Eva, A Young Golfer With Drive
My name is Eva Woodward. I am 12 years old.
My Gran and Papa live in Balquhidder Station. My Papa (Trevor Woodward) is a member at St Fillans Golf Club and so am I.
Our family have a golf outing every year and I wanted to play in that for as long as I can remember. I played in my first at Bamburgh GC in 2016 and played again at Crieff GC last year. I'm determined to be the youngest winner of the Cup.
I got my first 2 golf clubs when I was nearly 4 years old, in 2009 - a putter and a 9 iron. I started getting group lessons a couple of years later.
My first coach in Newcastle, Nikki Hunter, was brilliant and she gave out lollies for the best effort every week. Later, I was coached by Sally Hinton at Close House - another great role model. Under Sally I qualified for the Footjoy Skills Challenge Regional Finals in 2014 and the same year also earned a place on the Northumberland County Golf Partnership Academy Programme.
We moved to Scotland in 2015 and I started playing the Stephen Gallacher Foundation flag events. I won the first one that I played in and that was great. It made me want to play in more and more. These are a brilliant way into golf competitions for young golfers. If he isn't on tour, Stephen is at the events and is really encouraging to all of us.
Stephen's team that run the events are awesome and provide tips and coaching. Jane Connachan is one of the coaches and I also get lessons from Jane. She is my third great female golf coach, a Curtis Cup player at age 16! Lots of clubs don't have many girl members but there are always girls to play with at these events. I played my first Stephen Gallacher Finals Day in 2015.
I got my full competitive handicap last year and this year I have played in lots of Junior Open competitions including at St Fillans where I finished second in the handicap competition.
I am loving my golf this year. As well as St Fillans, I am a member at Linlithgow and have joined the Stirling & Clackmannan County Ladies' Golf Association and was reserve with the junior team. I have also joined the East of Scotland Girls Golfing Association and played in their competitions this year.
I am in S2 now and have also just started on the West Lothian Excellence in School Sport Golf Programme and get coaching and practice sessions twice a week.
I am still playing in the Stephen Gallacher Foundation events but it is stroke play now. I will be at finals day again this year and I qualified for the Race to Dunbar finals which is based on finishing in the top ten order of merit for the season.
I stay with my Gran and Papa quite often during school holidays and it is great to be able to golf with Papa at St Fillans. I also like cycling with Papa along the cycle paths to Lochearnhead and Strathyre and trying to beat my big cousins on the putting green at Callander.
We stayed at Crieff Hydro a couple of times last year and as well as the golf I really enjoyed horse riding and messing about in the pool and on the trampolines.
Inspire Next Generation Players
What an inspiring Year of Young People 2018 story from Eva, a young lady to look out for in the future as she continues to develop her handicap and enter competitions. Her passion, dedication, skill, continuous learning and enjoyment for the game comes across, whether she is competing to win or having fun with her family.
There could be someone who was born to enjoy golf in your family. How will they know without experiencing the game? Are you aware that St Fillans Golf Club invites under 18's to play free of charge with an accompanying, paying adult? The club will even lend you a half set of clubs if you phone to book in advance.
St Fillans GC hosted Junior Coaching with PGA Pro Ryan Scott this year on September 1st, and it is encouraging to hear that 11 juniors took part. Who knows, the next Carly Booth, Sandy Lyle or Eva Woodward could be living under your roof.
Come on mum's and dad's - let your young ones experience a round of golf. They might even be lucky enough to bump into Eva at St Fillans or other Perthshire Golf Courses to ask for some helpful tips or invest in her autograph. www.st-fillans-golf.com/ Tel: 01764 685312