A chance at golfing glory

Jaydon Gallant practises under the watchful eye of his father and coach, Martin, at the River Club.

He still has a long way to go, but already Jaydon Gallant, 11, thinks he has what it takes to become SA’s number one
golfer.

Considering his performance since he swung his first club five years ago, the youngster is certainly one to keep an eye on.

In a relatively short while he’s has built a reputation as a force to be reckoned with. He is not just out to have some fun but to also bag a few wins and put his family name in the history books.

He says the sport runs in his blood. His father Martin is a golf coach who never got the opportunity to go professional but Martin’s brother Mervyn played in the Sunshine tour. Jaden’s older brother, Tristan, 16, is currently on a golf scholarship in America.

Jaydon’s golf prowess saw him being named captain of the Western Province under-13 team.

This is a responsibility he performed like a pro during their recent second place finish at the provincial championships in Mpumalanga.

It was his meticulous swing that saw him selected to compete with the under-13s and the golfing sensation earned the respect of his peers for his awareness on the green.

Still years short off the legal age to go pro, Jaydon says this is his ultimate goal. But before then, he hopes to follow in the steps of his big brother and win a golf scholarship, which will also benefit his education.

It has been a busy year on the golf course for the youngster as he has competed in all the junior competitions in the province while also taking part in national championships around the country, coming second in Port Elizabeth and third in East London. He also placed 16th out of 76 players in the SA under-13 championships.

“I love this sport, and I want to follow in the footsteps of my role model, Tiger Woods,” says Jaydon, a member of the King David Mowbray Golf Club.

“I practise hard, that is why I compete with older guys and I am very happy with my performance so far.”

Woods wears a red T-shirt on the final day of a championship, saying his mother told him it is his power color.

Jaydon’s tradition on the course is simply wearing his cross around his neck as he believes this gives him the luck to find the green with ease.

When Atlantic Sun caught up with the promising golfer at his second home, The River Club driving range in Observatory, he proudly displayed a list of medals he has won so far as a junior golfer.

He and his coach, father Mervyn, are now looking to take his game to a junior tournament in Scotland next year to compete against some of the world’s best under-13s, in the country where the game was started centuries ago.