Video: Suffolk golfer Josh Robertson is heading across ‘The Pond’ to further his career
- Credit: Sarah Lucy brown
A teenage golfer from Ufford who is about to embark on a golfing scholarship in Georgia believes this could be make or break for him.
Josh Roberstson, 19, a current Ufford Park and Suffolk scratch player, is heading to Darton State College, Georgia, in the USA to begin a two-year golfing scholarship that includes education in sports business management, with a further two years to complete a degree in that subject.
It’s a big move for Robertson, whose dad, Stuart, is the club professional.
As I met up with him to play a few holes – me badly, him well – I realised here was a young man excited about the prospect of moving away to further his golfing career – but still with his head firmly screwed on.
“I think it is fair to say at the end of four years, if I do all four which I hope to, I will know where I sit as regards golf,” Josh told me.
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“It’s a great opportunity for me, but it’s also make or break.
“I’m not daft, I know say only 0.1% of all golfers make it to the very top. I’ve got a lot of work to do, but I will try and do it.
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“Four years of playing golf – and in the sun which will be lovely – I’m looking forward to the opportunity, although parts of it are a bit scary.”
Robertson isn’t the first local player to try his luck in America, but he is the first-ever player to play off scratch at Ufford Park.
He’s won a couple of junior events and is in the Suffolk team, and although his family own Ufford Park, he is made to work for his keep.
“I work at Ufford, mainly bar work,” Josh said.
“I like doing it, as it gives life a bit of structure. I suppose my dad being a pro meant I was always likely to get into golf.”
So, what about America, how did it all come about?
“I had a couple of years at the Lee Westwood School at Stoke-by-Nayland and that was good.
“I had a gap year last year and then got offered a sponsor invite to a Euro Pro event in Oxfordshire.
“I played with someone who is an agent who assists getting golf scholarships for American colleges. His name was Peter Tarver-Jones and we got on great. I filled out some forms and luckily got a couple of offers. I checked the college website and spoke to Peter seeing as he went to Darton. I accepted their offer. Now I can’t wait.”
But before his American dream comes of age, Josh had the small matter of nine holes with yours truly.
Nervous? Never. Josh never gets nervous.
I’ve done this type of thing before on many occasions – made a scratch golfer look very, very good – and during my nine holes with Josh I repeated this with ease.
For some reason I developed a hook on four of the nine holes, splashed into the water on another. By the time I pinged one down the middle, we were coming down our last hole!
Not that I worry about playing rubbish . . . it comes naturally at times!
Josh, however, despite the carnage around him, kept his cool with some tidy play and as we sat down at the 19th with a glass of orange juice.
“Who knows what will happen and how I will develop,” Josh said.
“Certainly four years is a long time.
“But if it doesn’t work out, I will come back to England and Ufford and play for fun . . . and that’s not so bad.”