Weybridge teenager Sam Barthram is not thinking small when it comes to his future in golf.
The 14-year-old first picked up a golf club aged just three years old, and now, 11 years later, is playing off a 4.5 handicap and is the new Surrey U14 champion.
His victory in a four-way play-off at Roehampton Golf Club in August is a sign of his fledgling dominance of the county scene after he won the U13 title last year.
Barthram plays out of St George’s Hill Golf Club, which he joined aged 10 as a junior member, and says he has the drive to win the highest accolades possible.
He said: “Ultimately I would like to win a major, and to play in the Ryder Cup. Representing Europe would be great.
“I look up to Rory McIlroy and the things he has achieved and I hope to follow in his footsteps.”
Barthram certainly has the right attitude, because although he was nervous in the play-off for the Olga Mills U14 Surrey Cup, the Heathside School pupil could still focus on his game.
After shooting a three over par round at Roehampton, he and three others went into the sudden death play-off where a birdie putt on the second hole was enough for the win.
“I was nervous on the first tee of the play-off, but I just concentrated on my drive and I was fine,” said Barthram.
“You have to be focused on what you are doing, otherwise it can go wrong. In the end, I was so pleased to win.”
He added: “There are areas of my game that can always be improved, and I am working hard all the time to one day turn professional.”
In the summer months, Barthram trains at St George’s almost every day, and in the winter months, goes to the driving range with his father Gary.
It was at the driving range that, at just three years of age, Barthram’s prowess first came to light.
He said: “I remember some of the other golfers telling my dad that I had a good swing. From then on I always wanted to be a professional golfer.”