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He showed so much promise that they bent the rules to allow an Ardrishaig teenager into the professional golf ranks.
Henry Palmer picked up his first set of plastic golf clubs at the age of two. By the time he was eight years old he was doing 18 holes round his local course in Salisbury.
He and his family moved to Ardrishaig in 2014 when Henry was 12, when mum Caroline and dad Philip took over the Allt na Craig guest house.
Henry soon joined Lochgilphead Golf Club, travelling further afield to become a member at Machrihanish. His long-held desire to become a professional golfer never wavered, and earlier this year he began a course to become a pro golf teacher through the European Golf Teachers Federation (EGTF).
‘I always wanted to play golf professionally in some form,’ Henry explained, ‘but a big part of going on the EGTF course was so that I could earn money coaching golf while at university.’
He officially turned professional on July 20, a week before his 17th birthday. Recognising his potential, the EGTF lowered their minimum age for acceptance from 18 to 16 years of age to allow Henry to take part.
Along with 12 other golfers from all over the world, he undertook a week of intensive training on how to teach golf – and make learning golf fun – at Ashbury Manor in Devon, under the watchful eye of EGTF president Peter Dunne.
‘I really enjoyed the course,’ said Henry. ‘I had previously done a PGA course on assisting a pro coach, but I found this one much more interesting. It was a mixture of theory and practical, and I was there with people from different countries, which was brilliant.’
He has no plans to join the competitive golfing circuit, but prefers the coaching side. Already Henry has been dipping his teaching toe in the water at Lochgilphead Golf Club, and he would be interested in hearing from anyone looking for golf tuition.
But anyone looking for some help from Henry better be quick, as he hopes to head for university in 2019 to study Scots law.
Henry said: ‘Lochgilphead Golf Club has been great. I think they are looking for a young coach, and the members have been really supportive.’