14 year old golfer Jensen Berridge got the surprise of his life when he was given a letter personally written to him by one of the best golfers in the world; Jim Furyk. And, to top it all, he was also presented with a new award created in the Ryder Cup Captain’s honour.
‘The Jim Furyk Award for Sportsmanship’ will be an annual award presented to a young golfer at The 3 Hammers Golf Complex in Wolverhampton, which is a Golf Foundation HSBC Golf Roots Centre.
This all came about thanks to Staffordshire golfer Malcolm Read. Malcolm was in the States when the US Team lost the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. He was so impressed by the way in which US Ryder Cup Captain, Jim Furyk, handled a crushing defeat that he decided to write to the Major winner to ask him a favour.
18 months after that first correspondence, Malcolm’s wish has come true with the creation of this special award for sportsmanship named after the player himself. Rob Bluck, 3 Hammers Golf Academy Director, helped select the first winner of the award which credits Jensen’s commitment to helping others at the venue. Rob explains, “Jensen was the stand out winner of the Jim Furyk Award for Sportsmanship for me because of the time he has dedicated to volunteering and mentoring at 3 Hammers. By giving up his free time he has made a significant impact on many of the younger golfers at the Academy.”
The letter to Jensen from Jim Furyk is both heartfelt and inspirational. It includes the lines: “On the course we all strive to play our best. However, the recognition you received for your character, sportsmanship, and helping others is truly something to be proud of.”
Jensen, who attends Sandwell Academy and also represents Staffordshire County, was shocked to discover that he had won an award because he enjoys giving up his time to help the other girls and boys. He commented: “I love coming to 3 Hammers at the weekend to work on my game and spending time helping the younger golfers. We all enjoy practicing and playing here, I want to make sure that all the youngsters feel welcome and learn to love golf as much as I do.”
Meanwhile, The 3 Hammers Golf Complex continues to be a valued Golf Foundation HSBC Golf Roots Centre, one of many junior-friendly golf venues who work with the national charity to help more young people Start, Learn and Stay in the game.