University is a ‘back-up’ for Ilford County High student pursuing pro golf career

An Ilford County High student got into his first choice university with top A-level results – but is pursuing a career as a golf pro instead.

Joel Gujral, of Epping, secured his place at Loughborough University to study banking and finance management with an A in geography, a B in biology and B in psychology at the school in Fremantle Road.

But the 18-year-old has no plans to go to university if his golf career takes off.

He said: “I’ve deferred the entry for a year so I can try to be a professional golfer.

“University is just my back-up. I don’t want to do it at all but if I have to I will.

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“Golf is something I want to do for my whole life.”

Joel has been playing this sport since he was 14, when his dad introduced him to driving ranges and small courses.

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He has gone on to win several tournaments, including the North Weald Golf Club Junior Medal in 2011.

To become paid professionals, golf players must be spotted by scouts and paid by sponsors to compete in tournaments.

Joel said: “If you’re good enough, you can enter competitions and the sponsors will find you.”

His family are trying to arrange a trip to Florida for Joel to train.

He currently plays every day at North Weald Golf Club and Top Golf, in Chigwell.

Joel has a handicap of nine, but he hopes to lower it to four by October.

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