Today, Aaron Rai returned home to Wolverhampton where he spent the morning reminiscing with our past Captain John Jones, and past Junior Organiser Charles Sievewright. Joining them was General Manager, Stephen Kimbell and Aaron’s parents.
Aaron’s father Amrik is well known for his supportive role in his son’s life, having brought him to Patshull Park when Aaron was just five years old.
“I’ve probably watched him play around 80% of the golf balls he’s ever hit. I’m not bored, the better he gets, the more enjoyable and more appreciation I have for what golf’s all about.”
We caught up with Aaron after his chat with John, Charles and Stephen in Earl’s Brasserie..
How does it feel to have gotten to this point in your career?
“It’s incredible. Starting from a junior golfer and having aspirations of becoming a professional and then to get to the European Tour. Yes, it’s incredible.”
How does it feel coming back to Patshull Park?
“I mean we’ve had a very good history in Shropshire and Herefordshire with [Sandy] Lyle, so it’s very good to see that it can be done. But coming from Patshull, it has great facilities, the course was always very welcoming. It was the first course that opened the doors to me at five years old, and probably this wouldn’t be possible without Patshull and the contacts that we’ve made through Patshull.”
Do you have any tips for junior golfers starting out in their golfing career?
“Naturally as you progress, there are always things you wished you’d picked up a little sooner. I think with golf, it’s such a long career and it takes such a long time to learn and there’s so many different aspects to it. I think that the most important thing is just the patience and dedication to stick at it, because there does come a time when you develop yourself a little bit better, and does evolve into your game. So I think the patience and the work ethic are the most important things.
I think that not being afraid to do things your own way, that sometimes you feel you have to achieve a certain amount before you can get to a certain point in your amateur game before you turn professional. I think that you have to have that belief within you and have a great work ethic and attitude. Don’t be afraid to be different as well, do things your own way, do what you feel.”
Catching up with John, Charles and Stephen..
“I think that first of all, his parents have brought him on and he’s such a lovely man. He’s developed into such a nice chap. When we had the opportunity to take him on, we didn’t think that we’d be able to because of his age. I had a word with Charles and Richard our Pro, and we had him down here on the golf course and he could hit the golf ball a hundred and fifty yards or even further. He wasn’t the average five year old. We decided then to offer him a membership, and I’m glad we did!
Aaron is absolutely fantastic. He’s played and practised all the while as a little boy, and continued with it, and he’s gone to the gym and worked out. He’s a very sensible boy, and other boys could take some inspiration from that,” says John Jones.
“He won’t stop there, in my opinion he’ll go further, much further. And hopefully one day he’ll get the green jacket as Sandy Lyle did. Why not? He’s got the ability, and he’s a lovely person. I wish him all the very best, and I’m sure he’ll do well.”
Past Junior Organiser
“I think John and myself, we feel we’ve both been instrumental in developing Aaron’s golfing, first of all encouraging him to join Patshull Park at such a young age. As John says, he was only five years old. To be honest, we were absolutely gobsmacked what we saw on the golf course and he has very good values presented to him by his parents. Amrik has been unbelievable with the time and effort that he’s put into looking after Aaron as a junior golfer.
He followed a different path in a way in becoming a professional golfer, and I believe that he turned pro when he was seventeen. So in a way, he didn’t do all the amateur and junior competitions that a lot of the England golfers would do, but he had his own plan and it’s obviously worked for him. I take my hat off to him at the age of twenty-three. His journey has been remarkable. I think that Aaron and his family are very grateful of the support from Patshull Park and the management here.
He hasn’t changed a bit. He’s still a lovely lad, and nothing’s gone to his head. I feel that he could be one of the new, real stars of the future. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does in his next event in Abu Dhabi.
I just feel that John and I have had a little bit of influence in his early stages of junior golf, and helped him on his way,” says Charles Sievewright.
“I’ve always found Aaron to be a very polite but extremely confident young man, who has always known his destiny even from the age of eight or nine when he’d been playing golf for three or four years by then.
He’s certainly followed a severe upward path of PeeWee through to the States, and doing a lot of junior events throughout the country and Europe. Patshull Park has always been in the background and allowed him to use the practice facilities and indeed the gym in the past few years.
He’s looked at Patshull Park as his home course and we’ve always supported him despite others not doing so in the early years, and were delighted with the end result. Hopefully it will be an upward trend from winning the Hong Kong European Open in 2018, and we wish him all the best.”