Student Profile: Jethro Newton

Before enrolling at KeNako Academy, Jethro Newton attended Glenwood Boys High in Durban where he had a sport scholarship. At that stage golf was of minor interest to Jethro, although his interest had been aroused! Whilst attending school in Durban, this sport prodigy represented his province in rugby, cricket, hockey, tennis and golf.

Jethro travelled to America in 2012 to compete in a few international tennis tournaments. He competed in the Eddy Herr International Junior Championships in which he reached the 4th round and the Junior Orange Bowl Championships where he made it to the quarter finals.

Jethro came to a point when he realized that his time and attention were divided between multiple sport commitments. By that time golf had become his preferred sport and it was what he desired to do. He attended the July Winter Holiday Camp at KeNako Academy in 2014 and it was that experience that persuaded him to give up his sports scholarship in KwaZulu Natal and pursue golf as his dedicated sporting option. It was a sudden decision, but Glenwood Boys High gave him their blessing and within a couple of weeks of the Holiday Camp Jethro was back at KeNako Academy and enrolled at Rundle College as a full time student!

Jethro is currently an IGCSE second year student at Rundle College, studying English, Afrikaans, Maths, Economics, Business and Accounting. He moves on to his AS Level in 2017 and of further interest is that he was recently voted to be a Prefect at Rundle College. His hobbies include mountain biking, playing cricket, table tennis and he enjoys going to the beach in the summer time.

His father took him out to the Driving Range at a very young age, but his passion for golf only developed a few years later. He started taking an interest after spending some time with friends. The first tournament he competed in was the Border Junior Strokeplay in East London in 2013. He recalls feeling quite nervous, but he played tremendously well and finished 2nd in his age group.

One of the highlights of his career to date was playing in the annual Heptangular Tournament in 2015 and being part of the winning Southern Cape U17 Team. His focus is on making the Southern Cape U19 IPT team in 2017 and to play well in all the National SAGA events. He enjoyed two excellent results in June/July this year, with a 10th place in an U19 NOOM Tournament and then an 11th place finish in The SA Boys U17 Championship. Earlier in the year he had finished 2nd to Luca Filippi in the Individual Standings at the KeNako Schools Golf Festival, with rounds of 72, 77 and 73 on the three different courses played.

His long term goal is to pursue a career as a professional golfer. However, he is also interested in the finance world and he would like to study financial risk management when he goes to university. He hopes to attend UCLA or a sports academy in Texas where he can pursue both of his passions.

Jethro shared the following thoughts on KeNako, the professionals and his peers: “Roger Wessels has been my first golf coach. He has taught me a lot about golf. He has helped me to develop my game technically and he has given me a great deal of knowledge about my swing and my overall game. On certain days we have Matchplay and it is great fun playing against him. Carlo Kok provides us with essential tools to work on during the week. The chipping test is something we focus on during my short-game lessons. Carlo has assisted me tremendously with improving my skills on the greens and my putting stoke in general. My peers in the academy share my aspirations and they are really dedicated towards doing their best. They are like family to me and living with them is definitely something I look forward to after each holiday. I like the competitiveness amongst the students, especially the junior students. Work ethic in the academy is great and the students have achieved some great results.”

Jethro understands the importance of a strong mental game. When competing in tournaments he draws from what he has been taught in his Mental Skills sessions at the academy and tries to play each shot one-at-a-time and to stay in the moment. When things aren’t going according to plan, he keeps negative thoughts at bay and tries to keep a calm head, “My competitive edge is my mind and my ability is to be able to control my emotions”.

He would love one day to play on the legendary American golf course, Pinehurst No. 2. He enjoys playing at Oubaai Golf Resort, a course he frequently visits for Matchplays against friends. He has faith in his iron play, especially when the wind is blowing! He is inspired by golf professional Jason Day. Jason has an amazing background and from what he has read he had a tough childhood which makes what he has achieved in his career all the more remarkable. Jethro believes Day is a true example of someone who has never given up. He also believes that the best part of his game is his iron shots.

Jethro is currently a 1 handicap. With your dedicated spirit you can achieve any goal you set for yourself Jethro!