Asi loving the interclub golf challenge
The way Qualen Asi hit the ball off the tee, he didn’t think for a moment a milestone in his short golf career was about to take place.
Over Easter, the threehandicapper – and member of Judgeford Golf Club’s top interclub team – was playing a round at his home course with his father and uncle.
At the par-3 fifth hole, the 17-year-old watched his tee shot veer off target.
‘‘It hit the hill to the side of the green, sped on and hit the pin,’’ he said. ‘‘All I could see was how fast the ball was going and then I lost sight of it.
‘‘My uncle said it must have gone in. He and Dad were pretty excited – a bit more than me.’’
Judgeford’s top side are fifth after four rounds of the Otaki Cup this year.
Asi and team-mate Jayden Ford, 12, are up against older, more experienced players, but the youngsters are displaying no fear.
‘‘It’s a challenge and you have to be far more consistent,’’ Asi said.
‘‘I always have nerves at the first tee, but I’ve been really happy with my form. If things start to go wrong I go back to a notebook in my bag and go over my routines to reset.’’
Asi said the environment at Judgeford was the right balance of wanting to win, but being calm and relaxed about results.
With his father Dudley a fixture at the club – club manager and head of the junior programme – Asi said he learnt to love the game early on.
Over the past four years his his golf improved markedly and now it is at least a twice-weekly part of his life.
During summer he played almost every day, often with Ford, and sometimes 36 holes. He shot a par 71 during one majestic round in January.
Asi, a member of Wellington College’s 1st XV for three years, said his sports goals in the shortterm were mainly in golf.
‘‘I’d love to play for Wellington and one day represent Samoa at the Pacific Games. Right now, I’m just concentrating on making greens in regulation.’’
From left, Josh Crumpstone, Qualen Asi, Trey Shedlock and Jayden Ford represent the next generation of Judgeford interclub golf.