GOLF: On the eve of the BITS Junior Golf Open which starts this morning, one of Gladstone's brightest prospects, Blaike Perkins took time out to talk with The Observer.
Blaike, 14, has won this week's Yaralla Sports Club Junior Sports Star of the Week.
It's the second time in three years that he has been nominated, but now he's a much better player with a string of achievements alongside his name.
It was another sport which involves a specific hand-eye co-ordination which prompted a younger Blaike to switch.
"Originally I played cricket from like 10 to about 11 for BITS and I tried golf,” Blaike said.
The rest, as they say, is history and Blaike soon realised that he was better wielding the iron as opposed to the willow.
"I tried golf and I was a lot better at golf than I was at cricket, so I just kept playing golf from then” Blaike said.
"Dad pretty much got me into it as well.”
Blaike said his rapidly-reducing handicap was a realisation that he knew that he could go places in golf.
"When I first started at 18 holes, I think I was 11.5 and I was off 23,” he said.
"Then in one year, it went straight down to a handicap of seven, 23 to seven in one year, so that's when I kind of knew I was pretty decent at it.”
Blaike identified that his strengths lie with his putting and chipping, but he said he can become a more rounded player.
"Probably driving the ball and to get better at that and to get more accurate and then that way I can get on the green quicker and put them in,” he said.
Aside from the aim to win today's Open, Blaike has big ambitions in the not-too-distant-future.
"Hopefully next year, I can try to get into the Queensland team and that would be great and then next year again at the Queensland Junior Amateurs, I'd really like to play really well and get in with a chance to win that one,” Blaike said.
While Blaike will be one of the main contenders to win today's BITS Junior Golf Open, he said Ben Swaffield from Yeppoon is the favourite.
Blaike finished in the top 10 at the Queensland Boys Amateurs recently and will be among almost 100 players to line up today from 7am at tee-off.
Started with Handicap of 5 at start of year and now down to 1.1
Junior Golf Queensland Stars of the Future Team 2017
QLD Boys Amateurs 14 and Under Boys Gross Champion 2017 (Gross 72,74,70,75)
QLD State of Origin Golf Team 2017 (Played against NSW at Newcastle in January 2017)
Golf QLD Training Team 2017
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