Oliver Claireaux - Portal’s lowest handicap golfer

PROFILE OF OLIVER (OLLIE) CLAIREAUX, OUR BEST GOLFER
Recently Mr President and Jim Wren had a very pleasant lunch with Ollie and his grandfather Peter Hopkins. The main reason was to congratulate Ollie in person for achieving a +1 handicap in early June and to find out more about Portal's best golfer.
Ollie is 19 and joined Portal three years ago. He had had a successful period as a junior at Chester Golf club where he was appointed Junior Captain. Based on Peter's advice, Ollie decided to join Portal and nominate us as his home club. Peter and other helpers in Ollie's team felt that the combination of the Premier and Championship courses plus good practice facilities would help him develop his game. This proved to be a good decision for Ollie and, of course, for Portal.
There is a good historical link here, because Peter was the seventh
member to join the Championship when it first opened and he has maintained long term relationships with some of the Pros and management that were in place in the early days.
As often in golf a strong network is invaluable to a young golfer. For example, using this network has enabled Ollie to taste the world of top professional golf by playing a couple of times in the Turkish Pro-am. He will be playing there again this September. When asked which Pro he had most enjoyed playing with in that event he said Miguel Angel Jimenez complete with very large cigars and Rioja. He modestly confirmed that, in that round, he scored 69 and Miguel scored 71!
When he finished his education last year, Ollie planned to move to USA and completed the necessary exams to allow him to do this. His new coach then suggested it may be better to spend a couple more years here in the UK and target a handicap of +3/+4. As you can see, he is well on the way to that target. Ollie is regularly playing events on the 1836 tour which is for Professionals and Category 1 Amateurs.
He is delighted that, with the help of Emma Goddard (our own favourite professional pictured here with Ollie) and Ross Astley, Portal has nominated him to play as one of the five amateurs in the EuroPro event on the Championship (Wednesday 10th to Friday 12th July) This will be a great opportunity for Ollie as he will be playing at home against very good Pros. We encourage members to come and support him. Famous players like Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrell Hatton honed their games on the EuroPro tour and we know what happened to them.
Ollie is looking forward to defending the Club Championship at Portal on 20th/21st July. Some of you may have read in the July edition of Golfers Local that he recently won the Club Championship at Chester (his AWAY club) for the first time. This confirms that he is in very good form.
Portal Golf club is very proud to have Ollie as a member and we wish him every success in his future Amateur/Professional career.
At the end of lunch Peter asked us to stress that both Ollie and himself have been delighted with the very friendly welcome they have had from Portal members. Just what the Captains and President hope to hear!
Pat Roper
President - Portal Golf club.
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