Jaxson - world golf champ at age of 6
Published on: 30 Sep 2016
HE files into Mangotsfield Cof E Primary School just like any other pupil. His friends might think he's cool but to his teachers Jaxson Perry is like every other child at the school, for all are gifted in their own ways.
But while Jaxson might not get preferential treatment, no one can deny his talents are extraordinary. From first swinging a golf club two years ago, Jaxson has just picked up the impressive title of world golf champion.
He has just returned home from America after winning three trophies in four days. In fact he has won five trophies in the past three months.
Jaxson was crowned a world champion at the US Kids 2016 World Golf Finals, where he won both the under-8s pairs competition and the under-7s putting World Titles together with finishing 4th in the world in his 6 and under individual event from the 86 qualifiers.
He also finished as the top placed European player at Pinehurst in North Carolina where players aged between six and 14 compete in their own age category from a staggering 84 countries.
Since then Jaxson has been in the national and local newspapers as well as on TV. He's a mini celebrity - but is that a normal life for a small guy who doesn't turn seven until March?
Jaxson's parents, Andrew and Edina, who live in Siston, say the most important thing to them is that Jaxson enjoys himself.
"To Jaxson, it's just about the love of the game," said Andrew, who takes his son to the Kendleshire Golf Club to hone his skills.
"Being six, he's not thinking about being the world champion. He just wants to play well and get a cup! He's still got that cute six-year-old mentality and it will be wonderful if he holds on to that. We'd like him to retain that throughout his golfing career so he can remain relaxed and just enjoy being out there on the golf course."
Andrew, 45, puts Jaxson's talent down to good mimicry skills.
"Jaxson's hero is Rory Mcllroy. He loves watching Rory's swing. Jaxson is quite a good mimic and is able to learn how to play a shot by watching Rory and other pros on TV or on YouTube."
Andrew said Jaxson has taken all the media attention in his stride.
"He's very easy going about it. He thought it was cool being on television and he has watched himself a few times on YouTube. He's far from big-headed about it though, in fact he's more likely to play it down.
"As parents, you need to ensure that you instil confidence in a child so they can believe they can do well and win events but not by telling them they're better than anyone else. We want Jaxson to be humble and gracious in winning as well as in defeat. It's always Jaxson against the course not his opponents so the only pressure he has is the pressure he chooses to put on himself because he wants to play well."
Remarkably, Jaxson, who also loves to play football, tennis, swimming and pool, only picked up a club two years ago.
"We were in holiday in Spain and we went to a driving range with my father who has played golf for many years. Jaxson wanted to have a go but instead of picking up the club and swinging it around, he copied exactly what his grandfather was doing."
Jaxson really enjoyed playing the game so when the family returned home he attended group lessons at Bristol Golf Centre in Hambrook.
"We did that for several months, then Jaxson just wanted to play all the time," Andrew said.
"The bug bit him, definitely. In the space of two years he's gone from picking up a club as a four-year-old to winning multiple events."
And what if Jaxson, who is fluent in his mother's native tongue, Hungarian, decides in years to come he doesn't want to play any more?
"You can't force anyone to do what somebody else wants them to do. It's got to come from themselves. If he didn't want to play next week, then he'd stop playing. He would never be forced by us."
The family don't make a big deal of Jaxson's success with his school teachers.
Andrew said: "We don't tend to push it through the school and don't always notify them of all the events Jaxson takes part in. The school's attitude is that he's just another school child and all children have talents.
"Luckily all the tournaments and competitions are on weekends or during school holidays as organisers understand that kids just can't be pulled out of school. That's great but it means all the prices for flights and accommodation go up."
Which brings us on to another subject - cost. It's not cheap to attend tournaments across the world and Andrew is keen to ease the financial burden by finding support through donations via a bursary fund set up with Jaxson's club, the Kendleshire.
There are guidelines on financial support set down by the R&A, golf's governing body, so any funding will need to go through the correct channels.
"The whole reason I started moving forward with the social media side of things for Jaxson is in the hope we might get some financial support for him so we can continue to allow him to play in the competitions he'd like to play in.
"2016 was a year that we managed to go to the Worlds but it has come at a huge cost to the family. His YouTube channel has had over 150,000 views and we hope that some company or individuals might be able to help support us.
"You never know what's round the corner."
• Anyone interested in supporting Jaxson can get in touch with Andrew via www.jaxsonperry.com