Move over McIlroy – there’s a new Rory on the course

HE’s a golf fanatic, can hit up to 50 yards, been on a national television advert – but wake Rory up from his nap and he might be a little grumpy – that is the life of a two-year-old golf pro, in the making.

Proud dad: David is a big support and encouragement to Rory and everything he does.
Photo by Robert Haile

He may be only two, but when it comes to golf Rory Walker, from Frizington, is the next big thing.

I met up with Rory, his mum and dad, David and Bethany Walker, and baby brother Reed, to find out how a toddler develops such a love and talent for golf gets a place on a national advert.

David said: “I love golf, I just think its the greatest game, so its definitely me that got Rory into it – I really wanted to share I passion I had, since I was 16, with my son – but it’s just amazing how quickly he took to it.”

Rory Walker, from Frizington, started playing golf when he was only 17-months-old, and within four weeks of picking up a toy golf club he had mastered his stance and developed his swing.

Now the pair head off to Seascale Golf Course as often as they can.

David said: “I take him to the range and he’ll just line the balls up and go – he’s got quite a swing.
“One of the golf pro’s at the club said they haven’t seen anyone start as young as him, and show potential like his, since Tiger Woods.”

Rory isn’t just a big deal in his home county – he has played six holes on the European Junior Golf Tour and was also shown on Sky Sports golf program.

But this isn’t the only tot’s claim to fame as Rory has already made his television debut in a Callaway television advert.

David said: “I won a chance to star in a Callaway advert by showing what makes me feel Epic. I originally asked them if I could bring my family along, they, initially, said no, but I showed them Rory and his golf they invited us both to go down and shoot the advert for them.”

What a swing: Rory has hit the ball almost 50 yards – a talent for a tot!

David explained how Rory impressed all the golf pros down there on the day and got a video out on social media.

He said: “The camera was only a few feet away from him, but he was so good, so professional.”

The advert that will be going on Sky Sports from May until September.

Rory’s skill was undeniable, even to a golf novice like myself, he knew the difference between a putter and a club and could even line the balls up and tap them one at a time my way – something children don’t master until they’re older.

But it’s clearly not just me that has noticed his talent as David explained he’s had interest from all over.

He said: “We have had Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood school of golf and University of Arizona be in touch about him – which is all just amazing.”

Rory isn’t only interested in golf, he has a keen interest in football and cricket too.

David said: “We were advised to get him interested in three sports .
“Then if he wants to drop a sport, say when, he’s eight, he could drop cricket, if he wanted to drop another when he’s 13, he could drop football – always keeping golf going as long as he enjoys it.”

Even with a plan in place, its Rory’s enjoyment of the game was essential to his parents.

David said: “The future for his golf is as long as he enjoys it we will take him to play.
“What ever happens with it happens. We are so proud of him already and just want to him to have fun.
I mean, if he doesn’t play another day of golf, we couldn’t be more proud of him.”

As Rory putted the balls towards me, it was heartwarming to see that he found fun in more than just hitting the ball – he would count them, watch them roll or chase after them.

One thing his parents noticed was his increased development of coordination.

David said: “He’s gone from catching a small basketball, to being able to catch a tiny golf ball, in the last year he’s just excelled.”

Rory is more than just a fan of playing golf – he can’t get enough of it on television.

“We sat and watched the Masters and when someone did well he’d cheer, then if a golfer would miss he’d go: ‘oooh’.” David explained.

Rory even has favourite golfers: I asked him who he liked, he said: “Beef” – meaning Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnson and “McIlroy” the Northern Irish pro golfer he shares a name with.

And when I asked Rory if he liked golf he said he loved it and he wanted to be a golfer and win the Masters – seemingly an easy task for a talented little boy with such a bright future.

Keep any eye out for Rory on the Callaway television advert – which will be on Sky Sports until September.

And best of luck with winning the Masters Rory – you can do it, well, he’d certainly give this journalist a run for her money on the course!

● Follow Rory’s golf journey, on Twitter: @Rory_WalkerGolf