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Golfer Arthur Saunders prepares for IMG Academy Junior World Championship in San Diego... at five as Virgin Atlantic donate air fares

By KentOnline reporter

While most five-year-olds are playing on their iPads and kicking a football in the park, Arthur Saunders is preparing for a global golf tournament.

Arthur, who goes to Brookland Primary School in Romney Marsh, is on his way to the USA for the IMG Academy Junior World Championship taking place in San Diego in July.

Now, airline Virgin Atlantic have flown to the rescue to help Arthur achieve his dream and set him on his way after offering him and his dad Kevin free flights to California.

Virgin Atlantic have offered to pay for Arthur and his dad's air fares. Picture Gary Browne

Virgin Atlantic have offered to pay for Arthur and his dad's air fares. Picture: Gary Browne

Although he loves Transformers, macaroni cheese and making paper aeroplanes, he is also fastly moving up the world rankings for golf players of his age.

His favourite programme is not Spongebob Squarepants ... but golf!

The youngster who is a junior member of Littlestone Golf Club lives and breathes golf.

His family had started to arrange a golf day to raise the £4,500 for him to travel and stay for the championship.

That was until Virgin Atlantic flew to the rescue and offered to pay for Arthur and his dad's air fares.

Arthur Saunders, five, who is going to compete in a USA golfing championship with dad Kevin. Picture Gary Browne

Arthur Saunders, five, who is going to compete in a USA golfing championship with dad Kevin. Picture: Gary Browne

His favourite subject at school is maths, but only so he can work out his scores.

At World Book Day the other week, Arthur was asked to dress as a character from his favourite book.. so he donned his golf gear and went to school as Rory McIlroy.

In fact Arthur, who is a junior member of Littlestone GC, lives and breathes golf. 

He has already surpassed both his parents', teachers' and coach’s expectations.

Kevin only took up golf a few years ago after moving to the Romney Marsh.

He said: "The fact the Littlestone welcomes juniors meant I could take Arthur with me when I went for lessons.

Young Arthur says he wants to emulate four time major winner Rory McIlroy

Young Arthur says he wants to emulate four time major winner Rory McIlroy

"It was evident very early on that Arthur loved the game so we signed him up with Littlestone coach, Charlie Wilson and he has never looked back.

"He wakes me up at 6am every Sunday so we don’t miss a moment to play golf or be at the club.

"He has a life-sized cut-out of Victor Dubuisson in his bedroom and he knows every distance from every tee box at the Championship Links course at Littlestone.

"We have tried to introduce other sports but he won’t have it. He eats and sleeps golf!"

This dedication has paid off as he is now off to the junior world championships after finishing second in The British Junior Golf Tour.

Arthur and Georgi Saunders

Arthur and Georgi Saunders

His coach Charlie Wilson said: "It’s not just his natural talent that has led to his success but his absolute dedication and passion which all comes from him.

"We have tried to introduce other sports but he won’t have it. He eats and sleeps golf!" - Kevin Saunders

"The only time we have seen Arthur cry is when his mum comes to take him home!

"His etiquette knowledge is fantastic and we have never seen a young man of his age have such maturity and dedication to his game. He really is quite extraordinary."

Littlestone GC members and friends are still going to hold a golf day to raise money for their trip paying for accommodation and car hire.

Any excess money raised going into a bursary pot for other juniors of Littlestone.

The golf day is at 3pm on June 12 at the club. It costs £50 each, which will include a bacon roll and coffee beforehand followed by a one-course meal after golf.

If you would like to take part or donate a prize contact sarah@littlestonegolfclub.org.uk

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