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At home on the range … and the fairway

From sun up to sun down, Parker Lobban would rather be on the golf greens than just about anywhere else in the world.

The 13-year-old golfer from St. Clements is in his first year of competition as a member of the Canadian Junior Golf Association on the Junior Linkster Series, and he loves every minute.

“Some day’s I’ll just go out all day. I’ll go out at eight in the morning until maybe eight at night,” he said, sitting in the living room of his St. Clements home that backs onto Paradise Lake.

ON COURSE Parker Lobban, a 13-year-old resident of St. Clements, is enjoying his first year with the Canadian Junior Golf Association.

“I can hit balls for two hours, go play 18 [holes], go back and hit balls for another few hours then go out and play another nine.”

He’s played in a number of tournaments already this summer in the Bantam division for players 13 and under against other golfers from across the province and mostly from larger urban centres like Toronto or Mississauga.

He finished fourth this past Monday at an invitational tournament at St George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto – the same site as the 2010 and 2011 RBC Canadian Open golf tournament – with a score of 83.

“I didn’t finish as well as I could have, I tied for fourth but had a couple triple [bogies],” he said.

He also finished tied for seventh with four other golfers at the CJGA tournament at Beaverdale Golf Club in Cambridge on June 12.

It’s clear he has a passion for the game that is unrivaled, and he believes that passion is important because it motivates him to be on the course whenever he has a spare second and to continually strive to improve his game.

“When I wake up I want to go and hit balls and try and fix the mistakes that I made yesterday and try to lower my score and become a better golfer.”

The young golfer credits his grandfather, Ernie Hauser, as his biggest role model in the sport. He’s the one who takes the teen to most of his tournaments throughout the summer. Lobban says he taught him almost everything he knows about the sport.

“Parker basically spends his entire summer out there, and he enjoys it so I think that’s the most important thing,” said Lobban’s mother, Stephanie Hauser. “If you’re going to push a kid to golf they might not enjoy it, so they have to have a passion to do it because it requires a lot of focus and dedication to keep moving forward.”

Lobban’s mother also agreed that golf should continue to serve her son well in the foreseeable future.

“It’s not the type of sport that you can only play until you’re 20,” she said. “It’s something you can play until you’re 85 years old.”

Lobban admits he isn’t sure what kind of a future golf holds for him – he’s only heading into Grade 8 at St. Clement Catholic school, after all – but he does know that the skills and lessons learned on the golf course now will serve him well for years to come.

“I find it teaches a lot of life skills – like honesty, focus and how to be a better person.”

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