TRURO - Patrick Jackson and Evan Starratt were infants the first time they teed off with their fathers at Truro Golf Club.
© Ryan Cooke - Truro Daily News.
Evan Starratt watches as Patrick Jackson drains a putt on the practice greens at Truro Golf Club. The pair has been golfing together every summer since they were kids, and will be favourites to win this weekend's junior club championship.
Both starting when they were three years old, the boys would follow their fathers around, tapping in putts and chipping from the rough.
"I used to try to hit balls over the water all the time," Starratt said. "I mostly just lost a lot of golf balls for my dad."
No longer a pair of squirts, the two young golfers are favourites in this weekend's Andy's Tire Truro Golf Club junior championship.
"I just hope I play well, maybe I'll look for the win a little bit," Jackson said. "Hopefully everything plays out for me."
Jackson, 16, was named to the Nova Scotia junior team this year and spent the summer touring the Maritimes for tournaments and clinics.
"I've mostly just improved my swing a lot," he said. "We started from scratch and basically rebuilt it. It's been great to have the best coaching available around here."
Starratt, 18, has a personal best of 3-under-par 68 on his home course. In his last year of junior competition, he's been shaving strokes off his score all summer, and finished seventh in the Nova Scotia junior championship in July.
"I've gotten quite a few good scores that I'm happy about," he said. "I've been hitting the ball well."
While the two have been friends for years, they do feed off each other on the course.
"There's a friendly competition," Jackson laughed.
"It's not too amped up though," Starratt said. "If one of us wins, we'll both be pretty excited about it."
Along with the juniors, the club will also host its men's and women's championships over the weekend.
A couple of favourites on the men's side, Peter Hunt and Jay Foster, were at the course on Thursday afternoon, teeing off together one more time before going head-to-head on the weekend.
"Anything can happen, there's a lot of good golfers in the field," Hunt said. "But I think the potential is there to be in a good position on Sunday."
"Last year there were five guys within one stroke on 18," Foster said. "It's been tight. Like Pete said, it's golf - any given day it can take a good round away from you."
The level of competition in the field was increased sharply at the news that Truro's Eric Banks would not be entering the club championship this year. Banks, the University of Florida standout, is fresh off a Truro course record after draining 10 birdies and no bogeys for a ridiculous score of 10-under 61.
"It's always nice to have the best golfers in the field. Ask anyone and they'll tell you that," Foster said. "But it certainly makes things different. Now you're talking about 10 or 12 guys who could win it."
"It opens up the field a lot, that's for sure," Hunt said with a laugh. "Before, everybody else would just be playing for second place."
Play will get underway for the men's divisions at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, followed by the women and then juniors. The public is welcomed to come and watch the action.