Valya Scott’s victory at the US Kids East London Golf Tour came just two years after dreaming that she would be a golf professional.
There had been no indication that Valya, then aged six, wanted to play golf or knew anything about it - her parents didn’t. But mum Nicole was happy to book her a lesson the day after her dream.
More lessons followed for the Chatham youngster and after watching a Netflix documentary The Short Game, which focuses on the US Kids World Golf Championship, she too wanted a taste of it.
She was later enrolled on the East London Golf Tour - and promptly won it.
Her mum recalled the moment her daughter decided upon her career path.
Nicole said: “She woke up one Wednesday morning, having had a dream that she would become a professional golfer, and we were like, ‘okay, a bit random’. We are quite sporty but we don’t play golf at all.
“She asked us to book her a lesson and that’s how it started.”
Finding group sessions at the time was tough as the Covid pandemic was just settling down but Valya, who attends St Andrew’s School in Rochester, received one-to-one lessons to start with.
“She was insistent that we booked a lesson that day and so we did. She’s played every day since!” said Nicole.
“She absolutely loved it straight away, she was a natural and for me I have had to learn it, too, because she needs a caddie that can give her advice! I’m a mummy caddie and there aren’t many of us!”
Since her first lesson at Rochester and Cobham, she has enrolled at the Brooker Golf Academy, Upchurch and the Growing Golf Academy at King’s Hill, coached by Marc Trow.
It was while watching Netflix that the idea of competing came along.
Nicole said: “She was really enjoying the group sessions and one day was watching a programme all about kids doing the US Kids competition at the World Championships in Pinehurst.
“She asked me if there were any kids’ competitions in England. I didn’t know but I said I would look and that weekend there was the East London Tour starting.
“I gave the organiser a call and asked how good the girls were because I didn’t want her to be out of her depth, he was like, ‘she’ll be fine, come along’. She did the six competitions of the tour and won!”
Because Valya won that, she has now been invited to play in the US Kids Rome Classic in October. Depending on how she does in Italy, there could be a place at the World Championships, in Pinehurst, on offer.
“It is just amazing to watch her,” Nicole added. “It’s nice to see her grow. You get a bit nervous for her but she is a twin and now her brother, Valentin, has taken it up as well, so we have two of them!
“She has had this dream she wants to be a golfer and that’s it - everything is golf, golf, golf, so good luck to her!
“All the time she loves it, she is enjoying it, it’s great. But there is a long road ahead.”