Jayden, 13, in seniors comp
‘‘If you have a bad couple of holes, just know that there's heaps of holes to go. I'm quite a calm sort of person most of the time.’’
Some of the country’s top performers will soon be checking over their shoulders at 13-year-old golfing talent Jayden Ford.
The Porirua teen will compete as part of Wellington Golf’s senior men’s team against Northland at Mangawhai Golf Club in Northland on June 10.
It’s a new fixture on the representative calendar, added as the team begins their campaign to again become national champions in December.
Jayden, a Year 9 student at St Patrick’s College Silverstream, is one of Judgeford Golf Club’s bright prospects having impressed at the NZ Amateur Championship at Royal Wellington last year.
His biggest strength going into the competition, he said, was his youth.
‘‘Just having the mindset to learn. At the end of the day, we’re all humans.’’
Mental resilience was a big part of his success.
‘‘If you have a bad couple of holes, just know that there’s heaps more to go. I’m quite a calm sort of person most of the time.’’
Once hailing from the same club that produced Michael Campbell, and with mother Izzy a former rugby Black Fern, Ford has sporting knowledge beyond his years.
He first swung a club at age three and appeared in The Dominion Post at six when preparing for an age-grade comp in San Diego. Jayden was back in the US last year, winning two tournaments in the Junior World Age Group Championship series.
‘‘The trickiest part is probably just being able to handle bad tournaments.
‘‘[It’s about] knowing what I can improve on for next time, but that’s all work in progress, and realising failure’s just part of success.’’
Along with longer sessions at weekends, he practises a couple of hours everyday after school in winter, and until nightfall in summer.
Judgeford Golf Club manager Dudley Asi, who helped develop Jayden’s game, said: ‘‘He was a junior, now he’s a man. That’s a big step. Jayden does all the hard work ... we didn’t hesitate to put him in there.’’
In July, Jayden will attend a national junior training camp in Christchurch at the invitation of NZ Golf.
Jayden Ford, 13, has been selected in the Wellington senior men’s team to play Northland in June. Jayden Ford