Englishman presented with ‘Spirit of Golf’ award by junior charity, the Golf Foundation
Former US Open champion Justin Rose has been presented with the Golf Foundation’s prestigious ‘Spirit of Golf’ Award for 2015.
Every year, the award is presented to a golfer considered to be truly inspirational to junior golfers, thus helping the Golf Foundation and its partners to grow the game.
Previous recipients include Gary Player, Tony Jacklin, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Ernie Els, Peter Alliss, Tom Watson and Darren Clarke.
Ryder Cup star Rose began his ascent to stardom with support from the Golf Foundation. As an 11 year-old, he finished fifth in the Golf Foundation Under-13’s Age Group Championship in 1991. Two years later, he won the Under-14’s outright and was then invited to a coaching week at Wentworth in the spring of 1994, led by Europe’s then Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher. Four years after that, he shot to global stardom when he finished in a tie for fourth in the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
Immediately thereafter, he turned professional and has gone on to win 18 times around the world - including the 2013 US Open - and has also represented Europe in the Ryder Cup on three occasions.
Receiving the ‘Spirit of Golf’ award, Rose said: This is a huge honour for me. I remember playing as an 11 year-old at Patshull Park and then winning the championship a couple of years later. I learned a great deal from the coaching week at Wentworth and stayed at Bernard Gallacher’s house – and I remember he got me to really focus on my putting.
“The Golf Foundation does a great job in getting more youngsters from all backgrounds to enjoy a great game that they can play all their lives, and it is up to all of us to encourage the next generation of players. I am also impressed that the charity focuses on the life skills that golf can offer young people.”
He added: “I hope I can keep playing the game in the right spirit and my message to young players is that you don’t have to have a plus handicap by the age of 14. All players progress at different rates and if you work hard and enjoy the game you will succeed.”
Golf Foundation chairman Charles Harrison said: “Justin Rose follows some of the great names in the history of golf in receiving this award but, of all those names on the list, it feels like Justin is one of us.”