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Grande Meadows Junior Golfer

16 year old James Mitchell, a top Junior golfer at Grande Meadows first started golfing at the age of 4. Since then he has shown some tremendous improvement to where today he is part of the Golf NL Development Program for young golfers.

James was born to parents Chris and Krista while Chris was stationed in Goose Bay with the RCMP. Today he lives in Winterland and is entering Grade 12 at MCHS in Marystown where his favourite subjects are math & biology. He also loves other sports and competes in hockey and basketball.

James is quiet and unassuming young man who is a delight to be around whether it’s playing golf with him or just chatting around the clubhouse. He has the perfect demeanour for a golfer – he doesn’t get upset or throw clubs if he makes a bad shot – you wouldn’t know if you saw James after a round of golf whether he shot the best round or the worst round of his life. He is calm, cool and collected for sure. Plus he is honest about his game if you asked him. After the Atlantic Junior Championships in PEI recently where James competed and didn’t play his best golf I asked him a question about the tournament. I asked him what part of his game he didn’t like expecting him to say he didn’t putt well, the course was too long or the greens too fast. Instead his honest reply was “Barry, nothing went right! I didn’t play well at all.” It was a learning experience for him and he took ownership of his game. He made no excuses. James says, “I like that in golf you are always competing against yourself when you go on the course, trying to shoot the lowest score you can.”

He has regularly competed on the Golf NL Telly Tour events for the past 3 years and is now one of the top junior golfers in the province. This season alone James played in 4 Telly Tour events including the one hosted by Grande Meadows for the first time where he placed 2nd in the Junior Division. He also competed at the Bally Haly tournament where he placed 3rd, at the Wilds in Salmonier where he placed 4th. and James also finished 4th in the Telly Tour Championship tournament held at Humber Valley Resort in Corner Brook.

James has made some friends around the island from playing in the Telly Tour events including Daniel Sharpe of Blomidon Golf Course in Corner Brook, Sam Fisher and Lucan Meade of Bally Haly Golf Club in St. John’s, John Park and Adam Currie from Terra Nova Golf Course as well as Philip Snow of Glendenning Golf Club in St. John’s.

James has been playing regularly at GM with some of the members and his friends for the past few years. He can be seen playing regularly with his grandfather, Dave Kenway as well as Keith Howse, Eric Ayers and Perry Stone. As well he likes playing with his friends Noah Ryan, Dawson Drake and Ryan Dominie. According to Eric Ayers, “I find James to be a very friendly, mature young man whom I have had the privilege of golfing with. He is a very good golfer as well. Any parent would be be happy to have a son like him.” Perry Stone adds that, “James is one of the most mannerly people I have ever played with. Every time he hits a good shot and I say ‘nice shot pal’ he always replies with ‘thank you’. A fine young gentleman with a quiet demeanour and a strong desire to improve his game. He is without a doubt a great guy to play with and a very good role model for the young golfers at Grande Meadows.”

According to his grandfather Dave Kenway, “James started playing golf with me, Keith & Eric when he was about 10 & wearing my second hand shoes. Right now he is about 4 sizes bigger then me.” Being a long ball hitter Pop say, “He also hits 8 iron to par fives on his second shot. The other day I asked Keith how far out we were on #8, he said 250 yards, so I asked James what he was waiting for. James replied, “I am waiting for the green to clear Pop so I can draw the ball around that tree to go for the green.” Which by the way he did hit. When on the course he knows everybody & they all come to chat with him which shows what kind of person he is. He never gets upset or he does not show it at anything he does. He also helps other golfers & brings a lot of his friends to the course. Pop says “I live next to him & if he is home he is on the lawn swinging the golf club. I am finding golf balls all over the farm land.”

Over the years I have had the pleasure of golfing with both of James’s grandparents, Dave Kenway and Vince Mitchell. I would say without a doubt that James gets his golfing demeanour from his Pop Kenway. Just kidding Vince. lol

He likes playing Grande Meadows as he says, “I like how narrow the fairways are here because it teaches you to play a straight shot off the tee and keep it in play.” James’s favourite course he has played is Antigonish Golf Club in Nova Scotia. James’s best score has been 73 at Grande Meadows with a 40 on the front and 33 on the back 9 – his best 9 holes ever.

He plays most of the tournaments if he is around and this year competed in the Grande Meadows Match Play Tournament losing to Edmund Antle in the finals on the last hole. That was quite an accomplishment for James and I’m sure all us older players will be looking out for James for years to come. According to James, “I had a lot of fun playing in the 2023 GM match play as I find the match play format fun as you get to play with new people or people you don’t play with often. And if you have a bad hole, you don’t drop a bunch of strokes just one hole.” Commented Edmund Antle after the final match, “I said to James as we shook hands that you were better than all of the good things I heard about you.” Antle continued, “James was real glad that I won and he repeated congratulations to me. What an icon we have at Grande Meadows in James. It was a pleasure.” Enough said!

To top it all off James recently took a position on the Board of Directors for Grande Meadows.

Well done James!

Post Author: Barry Stacey