Five elite teenage golfers have been granted scholarships at the prestigious Brocket Hall Golf Club where they will be mentored by the two-time European Tour winner Simon Khan.
Khan, 42, who won the 2004 Celtic Manor Wales Open and the 2010 BMW PGA Championship, helped launch the Brocket Hall scholarship programme earlier this year, in his role as club ambassador, and the five youngsters - aged between 13 and 18 - will each receive 24 months' membership at the historic club and coaching from renowned head professional Simon Garner.
Each new scholar underwent individual assessment days at the resort and they were selected on a number of performance and personal criteria. Four reside in Hertfordshire, with the youngest, heading across the county boundary from Essex.
Ashley Chambers, 13, from Brentwood, won the Essex U14 Junior Golf Tour order of merit handicap title, playing off 13.7, and was runner-up in the scratch event.
Rory Superfine, 16, who lives in Harpenden and plays off a handicap of 6.6, is a regular member of the men's scratch team at Aldwickbury Park and has won a number of club titles. He is currently 13th on the Hertfordshire U18 handicap order of merit, with four events remaining.
England Schools' team member and scratch golfer Robert Shaw, 17, from Welwyn Garden City, is the current leader of the scratch Hertfordshire U18 order of merit, finished tied 24th in the Irish Boys Amateur Championship and, last year, captained the county's U17 team.
Five-handicapper Harry Cater, 17, also from Welwyn Garden City, is also a top-20 scratch Hertfordshire U18 order of merit player, and has been club champion twice at a previous club, Chesfield Downs.
And 18-year-old Anna Collis, from Letchworth, who was this year's Hertfordshire junior county champion off a four handicap, completes the line-up of lucky scholars. She was also awarded a place on the England regional U18 squad this summer and has won a number of junior opens across the region.
Naturally, each of the teenagers is keen to pursue a professional career and they all see this opportunity as a stepping stone to achieving that ambition.
Cater spoke for all of them when he said: "The scholarship will be very beneficial as I get to use the great facilities at Brocket Hall Golf Club and also be involved with Simon Garner, who will help massively as he is very skilled in the psychological side of the game. And, finally, I will also receive great advice from Simon Khan, which will help me fulfil my dreams."
David Griffin, the director of golf operations at Brocket Hall, said: "Brocket Hall is delighted to able to award these five scholarships to these very talented young golfers. We are determined to help the cream of the region's junior talent rise to the top and we are sure this quintet of ambitious youngsters will each take advantage of the opportunities afforded to them. We wish them well."
Welcoming them to the renowned Palmerston Academy at Brocket Hall, Essex-born Khan said: "These youngsters have already shown they have natural ability and they now have the opportunity to develop that talent in a thoroughly professional environment. Each will have their own, personal tailored programme designed to give them the best chance to progress their golf career. I wish them all well and I look forward to working with them alongside Simon Garner."
Situated within 22 acres of woodland, the Palmerston Academy boasts some of the finest practice facilities in the country. Golfers can hone their skills on a mixture of its par-three short course, extensive driving range facilities and indoor golf studio.
Brocket Hall's two 18-hole championship courses set in stunning 18th century parkland are famously named after the prime ministers who once resided there, Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston.
Opened in 1992, the par-72 Melbourne Course is set in magnificent surroundings, crossing the River Lea several times before a memorable finish in front of the hall after a short ferry ride to the 18th green.
In contrast, the Palmerston Course - designed by Donald Steel - is a challenging par-73 woodland layout, with rare Hornbeam, Scots and Corsican pine and 300-year-old oak trees creating a memorable test for professionals and amateurs alike, and is ranked in the latest ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in England' by Golf World.