IT’S only been a year since seven-year-old Hunter Woodley-Page picked up a golf club.
But the Wesley College student is already on his way to representing Australia at two prestigious international tournaments this year.
Hunter’s father Andrew Woodley-Page said when his son expressed an interest in golf, he suggested they have a go on the greens for fun.
“I asked whether he simply wanted to have a hit at the park or take some kids’ classes,” Mr Woodley-Page said.
“But Hunter’s response was ‘I want to play tournaments and I want to play in America at the world junior championships’.”
Just a year after this conversation, Hunter has been selected to represent Australia at the Trans-Tasman Cup in Sydney later this month.
He has also qualified and been invited to the US Kids Golf World Junior Championships in the USA.
Playing at the Collier Park Golf Course and a member of Royal Perth Golf Club, Hunter’s talent was initially identified by golf champion and tutor Emma Liebenau.
Mr Woodley-Page said Liebenau had constantly put thought into special activities and challenges for Hunter to take on, which had ignited a strong drive for success in him.
“I specifically recall one filthy September morning, purple sky, torrential rain, a completely vacated course and driving range with everyone huddled under the clubhouse veranda,” Mr Woodley-Page said.
“All except one little boy – Hunter – who had worked for hours on a high- draw three-wood and was not going to leave now that he was crushing it.”
When Liebenau went on maternity leave, Collier Park pro Matt Chriss took up the reins.
“With Emma on leave, I was keen for Hunter to continue his development. Thankfully we found Matt, who’s had some real hard work to do helping Hunter’s swing evolve and cope through multiple growth spurts,” Mr Woodley-Page said.
“I think Matt has the ideal temperament, understanding that Hunter is a seven-year-old child, but he still trains him like a tour player; we’re lucky to have him.”
Hunter will compete in Sydney on May 27-28 before travelling to the world championships in the USA from August 2-7 to represent his nation in the sport he loves.
“He loves golf and works his backside off,” Mr Woodley-Page said.
“When we play he claps his playing partners’ good shots, and when he loses or plays poorly he doesn’t think it’s unfair or unlucky, he just works harder to improve.”