NICK Marsh is an ambitious young man who doesn’t readily settle for mid-field respectability.
However, the 17-year-old from Elland was delighted to shoot a level par score, even if it was eight shots behind the best round of the day, in England Boys’ win over the North West at Fairhaven Golf Club, Blackpool over the weekend.
After a winter when Marsh’s career looked on the line, he was pleased just to be able to swing a golf club again, feel 100 per cent and play reasonably well.
Marsh, who has recently switched clubs from Elland to Huddersfield, had to take a six-week break from the sport between mid-December to the end of January due to injury.
“It was an inflamatory problem with my right wrist which swelled up to twice its normal size,” he explained.
“It was scary, especially when it carried on so long, and I was sceptical about whether I would get a chance to make a career out of golf.”
However, a visit to a specialist allayed Marsh’s fears.
“Fortunately, I was told it was not serious,” said Marsh. “It’s a technical thing. After hitting the ball my right wrist was not in a good position.”
Marsh is now working with his coach Andrew Nicholson on correcting the problem.
Nicholson, who has helped Marsh reduce his handicap from 27 to plus two in the space of eight years, is based at the Wynyard Hall club in Billingham and the Elland teenager tries to visit him once a month.
Marsh admitted the injury had set him back following his selection for the England Boys squad.
“I really wanted to knuckle down, do a lot of practice and take my game to the next level,” he said.
Having been restricted to putting for a while, Marsh has only been able to really step up his training recently.
“The Fairhaven match was my first competitive outing and I felt quite a lot of pressure to perform. I was very aware of the injury and how I might play,” he said.
“I had only two weeks to practice and prepare but I felt on top form. It was a big relief to play well.”
With his wrist problem now hopefully out of the way, it is full steam ahead for Marsh as he prepares for the first of the five big domestic events of the year for his age group - the Peter McEvoy Trophy at Copt Heath near Birmingham on April 18 and 19.
“All the top players turn up and I will be looking to improve on my 21st position last year,” said Marsh.
Before then, Marsh is heading off to the Arcos Gardens club near Cadiz in Spain for five days of warm weather training with the England Boys squad.
“I can’t wait for that,” said Marsh. “After that it all kicks off. I’ll be playing for Yorkshire men and Yorkshire boys this summer and I’m hoping to represent England overseas.”