by William Warr
Durham University Golf Club have won every single game in a stunning first term, in stark contrast to last autumn, when Durham lost all their matches.
Part of the secret to the team’s success so far this season has to be put down to two of their top players, Michael Elborn and Simon Doherty, both from Northern Ireland.
Both took up the sport at a young age.
Elborn started playing golf when he was 12, after being introduced to the game by his mum, also an impressive golfer.
By the age of fifteen he had won the Telegraph young golfer of the year, and at sixteen he left school and went to a full-time golf academy.
However for Elborn he thought it was too risky to put “all my eggs in one basket.” To pursue a golfing career he would have to leave his education to one side, something Elborn could not see himself doing.
So he returned to school to pursue his studies after a year at the golf academy, and still continued to play in regional tournaments.
Doherty was introduced to the sport even earlier, at 10, by his dad.
“I was hooked from then on,” he said.
At sixteen he was selected for the Irish national team. “It was my biggest achievement,” he said.
He went on to play in and win the ‘Nick Faldo’ competition, which qualified him to play in a tournament in China.
Then he was invited to study at East Tennessee University in the U.S. on a full golf scholarship.
Tennessee was ranked in the top 15 golf universities in the US.
“It was very intense training in America. For it to work relies on having good time management.
“We trained Monday to Friday in the gym from 7am before class, then played golf after class at 2.”
He played 10 or 11 tournaments per year, each taking up at a time, so there was always pressure to manage his studies “weeks in advance.”
When he was younger Simon played with famous players like Rory McIlroy.
Mcllroy according to Dohertry was “always a step above the rest…his mental attitude is what differentiated him and allowed him to become a top pro.”
Doherty thought turning pro was too risky a move.
“I know friends who have turned pro and are doing really badly. Plus, you miss the boat on getting a quality education.”
So, instead, Doherty opted to pursue his studies, enrolling on a master’s course in finance here in Durham.
With such a high class of talent, the Durham golf team has gone from strength to strength, beating Newcastle’s 1sts, UCLAN 2nds and 3rds, Sterling’s 2nds, Leeds 1sts , and Teesside’s 1sts.
Both Doherty and Elborn are keen to highlight that they are being backed by a ‘immensely talented team,’ which includes Lewis Khuler, James Wright, Ben Hayden, and Jeremy Morgan.
Young British prospect Khuler has won all his games this season, gaining six points out of six.
The level of the club puts them in a good position to win both their BUCS league and The Cup.
“We have a realistic chance of winning the cup,” Elborn told Palatinate after their latest win against Sterling, taking them through to the next round against Strathclyde.
In addition to this they have their eyes on the BUCS premiership next year.
“If the rest of the season goes well, we should be on par for a promotion,” said Elborn.
Durham’s flawless record puts them at the top of the BUCS table.