NEW US Open champion Justin Rose’s link-up with Goodwood is inspiring West Sussex youngsters to high-level golfing success.
And bosses at the acadmey reckon the star’s involvement can encourage lots more local youngsters both to take up the sport and to reach a very high level.
Rose joined forces with Golf at Goodwood as their ambassador just weeks before becoming the first English golfer since Tony Jacklin in 1970 to win the US Open.
He has already visited Goodwood to pass on tips to young players - and plans further visits soon when he is sure to be over-run by local golfers, young and not-so-young, hoping some of his talent will rub off on them. He may even visit just before or just after The Open, which takes place at Muirfield in a fortnight.
Rose’s recent visit has coincided with three of the Goodwood juniors who he met enjoying notable successes.
n Seven-year-old Harry Callow from Midhurst had a win on the famous Sunningdale course on the Trail Blazers junior tour.
n Marco Penge, 15, from Worthing, an England under-18 player, caddied for Rose when he visited Goodwood and has won the Fairhaven Trophy, regarded as one of the major events in British junior golf,
n Alfie Simpson has been selected to play for Sussex under-13s - despite being just nine himself.
Ryan Fenwick, academy development manager for Golf at Goodwood, said Rose’s involvement was fantastic for all concerned.
“I grew up playing golf with Justin - I’ve known him since I was 14 - and it’s great we’ve been able to get him as our ambassador,” Fenwick said.
“He’s taking the role very seriously. It was two weeks before the US Open that he came to do a clinic for the juniors. He’s incredible with the kids - he knows exactly how to encourage and teach them.
“Just after that we took the kids to watch in the PGA at Wentworth. When he’d finished playing he was signing autographs and he saw the Goodwood group. He came over and chatted and remembered all their names.
“Justin’s coming back soon to do more work with the juniors. He wants to leave a legacy for junior golfers.
Fenwick added: “We have a junior membership of 65 at present. The number’s growing and with Justin on board, we feel it will only continue to grow as he inspires local youngsters.”
Lord March is delighted by Rose’s recent success and his Goodwood work, saying: “It was a remarkable and well-deserved victory for Justin, he has been an exceptional representative for Goodwood throughout the golfing world.
“He visited Goodwood just last month and conducted a clinic for our thriving junior section and I know they were thrilled and inspired to spend some time with him.
“We certainly look forward to welcoming him here throughout the year with his family. This is a place where he can relax and feel at home.”
* As part of Golf at Goodwood’s commitment to the junior programme, a family day will take place on Saturday, July 27.
Running from 1.45pm to 6pm, the event is open to all families and their children who want to learn more about the sport and Goodwood’s junior programme.
Led by the estate’s golf professionals, it will feature a series of activities including tri golf - using extra-light clubs and balls, making it ideal for very young children - plus putting, chipping, a tutored coaching session and family competitions.
It will end with prize-giving and a barbecue and buffet at The Goodwood Bar and Grill.
The cost of the afternoon, including all equipment, is £15 for adults and £7.50 for children. For bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01243 755130.