FREDDIE Titcombe will be looking to enhance his ever-growing reputation in local golfing circles when he competes in the US Kids European Championships at Gullane Golf Club in Scotland next week.
The Ogbourne Downs starlet, whose extraordinary progress in the sport shows no signs of decelerating just yet, will take on the very best of his contemporaries from around the world at the East Lothian course.
Titcombe, 11, first picked up a club aged six and displayed such natural ability that his father, Mark, knew instantly that there was a talent there that needed to be nurtured.
So, instead of coaxing his son round golf courses across the country, now Titcombe senior has become the dedicated bag-handler - and he’s expecting to be on the end of a few stern words from his son over three trying rounds north of the border.
“I’ll be caddying for him, as all of the competitors will have proper caddies,” he said. “I’m not looking forward to being told off at every turn because I know I will be.
“He’s playing on the Craigie Law course which is a lovely course next to the sea. It’s a lovely place to play golf.
“If he plays to his best then I know he is capable of winning it. Having said that, we can say that about anyone - even the top pros.”
A high-placing finish and Freddie could secure a place at the World Championships in the USA, but the Titcombe camp is not getting carried away just yet.
For now, both father and son continue to work hard to allow Freddie, who plays off a remarkable handicap of 12, to keep on track in his attempts to emulate his heroes, such as Major winner Rory McIlroy.
“We’ve been working a lot together to help him improve and he’s been getting good results,” said Mark.
“I’ve worked with him since he was six and it’s been great to see him develop.
“He played Ogbourne recently and he went round in 10 over on the men’s competition tees. I don’t think he really realised how much he had improved until then.
“We were talking about moving clubs, and we talked about all of the ones in the area, and I was surprised when we went to Ogbourne and he said he wanted to be a member there - even though it was probably the hardest of the lot.
“But he’s wanted to do it and it’s starting to show that was a good move.”