale flavour after he found his father’s set of golf clubs and a bucket of balls in the garage.

Being home-schooled, he was able to make the family’s farmland his personal playground on which to practice the skills and drills learned at the coaching sessions provided by the Ross Juniors Academy.

Head professional Tim Hall said: “James has been one of the most hard-working and committed students to have progressed through our School of Golf’.”

As a result, from being a complete beginner, James has leapt to a world handicap index of 18.2 in just 12 months.

Taking part in the club’s 2nd Mixed Winter Stableford competition recently along with 93 adult members, James’ remarkable 46 points score won him the event by miles and was equivalent to him playing 10 strokes better than his current handicap.

During the summer season, James has also enjoyed a host of other successes, including winning the David Sainsbury Trophy for Juniors, two Junior stableford competitions and, with his father, Duncan Sayce, who happens to be an accomplished 11.6 handicap player, the Tim Hall School of Golf annual Adult/Junior Trophy.

Clearly James has much to look forward to on the golfing front in 2023.

He has already qualified to play in the club’s first major honours-board Barnfield Trophy event next March and has his sights set on acquiring some bragging rights within the Sayce household by becoming a single-handicap player.