US OPEN champion Justin Rose proved a major draw when he spent the afternoon at Goodwood passing on tips to young players and showing members a few tricks of the trade.
The world star is ambassador to Golf At Goodwood and has built up close links with the club over the past year and it was clear to see the high regard he is held in when a large crowd of invited guests watched him lead a coaching clinic on the first tee of the Downs course.
He watched as members of Goodwood’s junior academy like Marco Penge - celebrating his 16th birthday in the knowledge he is now No1 in Europe for his age - and Midhurst’s Harry Callow, just eight, played some shots, and challenged Penge to a drive-off, which showed the teenager is already a force to be reckoned with.
Rose exchanged sporting tales with Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Sarah Ayton - who also works with Golf at Goodwood - and said he’d love the chance to follow in her footsteps when golf becomes an Olympic sport from 2016.
Rose then answered questions from Goodwood coach and PGA pro Ryan Fenwick and from members of the crowd before giving an extensive round of interviews, with the Chichester Observer among local media invited to quiz him.
The Hampshire-raised star was propelled on to the world stage aged just 17 in 1998 when he came joint fourth in The Open.
And his career reached a new high last year when he claimed the US Open - the first English player to do since Tony Jacklin in 1970.
Rose, now 33, has plenty on his plate in the coming weeks and months - there’s the PGA at Wentworth next week, the US Open, The Open at the Royal Liverpool club, and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September.
He told us he would love to complete back-to-back US Open wins - but if he could choose one major to win this year it would be the equivalent on these shores to wrap up the rare feat of winning both Opens.
Rose said his advice to the juniors at Goodwood - and young golfers anywhere - was to enjoy playing the game as long as they could because the game ‘gets serious’ once you turn pro and are making a living from it.
Read more about Rose’s Goodwood visit in the Observer next week.