Sam chases his American dream

15 Oct 2021 12:33
Published by: Scott Callan

CHESHIRE Boys golf champion Sam Johnson is going to Moscow in the summer of 2022 to become a vandal. But the only thing he's looking to wreck are course records.

The Moscow in question is in the north west of America, a 40-minute drive north of the Nevada Valley.

It is home to the University of Idaho, where Sam has won a golf and academic scholarship and their golf team is called the Idaho Vandals.

Should his progress this season be maintained, Sam, a member of the Astbury and Wilmslow clubs and a pupil at Congleton High School, can expect a successful and enjoyable spell in the States.

Within the space of a week, he won the county boys title at the Delamere Forest club, near Northwich. And the Faldo Series Midlands Under-18 Championship at Kedleston Park in Derby.

Just how exciting the globe-trotting life of a highly promising young golfer can be - Sam has a handicap of plus three - is illustrated by the events he qualified for because of those victories.

They include the Faldo Series Europe Grand Final in Abu Dhabi later this month, which is being held at the AI Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club.

Sam, 18, has been guided since he was 12 by former European Tour golfer Peter Barber.

Peter has been the Cheshire County Coach for 30 years and he teaches at the Dunham Forest club in Altrincham and the Beeches driving range in Knutsford.

He is also the head coach for the North West England Region Boys and Sam is a member of his squad.

Peter said: "Sam is exceptionally talented, very strong and hits the ball a long way. He's made an impressive improvement in every part of his game over the past 18 months.

"He has good parental support in that his dad Paul and his mum Debs do not get too involved. They are just there to support him and let him play his golf."

Paul, a single figure handicapper at Astbury, is the managing director of the Congleton firm Business Equipment Specialists, established over a quarter of a century ago.

Sam, a former Astbury junior champion, said: "I started playing golf when I was five after I saw dad chipping in our back garden and I had my first game on the Algarve with him."

Sam is considering majoring in a sports business-related subject at university in Idaho, where the head golf coach is David Nuhn.

Sam said: "We have been speaking since last year and we gelled right from the start. David is a really friendly guy, the golf schedules there are fantastic and I am very excited to play courses like Chambers Bay and Bandon Dunes."

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