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James Veal - Freshwater Bay Golf Club Pro

James Veal
PGA Qualified Professional

Player Profile

I began playing golf seriously at about 11, after dabbling with cut down old clubs at the age of 3 or 4.

I started at the Farringford, playing with my Grandfather (6 handicap at Brockenhurst), my Dad, (who should be single figures) my step dad, and my uncle. My grandma also played and was very good, she got to 4 handicap at Brockenhurst but I never saw her play. You could say that it was my family that got me into this great game.

I progressed up to Freshwater Bay at 12 or 13 and achieved my first handicap (26). My handicap came steadily down over the years and I won various competitions. My first big win off the island came at Barton-on-Sea when I won the Men’s Open at 15,

At 16 I won my first club championship, then followed with a win in the Alliance Championship and the biggest of them all and one of my earliest goals, the Island Championship.

At 21 I held all the 3 biggest competitions on the Island, Freshwater Bay’s Club Championship, Island Championship and Alliance Championship, to win all three in 12 months was a great feeling.

Coming 3rd in Hampshire U21, (Justin Rose had won the previous year) was when I started thinking about becoming a professional. I turned professional when I returned from Gotland (Sweden) after representing the Island in the Island Games.

I began my training at Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club, where Peter Hammond helped me through my training, I remained there for 5 years, the highlight was achieving my first professional victory, the Shanklin & Sandown Pro-Am, then winning my second at Rowland’s Castle in another Pro-Am.

I then moved to Westridge Golf Course to pursue my love of teaching. I spent 4 years there just teaching and got a real feel for how a driving range operates, which is very different from a private members club and in November 2007 I became Freshwater Bays 1st resident Club Professional, a position that I am very excited about.

I have had 2 holes in one, the 17th (8 iron) and the 15th (3 iron), the one on the 15th was especially memorable as I was playing in a Golfer/Non Golfer competition where the non golfer does the putting, it was nice for my wife, Claire, to see a hole in one and even better as it was mine."

I also run a Golf Holiday business, for golfers who wish to visit the Isle of Wight and are looking for golfing holidays. For more details please visit my website


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