Ben Lowe swinging for a golf scholarship he hopes will help launch a career in professional golf. The 16-year-old from Alexandria loves to golf. He says he likes everything about the sport, including the opportunity it has given him to travel to new places and connect with fellow golfers of all ages. He refers to his golf buddies as lifelong friends in the making.
Lowe appears to have the talent to match his passion. As of August 25, the 2016 Play Junior Golf Tour (PJGT) ranked him in third place. The PJGT is a three-tiered level tour for children between the ages of four and 18. It is designed to introduce kids to golf and to develop them as players who are able to compete in high-level tournaments. Tour members can attend a variety of events, including stroke play tournaments, development camps, coaching seminars, charity events, and a year-long race to the One Capital Cup, which marks the end of the season.
Lowe began playing golf when he was ten and began competing locally soon after. His cousin, Jared, was an avid golfer and Lowe wanted to be just like him.
“I guess I just liked it from the beginning,” said Lowe, who belongs to junior golfing program run by Henry Viger, of Green Valley.
As of August 25, the PJGT website, listed Lowe as having 527.50 points. His low gross score for the season is 71 and his average points earned per round is 77.17. He has played six rounds this season.
“I did well and finished second in my age group, and had the lowest scoring average in the tour,” said Lowe. When The Review spoke with him, Lowe was busy working in the pro shop at Glengarry Golf and Country Club. He has been working at the Glengarry Golf and Country Club for a few seasons and when he isn’t working, he is either putting in 18 holes on the course, or practicing on the range. When he first began his employment, Lowe was tasked with washing golf carts and cleaning clubs. He was recently promoted to the pro shop.
“I play pretty much every day,” said Lowe, who will be heading back to school in a few short days. The Alexandria native attends Glengarry District High School, where he plays on the golf team.
He says that his dream is to score a golf scholarship and to eventually pursue a career in the industry. In order to attain this dream Lowe is focussing on improving his game to do better at the provincial golf competitions hosted by the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSSA). He competed as an both an individual and a team player earlier this year.
“This year I qualified for provincials. If you do well, you go on to nationals. I didn’t do well. Since then Abe Buckle (General Manager and Head Golf Professional at Glengarry Golf and Country Club) has helped me, and my golf game has gotten a lot better. I hope to do better at OFSSA next year and move up the ranks,” said Lowe.
Buckle refers to Lowe as “a very efficient player, who is learning.”
“What separates a good golfer from a mediocre one is an intangible ability to know how to get out of trouble without losing too many shots. A mediocre player will try the one-in-a-million shot, when they should have taken a bogey and moved on. Instead they end up with a triple-bogey, by missing the bad shot and further adding to their score,” said Buckle.
This summer Buckle said has worked with Lowe to improve his putting and to instruct him on a better technique to hold his golf grip. He is optimistic that his young golfing protégé will do better next year.