Holly embarks on American dream
Holly Standing is facing an important few days in her young life.
This time next week, the 17-year-old Ashford golfer will be preparing to get her A level results and five days later, flies to the United States to begin a two-year scholarship at Tyler Junior College in Texas.
She said: “It’s the first time I have been to America and am a bit nervous. I am going there to get some experience and play in better weather.
“Turning professional is my ambition. It’s a long way off at the moment but I would like to see how far I can go in the game.”
Standing, who already has eight GCSEs, left St Anselm’s School in Canterbury in May, having already gained a distinction star in sport and is now waiting on two other A level results, in government and politics and English language.
Holly has gained a full scholarship at Tyler Junior – 98 miles from Dallas – after submitting her CV to a Glasgowbased company Prodream USA, founded by former Walker Cup winner Lorne Kelly and run by three full-time PGA professionals all with US college experience,
Standing looked set to be heading to Iowa at one stage but circumstances forced her to change her plans and at one stage she thought she might have to put things on hold for a year.
She said: “I received four offers – two from Texas, one from Alabama and the one from Iowa – which is the one I was accepted. What happened after that is a bit of a blur but meant I had to look elsewhere.
“It took a couple of months to find another college, at one stage I thought I’d have to delay things and do a gap year.
“It’s a full scholarship which means I only have to pay for my flights and the facilities are good.
“Lessons are from 8am to noon, followed by practice in the afternoons, and playing four or five times a week.”
“I will be there for two years and then have to make a decision about whether to come home, or go on to university for two more years.”
Holder of Ashford Golf Club’s Ladies’ Championship, her trip means she will be unable to defend her title in September. She is also South East Region Ladies’ under-18 champion.
Coach Steve Mitchell, now based at Etchinghill Golf Club, near Folkestone, said: “I have worked with Holly since the age of nine and she has always been top of her age-group.
“She is quietly confident but resilient, shows great maturity as player, with a good attitude.”
Holly Standing – starts a new chapter in her career in the US