County champ Tom down to 16 handicap

Rugby Golf Club's Tom Cleaton, 11'August 25 2011
Rugby Golf Club's Tom Cleaton, 11'August 25 2011

Promising young golf star Tom Cleaton, 11, is having a wonderful year. Not only has he just become the Warwickshire U12s champion, winning the title at the North Warwickshire Golf Club, he has lost an incredible 20 shots off his handicap.

At the start of the year he was playing off 36, now it’s down to 16 and he’d like to be in single figures by the end of next summer.

Tom, who has just left Bilton Junior School and starts at Lawrence Sheriff in September, has also twice represented Warwickshire U14s.

Although he has been a junior member at Rugby Golf Club for four years, it’s only in the last 8-9 months that he’s begun to take the sport seriously, practising three or four times a week.

“I enjoy everything about golf, going out on the course and practising, it all gives me a real buzz,” explained Tom, whose granddad Norman and dad Neil both play.

“I’ve had a few lessons, but not many.”

He has not restricted his golf to his own local club but has spread his wings around the midland golf clubs with a great deal of success.

During the Easter break, he came third in the Kenilworth Young Masters.

In the same week, he gained another third place in the net competition in the Stoneleigh Deer Park Young Masters U12s.

In the Kings Norton Junior Open Tom came out top in the net competition and in June, in persistent rain, he scored the fifth equal best net score at his home club at Rugby’s Junior Open.

During this summer holiday, he continued his travels to Coventry Golf Club where he scored the second best net score and fifth best gross, then on to Hearsall Golf Club where he was first in his handicap category. And at Maxstoke Park Golf Club he claimed another second place.

Tom is also a good footballer, playing for Rugby Town JFC and the Football Development Schools.