Schoolboy golf ace on course for glory
APRIMARY school golf prodigy who can drive a ball more than 260 yards is bidding to overcome the odds to become a star of the future.
He may stand at just 4ft 9in tall, but 10-year-old Alfie Burnett’s talent with a golf club puts most adult players in their place.
His achievements are even more impressive as Alfie, from Hud Hey, Haslingden, has also been learning to live with a condition - Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) - which causes his heart to speed up to a dangerous 260 beats a minute.
Alfie’s attacks have been so serious that he requires emergency injections - but is now on new tablets, which are proving successful.
Last month Alfie shot a superb low round of 69 at the famous St Andrews Links’ Strathtyrum Course, to come fifth overall in the Adidas Golf ‘Wee Wonders’ British Championships, beating older players’ rounds.
It represented a remarkable comeback for Alfie, who suffered several serious bouts of SVT last year which took a toll on his competitive play.
Alfie, who is in his final year at Haslingden Primary School, has already got his handicap down to a hugely impressive 12.
He said: “I am trying to get my handicap down to a single handicap so I can play for Lancashire, and then play for England and go professional.
“I want to play the Open at St Andrews, and especially the Masters at Augusta and I’d also like to play in the Ryder Cup.”
He added: “They have had to stop my heart four times. It is a bit scary, but it’s alright because I know it’s not going to stop me.”
The youngster’s first taste of the sport came aged just four when he picked up a club at a family barbecue.
Six years later he already has a string of tournament wins under his belt, and has just been named the Lancashire Under-14s player of the season, with a longest (wind-assisted) drive of a mammoth 265 yards.
Alfie said: “I do remember the first time I played - I was out with my uncle and he let me have a few shots with his clubs and I just really enjoyed it.
“The shot I like playing best is my tee shot, because when I play in a championships I like to hit it further than anyone else.”
Alfie also shows an appreciation for the game’s finer traditions and names his favourite former players as the late greats Seve Ballesteros and Ben Hogan.
He said: “Those guys didn’t play for money, they played because they really loved the game. They are really inspirational for me. I’m just working at getting better and better.
“I would like to be a world champion.”
●● Alfie Burnett aged 10