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Ben’s big break

 

Ben Kerr has landed the role he has always wanted – head PGA professional at Royal Worlington and Newmarket, writes Tony Rushmer

Kerr, 31, grew up in nearby Newmarket and joined its Links Golf Club where he remains a member.

But a job at the prestigious nine-hole neighbour a few miles down the road is something Kerr has long dreamt of.

And on June 1 he will fulfil his ambitions by taking over from Richard Beadles who, after 11 years, is switching to a Cambridgeshire club.

Kerr moves in after serving a second stint at Saffron Walden, where he started out his career as a trainee.

He actually gave an unofficial ‘interview’ for the role last autumn after playing in a pro-am at Royal Worlington. He was sitting outside chatting to friends when he outlined how working as the head professional at the Suffolk club would represent the dream job. Little did he know that he was talking within earshot of Worlington’s secretary Scott Ballentine.

Kerr said: “I didn’t realise but Scott’s window was open and he heard me! When I found out that Richard was going and dropped in with my CV, Scott did actually say to me ‘I wondered how long it would be before you came in.’ I had no idea that my comment had been heard…”.

The club decided to advertise the vacant position with the PGA and numerous applications were received and after a rigorous selection process Ben was offered the position.

Kerr is the perfect fit for the Worlington position in a logistical sense – he only lives a mile and a half away in nearby Mildenhall. And he can’t wait to become part of a club that possesses its own special atmosphere.

He added: “While I am all for golf to be open to everybody, I love those clubs that manage to maintain old-school traditions. Worlington is a little bit different.

“It has always been that club that I’d just like to be involved with in some way. It always feels to me like it’s about the people and the golf – it’s just about it being a certain way. And I just love that.”

Kerr’s responsibilities will revolve around teaching, stocking the pro shop and running a fully functional workshop. “It’s a very traditional club pro role,” is his assessment.

He will also maintain a number of playing commitments, having been very competitive on the East region schedule for several years.

“The club have made it clear that they want me to be playing in tournaments – representing the club. So that’s quite nice.” Plus he will continue with his county coaching work with Cambridgeshire boys’ squad.

In other words, Kerr looks set for a very busy summer and beyond.