Outstanding young golfer James Newton from Prestbury is one to watch

Golfer James Newton

Golfer James Newton - Credit: Archant

James Newton, 18, has been on my golfing radar and those at much higher levels, for most of the past decade with his outstanding success and progress.

Golfer James Newton

Golfer James Newton - Credit: Archant

His superb development over this time would indicate he will go on to achieve his aims at the very highest level in the game he loves and treats with such great respect.

He began his golf at the age of seven, as a pupil at Pussbank Junior School in Macclesfield, when his dad Clive got him into the game by going once to a local driving range and this got him hooked on to the game.

His talent for golf was soon recognised in the Macclesfield area and he began his golf as a junior at Macclesfield GC before moving on to Prestbury GC when he was a model student at Tytherington High School.

Three years later he made his debut for Cheshire Boys and began to win ‘majors’ at Prestbury Golf Club.

James said: ‘One of the great influences and role models for me from very early in his career has been European Tour star Jamie Donaldson, also a former junior at Macclesfield Golf Club who enjoyed his first big wins on the Tour in the last year which enabled him to play in The Masters at Augusta.

‘He is still involved with Macclesfield Golf Club and their juniors enjoying playing each year for the trophy he donated to his club where he is now a life member. We still play regularly together at Prestbury and I win more than my fair share of the games!

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James has enjoyed outstanding success with Cheshire juniors helping them to win the Four Counties tournament at Crewe in 2011 and in the same year helped the full Cheshire team to win the Northern Counties League with a memorable victory over Lancashire at Prestbury playing a big part in their title success with James having a big 7/6 singles win as part of the victory.

He has great peers and friends over the junior years at both England and County level whose quality has also been a factor in his development.

Among his junior county individual successes were back to back wins in 2011 and 2012 in the Cheshire u18’s 36-hole stroke play championships and in 2011 he posted a record 12-under-par victory.

Another county’ major was to win the Cheshire Foursomes two years in succession with Prestbury team mate Dan Young.

James was selected for the full Cheshire team at the age of 16 and during this period was also a regular for the England Boys u18 team between 2010 and 2012.

One of the highlights was to represent England in the Harder German Masters in 2011 and at the age of 16 he came second in the English Amateur Championships on the tough Marquess course losing by a shot but having the lowest round of 68.

Back at Prestbury he shot a gross 66 from the tough back tees at the age of 13 and was the Prestbury Open winner in 2011 and 2012 and he has also won the Manchester Open and numerous other club and open competitions.

James took a big life-changing decision in 2012 when he decided to take up an offer of a golf scholarship at the University of Central Arkansas and he has enjoyed this and continued to make substantial golf development since he moved there last August.

James said: ‘I have found that with better weather and being able to play a wider variety of courses I have been able to improve my game. It has also helped my personal development in helping me to be more independent and my ‘major’ there is going to be exercise science.

‘My busy golfing schedule gives me little time for other activities but I still enjoy Thai boxing and following Premier division football without having a particular favourite team.’

His continuing development was highlighted with back-to-back wins in tournaments against stars from 12-14 other universities beginning with the Border Olympics Laredo Texas tournament where he was the individual winner with a seven-under-par score.

The followed the Bankcorp Intercollegiate Madison Mississippi tournament over 54 holes where he shot ten-under-par beating the current American Amateur Champion Steve Fox who went on to play in the Masters and both golf courses were over 7,300 yards.

So what is it that makes James such a special golfer?

On the many times that I have met him and once played with him in John Watson’s Charity Day at Styal James always exudes a calm and measured approach to life and golf as well as being very focussed and determined to play every shot to the best of his exceptional ability.

He is dedicated to practice and works on all parts of his game with the aim of continuing to improve and has many of the qualities which have seen Styal’s David Horsey do so well in his golfing career over the past 12 years.

His mum, Ann, and Dad comment that James as been everything they could ask for in a son and who works hard at whatever he does which are a great indicator of his character and key to his success.

James concluded: ‘My long term aim is to make the European Tour but to first complete my education and take his golf one step at a time at amateur then hopefully professional level and go as far as I can in the game.’