James given prestigious membership to help fulfil his dreams


James Whyte at Poult Wood Golf Course 1Young golfer James Whyte is set to receive an academy golf membership 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.

The club, which hosts numerous national and international golfing events, is considered one of the best in the country. The membership will help James fulfil his golfing dreams. The 18 year old has been playing at Poult Wood Golf Course, which is managed by tmactive on behalf of the Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council, since the age of nine.

"My dad always used to take me to golf; he never actually 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," he says.

By the age of 11, James was regularly winning Poult Wood's weekly 9-hole competitions and was being coached by the centre's golf professionals.

"They helped me in every way; from teaching me the basics of the game to how to hit a ball properly. They really laid the foundations," says James.

Tragedy struck just before James' 16th birthday when his father suffered a fatal heart attack, which put a stop to James' golf for a while. "When my dad passed away, I lost all motivation to do anything including golf. I didn't play for about 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 now attends Golf College five days a week and has reduced his handicap to just 1. In 2016, James won the Poult Wood Junior Open Scratch Competition and was awarded a 12-month membership at the London Golf Club as part of a partnership between the club and Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council to help grow the game at the grass roots level.

"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. I'm really grateful to be given this opportunity to play at such a prestigious club for a second time," he says.

Poult Wood offers a wide range of playing and coaching opportunities for junior golfers. These include Sunday morning roll up sessions for four to seven year olds and seven to 17 year olds. Fun and informal and with all equipment provided, the session are a great way to get into golf. The course also hosts Junior 9 Hole competitions every Saturday afternoon. Run in conjunction with The London Golf Club, the popular junior sessions start with a coaching session on the driving range, followed by a round on the 9 Hole Course with two PGA Professionals. The winner gets to take home a trophy for the week and to keep a winner's medal.