By Geoff Garnett
STYAL Golf Club junior Daniel Hayes made his mark at the recent Cheshire Junior Boys Championships at Wirral Ladies by becoming the youngest-ever player to take part in this prestigious tournament at the age of eight.
His style, confidence and ability brought great admiration from the Cheshire GA officials and they rewarded him with some balls for his stylish round of 91-24=67.
His father Mike said: “Daniel started playing at the age of two – I know that this sounds really young but he had a decent swing even back then.
“He used to hit a ball using plastic toy clubs around the house before I got him some US Kids clubs.
“We would then go to the driving range and he would play the par three courses at Adlington and Styal.
“I put a clip of him on You Tube playing at Bruntwood pitch and putt course in Cheadle still aged two which now has nearly 7,000 views.
“I noticed that he had great eye-hand co-ordination when he used to hit his plastic clubs and as he enjoyed doing this we introduced him to golf.
“I used to play at Cheadle and got down to a five handicap, however I rarely play these days as I enjoy walking round with Daniel and helping him with his golf.
“He won the Wee Wonders National final (six and under age group) at St Andrews in 2013 and then had a top five finish in the US Kids European Championships in Scotland in2014 (seven and under group).
“This qualified him for the US Kids World Championships at Pinehurst, North Carolina where he is the only player from mainland UK in the U8 section with roughly 120 players from 24 countries playing in his age group.
“His current golfing idol is Jordan Spieth and he also admires Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy and he managed to pick up Tiger’s ball after the fourth round of the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool last year.”