THE NATION'S BEST
By Danny Lockwood It appears Yorkshire will be holding on to its golfing prodigy for a while at least, with Huddersfield’s Dylan Shaw-Radford downplaying the likelihood of taking up college golf in the USA. The 17-year-old’s phenomenal 2022 campaign was rubber-stamped when he lifted the Performance of the Year title at the England Golf Annual Awards in Manchester at the beginning of March. Shortly afterwards he jetted off to Sage Valley in South Carolina to rub shoulders with the world’s best in its annual Junior Invitational. A poor second round put paid to chances of winning, although no one got within 10 shots of Boys’ winner and 2022 British Amateur champion, South African Aldrich Potgieter. “I really enjoyed it,” said Dylan, taking shelter from the rain on the range at Fixby, having just got over his jet-lag following his first visit State-side. “It was very different – around the greens there were a lot more undulations and the speed of them was much quicker, especially compared to what we’ve had!” Every English winter golfer will sympathise with that sentiment. It may be a while before he is back in the USA however. Having been undecided in the past about following in the footsteps of such as Alex Fitzpatrick, Dan Bradbury, Barclay Brown and his Fixby clubmate Charlotte Heath, he said: “I’ m pretty sure I won’t be going [to a US college]. I just think it won’t develop me any more than I can over here.” Dylan, who is in the England Men’s squad, turns 18 in May and is studying Business and Economics A-levels online. He gets a lot of coaching from Graham Walker at The Oaks and puts last year’s successes down to a simple recipe – hard work. “I’m just trying to improve in all areas,” he said. “I just put a lot of hard work in, trying to trust my game.” It worked last year when he lifted the Carris Trophy, the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Golf trophy, the Scottish Boys’ title and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. He was part of the England squad that won the Home Internationals, the European Boys’ team who took home a silver medal in the summer and the GB&I squad for the Jacques Leglise Trophy.
So, is it a case of having nerves of steel in a final-round shoot-out, perhaps?
“No, I get very nervous when I’m playing!” Dylan confessed. “But I think that’s a good thing because it means you are actually bothered!” The England Golf awards were hosted by BBC broadcaster and keen golfer Clare Balding at the Hilton Hotel with 400 guests in attendance. While nine of the 11 categories were open to public nominations, the Performance and Tournament Venue nominations were chosen by England Golf staff. After picking up his award, Dylan said: “It is really nice to be recognised for my performances and 2022 was a fantastic year for me. “I’d say the highlights were winning the Carris Trophy but then also representing the England Men’s team over in Germany in the European Team Championship. “I’ve been playing golf since I was ten years old and all I keep doing is try to keep improving, try to do myself and my family proud and enjoy playing the game I love.” A measure of Dylan’s success was in the opposition he faced on the shortlist. The England Woman’s Team was named after winning the European Ladies Championship for the 4th time in six years. Lottie Woad, like Dylan, had won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters, plus the British Girls, a college win in the US and had been a member of the successful women’s team. John Gough was nominated after winning the Lytham Trophy, Spanish Amateur, being runner-up in the Scottish Open and a semi-finalist in the Amateur Championship. Yorkshire County Ladies Golf Association was shortlisted for the County of the Year award which ultimately went to Bedfordshire. Also honoured with a nomination was the YLGCA’s Ruth Goodwin in the Volunteer of the Year category, plus Alexandra Bonfield of Fulford GC in the Young Volunteer listing.