Teagan Ford – a Tudor Park Protégé

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“I wish there was a Masters for ladies” 

-it is a sentiment echoed by hundreds of professional women golfers across the globe, but surprisingly these words were spoken by a seven-year-old.

 

7 year old Teagan has been a golf fanatic since she was a tiny girl

 

Teagan Ford has been practising her golf swing from the moment she could walk and can be found most days after school on the greens at Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Bearsted, near Maidstone, Kent.

Although blessed with curly blond hair and an English-rose complexion, Teagan is not your average little girl. Top of her wish list for birthdays and Christmas for the past five years has been golf equipment and girls’ golfing clothes (a headache for `Father Christmas’ as golf clothes for young girls are very hard to find).

“I always like to have a surprise at Christmas – but I always want that surprise to be something to do with golf,” adds Teagan.

She has been coming to Tudor Park from the age of two and is a junior club member and a regular face at its Junior Golf Camps, which are hosted during school holiday times.

Although the camps are attracting more girls these days, in the past, Teagan often found herself the only one playing alongside boys, but that didn’t faze her.

“I don’t mind playing with boys and I like to show them that it is not just boys that can play golf,” she says.


She is itching to be part of a Tudor Park’s junior golf team and will no doubt be one of the club’s `secret weapons when it begins to host inter-club competitions and starts the process to enter the junior golf league played throughout the county.

“You get a real thrill when you are teaching young children and realise you are watching a natural-born golfer,” says Robin. “It would be great to think that Tudor Park is nurturing the top golf pros of the future – men and women – and I think Teagan is definitely one to watch.”

Teagan with her brother and their father, professional golfer Matt Ford

Among her favourite things to follow on telly are the LGPA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) and LET (Ladies European Tour) She is a fan of professional lady golfers Charlie Hull, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson, but her sporting hero is her dad, European Tour golf pro Matt Ford.

“I want to be a famous golfer like my dad when I am older,” she says.

Teagan is already following in her father’s footsteps, albeit at a younger age than he was. Matt, who is an honorary member of Tudor Park, played his first round of golf there at the age of 10 and it is where he became determined to pursue a career as a full time amateur golfer, and then PGA professional.

With her mum, Suzie, and younger brother Oscar, 5, Teagan often accompanies Matt on tour and can already claim to have played on golf courses in Dubai, Ireland, Portugal and France – her junior golf club is always carefully packed into her suitcase.  And dad returns the favour by watching his children play at Tudor Park whenever he is back home.

“They are both natural golfers and that is not just Dad pride saying that,” says Matt. “Before they could even walk properly, they were both using anything in the house as a pretend club to practice their golf swing. At Tudor Park, I have seen them hit a ball up in the air with a golf club nine times out of 10, and watched them hole a ball – that doesn’t come without it being natural.”

Teagan and her brother practice together

“Teagan has now reached an age where she is starting to listen more and I am beginning to teach her, but at a young age, it is about them enjoying the game, and practising grip and their stance to the ball.”

Teagan had her first hole-in-one last summer at East Sussex National Golf Club, 104 yards off the 8th hole – a success that has made her more driven in the sport she loves. And even if dad is on tour and can’t be there to watch, her mum is always cheering her on from the side-lines as well as being a willing caddy.

“Neither of them have been pushed into golf – they both tell us that they want to play and even ask that we go on holiday somewhere where there is a golf course,” says Suzie. “I think it is lovely to see them doing something that is outside in the fresh air.”

Also, keeping a close eye on Teagan’s progress are Tudor Park golf pros Jason Muller and Robin McGarr who organise the Junior Golf Camps.

“You get a real thrill when you are teaching young children and realise you are watching a natural-born golfer,” says Robin. “It would be great to think that Tudor Park is nurturing the top golf pros of the future – men and women – and I think Teagan is definitely one to watch.”

And by the time Teagan reaches adult hood, there could be a ladies Masters and her childhood wish would have come true.

 

 

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