Adam Scott drops in to help young golfer’s dream
A COAST teen is teeing off on a professional golf journey with the support of his proud family and a couple of international superstars.
Caloundra State High School graduate Bailey Arnott, 18, last night flew to the US to begin a four-year golf scholarship at Iowa State University.
He said goodbye to his home course Caloundra Golf Club in style, having gone around with US Masters winner and PGA Tour pro Adam Scott on Saturday as well as with dual Australian PGA Championship winner Cameron Smith the week before.
British Open winner Ian Baker-Finch has also spent time mentoring Bailey.
"I'm really pumped," Bailey said yesterday before taking off.
"Over the past couple of weeks it has been a roller coaster of emotions."
His connections to the world famous golfers have come through his father Tom Arnott, who has been club professional at Caloundra for the past two years.
Tom said he grew up playing golf with Mr Scott and they remained good friends while Mr Smith was "one of his juniors" when Tom was the club professional at Wantima Country Club in Brisbane.
He and wife Jodie have lived on the Sunshine Coast for the past 15 years.
"I'm super proud of him," Tom said of his son.
"He was 9 when he got his first handicap.
"He used to get up at four o'clock in the morning and say 'dad I'm coming to work with you'."
Tom said he had played a round with Mr Scott at Twin Waters on Friday before joining his son and Mr Scott for a round at Caloundra on Saturday.
Bailey said he considered Mr Smith a mate, having played a lot of junior golf with him and Mr Scott was his childhood idol.
His scholarship opportunity arose about six months ago when he was scouted by the university.
He will study psychology while training for his dream, to become a player on the PGA Tour.
"It's such a mental game so any little edge or insight I can get into how the mind works will be a benefit," Bailey said.
He said he was extremely lucky to have been able to benefit from the connections his father had made.
But he said he had worked very hard to get to the level he was at and was prepared to step that up further in the US.
"I think I will be in the best place in the world to achieve that (PGA Tour goal) in the college system over there.
"I have to thank my family.
"These opportunities wouldn't have come without dad's connections in the golfing industry."