Sheffield golfer Sam Bairstow eager to build on amateur success

In the swing: Sheffield’s Sam Bairstow of Hallowes Golf Club is a name to follow, now and in the future.In the swing: Sheffield’s Sam Bairstow of Hallowes Golf Club is a name to follow, now and in the future.
In the swing: Sheffield’s Sam Bairstow of Hallowes Golf Club is a name to follow, now and in the future.
If last year is anything to go by, the future for Yorkshire’s golfers will be an exciting one.

Ben Schmidt enjoyed a 2019 to remember, becoming the youngest ever winner of the Brabazon Trophy aged 16.

At county level, Yorkshire convincingly topped England Golf’s Order of Merit.

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Sam Bairstow, 21, from Sheffield played a key part as he finished as the county’s highest-ranked player on the leader board and third in England Golf’s overall standings.

Bairstow was rather late to the sport, picking up his first club at the age of 12.

It was at his local driving range where he was spotted by a Hallowes Golf Club member who told him to join the club.

The Yorkshireman has not looked back since.

Last year saw Bairstow win the North of England Amateur Stroke Play Championship, as well as the Hampshire Salver Trophy, a tournament previously won by tour player Ross Fisher.

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Bairstow would also finish second in the Scottish Amateur Open after an impressive five- under, bogey-free final round.

The Hallowes Golf Club member described his 2019 as a “pretty good” one, underlining the two tournament wins as stand-out moments.

“The Hampshire Salver and Northern England Amateur are both on par for my highlight of the 2019 year,” said Bairstow.

“At Hampshire, I putted really well that weekend. It’s a course where your wedge game has to be pretty good.”

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Bairstow had to battle the elements to secure the North of England Amateur with the “rain coming in sideways”.

Despite the conditions, Bairstow once again putted strongly to secure the final tournament of the year.

It cemented his place in the top three of England Golf’s Order of Merit but it was something that Bairstow was unaware of until told at a later date by a friend.

Although the Sheffield golfer acknowledged it was a “good achievement”, he admitted he wanted to do “a bit better” in the major tournaments such as the English Amateur and Lytham Trophy.

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Nonetheless, it was enough to grab the attention of England Golf’s team selectors as Bairstow was called up to a training camp at Woodhall Spa in November.

Bairstow was picked by the selectors soon after and then started 2020 with a win, helping England Golf find success in the Costa Ballena octagonal match in Spain.

A trip to South Africa at the beginning of February would follow in what was a surreal moment for Bairstow.

“That was probably the best experience of my life,” he said. “I’d never been to South Africa before and I just loved it. The courses and weather were really good. It was just a nice place to go to.”

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Plans for the remainder of the 2020 calendar are no longer certainties as the Covid-19 pandemic, for now, puts a halt to competitive sport.

However, many golf clubs have now reopened with social distancing measures in place and the hope is that competitions will resume in due course.

“I had a full schedule from about May to the middle of August,” said Bairstow, whose aim is to turn professional. “Some have been rearranged for August but I’ll just have to see what happens nearer the time.

“I just want some good results this year. I felt after South Africa I was playing pretty well. I was just looking forward to playing in big tournaments and if the results came, they came.”

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