Like father, like son

We’ve had a number of successful couples and family partnerships in the North East this season but Rockliffe Hall’s Tom and Ally Hartshorne may well be the most successful yet.

Eight-year-old Tom and his dad Ally have filled the family trophy cabinet this year with success at their home club and further afield.

Tom won the Durham County Junior Tour Order of Merit for 2017 with a win, which included the tour’s first recorded eagle, at Seaton Carew and a runner-up finish at Bishop Auckland in the five event series.

He was also able to reduce his nine-hole handicap to five and join the Durham team to play other northern counties in the tour’s finals at the end of the season.

“He’s had a great year and seems to be enjoying his golf more and more every time he plays,” said Ally on Tom’s success.

“He was walking at 16-months-old and had a golf club in his hands straight away.

“He may be a bit unorthodox right now but he’s so keen to hit balls we’re just letting him enjoy the sport – every thing he knows he’s picked up from an old Phil Mickelson DVD.

“When he’s older he may want to play more seriously but for now he’s just happy being on a golf course,” added Ally – a former Durham county player who’s own form has improved thanks to Tom’s love of golf.

“I’ve gone from playing once a week to playing up to five times a week,” added Ally.

“It’s great to spend so much time with Tom and he drags me out every chance he gets. It’s amazing to have something he loves doing and I can be a part of.”

Ally has added his own successes this season – reducing his handicap from six to three while winning four events at Rockliffe en route to the club’s player of the year title.

“I’ve played some good golf this year – including shooting under-par for the first time in 10 years,” added Ally.

“It’s been an amazing year for us as father and son – we may not repeat it though as I think I’ve peaked and Tom’s definitely on his way up.”