Sam West harbours ambitions of following in the footsteps of his Hampshire heroes.
The Liphook Golf Club talent has recently earned a place in the England South under-16s regional squad – and wants to continue down the same pathway as Justin Rose and Scott Gregory.
West, 15, from Petersfield, has enjoyed a remarkable year and has gone from strength to strength.
The Churcher’s College student recorded victories in the Liphook Junior Open, Hockley Junior Open and scooped the Hampshire Schools under-16s and under-18s titles at Cams Halls recently.
As a result, he shaved his handicap from 4.6 to 2.0.
On the back of his success, West was invited to an assessment day at Meon Valley Golf Club and impressed selectors to earn an England South call up.
His dad, Gary, toasted the achievement.
‘Sam found out about one month ago – on the back of a good season,’ he said.
‘He done well in a lot of tournaments, progressed his handicap and has a good record with Hampshire under-16s and under-18s.
‘He started the summer playing off 4.6 and he’s now down to 2.0.
‘To halve your handicap in under a year is the benchmark but it then gets harder.
‘In the Hampshire Schools, he pulled it out of the bag down the back stretch, shooting three-under par in the final seven holes to win.
‘He finished on one-under par – the only player of the 55-man field to finish under par.
‘Sam also carded a 65 at Liphook in August, which is a members record.’
West is another product of the Hampshire conveyor belt that continues to churn out talent.
Rose was a winner of the Hampshire Schools and has gone on to scoop the US Open and Olympic gold.
Meanwhile, Corhampton’s Gregory and Meon Valley star Harry Ellis have clinched the British Amateur Championship in the past two years.
West is using their achievements to spur him on.
‘Justin Rose carried the baton for Hampshire for many years, winning the Olympics and the US Open,’ added his dad.
‘On the back of that, we know Scott and his dad well and he is a massive inspiration for the Hampshire boys.
‘Then you have Harry Ellis, who goes and follows up Scott by winning the British Amateur Championship.
‘They are spurring on all of the Hampshire boys to follow in their footsteps.
‘There’s a clear pathway for Sam and hopefully has the same work ethic of those – he’s been inspired to keep working at it.
‘Sam is dedicated and works really hard at it.
‘Technically, he’s strong now, swings well and his short game is great.
‘Sam would like to go to college in America. It’s something on his radar but needs to get his handicap down.
‘His goal next year is to get his handicap down to scratch and I think he will.’