‘Brilliantly talented’ eight-year-old schoolboy already winning golf tournaments just 14 months after he first picked up a club

Layton Riches has set his sights on being the next Tiger Woods after wowing coaches with his exceptional skill - and he hopes to represent Yorkshire one day.

Talented golfer Layton Riches
Talented golfer Layton Riches

The gifted eight-year-old schoolboy has played golf for just 14 months and in this short space of time Layton has also gone on to achieve his first British Junior Golf Tour title, as well as winning the South Staffs Classic, a junior golfing competition, in May.

Layton first started golfing in early 2020 when his uncle bought him a second hand set of clubs for Christmas. Layton has since spent nearly every day at Sandhill Golf Club, Barnsley and the practice is certainly paying off.

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Layton said: “When I first picked up the golf club it felt like I had already played the sport before.

Layton only started playing golf 14 months ago.

“I always hit the ball and I hit it straight. When I played my first game, I thought this is what I want to do.

“I want to wear a Master’s jacket, that is my dream. I love winning trophies and I want to be like Tiger Woods.

“I hope I will turn pro one day.”

Aside from winning competitions, Layton has also proven to be a more skilled golfer than his dad, who now balances driving Layton to competitions whilst also working as a landscape gardener.

Layton’s exceptional golfing skills are driven by his dedication to the sport and his ‘natural’ talent, spending up to six hours a day practicing at the golf course.

Dale said: “Layton was just a natural on the ball, he had the technique down from the moment he started playing.

“I have no idea where it has all come from, but he’s brilliantly talented.

“All he says to me is he wants to go chipping and putting. His work ethic is unbelievable, especially for someone his age.

“He’s so special, everyone who has seen him play has said that he’s got a perfect swing.”

Describing Layton’s determination to get to a professional level, and his maturity on the course, Dale said: “Layton barely needed lessons to get himself to this level, it all just came to him.

“But what’s most impressive is just how smart and mature he is for his age, both in how he plays but how he carries himself on the course.”

Layton’s father is hoping to be able to support his career progression by gaining a sponsorship to help with tournament and competition expenses.

Dale said: “We know how difficult it will be for a working-class family to make it pro but Layton is determined. I know he has all the tools to do it.

“Words can’t even come close to describing how proud I am of him. He makes me well up just thinking about it.

“We hope Layton can represent Yorkshire on a national and international level – we're very proud of who we are and where we come from.”