A tiny figure with an excellent aim caused a stir at St Georges Basin golf course recently.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Bentley Van Der Merwe took other golfers by surprise when he played nine holes with ease over the Christmas holidays.
The Sydney toddler and his family were visiting relatives in the Shoalhaven over the break when the golf-mad youngster took to the green.
Bentley’s mum Emily Van Der Merwe said her little boy has always followed in her dad’s golfing footsteps.
“It started on our property at the Basin where he would watch my husband and his Pop hitting them into the water from when he was born,” she said.
“One day he just picked up a club and started doing it himself.”
Bentley got his own club when he was 16-months-old and soon spent every morning calling out “Mum, golf, golf, golf” from his cot.
He starts the day at 7am, chipping plastic balls around his backyard. While she’s lost count of how many balls they’ve lost, Emily said they’ve got very understanding neighbours.
“They’re always throwing balls back over the fence,” she laughed.
Bentley, who can hit 60 metres at the driving range, impressed other golfers on course in St Georges Basin.
“I had a guy stop me and say ‘what a little champ’ and he couldn’t believe he was only two,” Emily said.
“He just stopped for a bit and watched Bentley hit.”
When it comes to golf, it’s hard to think of a bigger little fan than Bentley. Emily said he asks to watch the golf instead of the Wiggles or Playschool, for Christmas he got a bag of tees and some new balls and loved it, and plays nine holes at least once a week.
While golf isn’t the most common choice for toddlers, some things are universal.
“You can’t give him any tips – he doesn't listen to a word anyone says,” Emily laughed.