Traigh Pathon, destined for great things, is an eight-year-old golfing phenomenon from Athlone who will be competing in the European Kids Golf Championship in Scotland this week. Traigh hit his first golf ball at the tender age of 14 months, and played his first ever round of golf at the age of four. He was born for stardom, he has also appeared in a television advert when he was just 18 months old.
His father, David van Schalkwyk, noticed that Traigh displayed excellent hand-eye coordination from the time he first began walking. “We got him his first plastic set of golf clubs when he was 14 months old and he joined me on the driving range at three-years-old. So he was always exposed to golf,” he said.
He competed in his first international competition last year, and placed in the top three competitions for the event, making him one of the world’s most promising young golfers.
Van Schalkwyk adds that even though his son is under immense pressure when he competes, he still has time to be a child. “He hasn’t participated in a tournament without his mother and me at his side. He’s just a child and sometimes all he wants to do is play on his PlayStation,” he said.
The young golfing phenomenon explains that he enjoys playing the Rory Mcilroy PGA Tour video game on his PlayStation, and also does this to improve his own performance on the field.
Traigh’s excellent golfing capabilities have caught the attention and admiration of Turkish Airlines. The airline has a major commitment to golf, and has sponsored flights for Traigh and his father to Scotland.
“I am so proud of my son and all he has achieved,” van Schalkwyk said in thanking Turkish Airlines for their support and contribution to his little boy’s golfing aspirations.
Picture: Supplied/Ogilvy PR