Graeme Storm helps Hartlepool school talent

Graeme Storm
Graeme Storm

GRAEME Storm put his golfing troubles behind him by helping the next generation of local talent.

Storm has endured one of the most difficult seasons of his career, finding himself down in 159th place on the European Tour’s league, the Race to Dubai.

The Hartlepool golfer was in grave danger of losing his Tour card for 2015 as only the top 110 automatically stay in the competition.

But Storm transformed his season in spectacular fashion at the weekend, going so close to winning the Omega Masters before losing a sudden death play-off to American David Lipsky.

The 36-year-old moved up almost 100 places in the table and is now targeting a good end to the season, starting with the KLM Open in the Netherlands tomorrow.

However, the Poolie, for all the pressure he was under, has begun working with three pupils at the Dyke House Sports & Technology College.

The trio, Jack Ainscough, Cameron Wallace and Will Skipp are part of the college’s Elite Development programme.

Storm was happy to lend his experience and expertise after being approached by friend, Paul Fraser, the Northern Echo’s chief football writer and ex-Hartlepool Mail journalist, who has links with his former school.

“Paul asked if it was something I’d be interested in becoming involved with, and I was,” Storm told SportMail.

“I’ve been doing a bit with them and it’s been great seeing the three lads come on so well all year.”

Storm is not the only Hartlepool sporting great putting something back into his home town.

England football star Lindsay Johnson set up a football academy at Hartlepool Sixth Form College while boxer Amanda Coulson coaches at the Catholic Club.

Top marks to Storm though, given his contribution has come during a time when he was under real pressure.

“Cameron, Jack and Will are all talented up and coming kids and I’ve enjoyed working with them,” he said.

“It has been a difficult season for me with my form and worries over keeping my card, but I’ve found it quite a release.

“It has taken my mind off it and it’s been a great.”

His work seems to be paying dividends.

Ainscough, 15, finished fourth in the English Schools U16 National Championships at Birstall Golf Club ending bfour shots off the lead in Leicestershire.

Wallace, also 15, was six shots further back in the 51-strong field.

They were watched by the youngest member of the Dyke House Elite Development Squad’s golf scholars, Skipp, the 12-year-old will look to qualify for the U16.

Storm has a treat for them next week - an invite to the ISPS Handa Wales Open at the famous Celtic Manor.

“The three lads will be coming down to Wales,” said the Hartlepool Golf Club member.

“They will get a look at how Tour life is and get a taste of what it’s all about.”

First though for Storm is the KLM Open in Zandvoort, where he will be looking to follow on from his outstanding display in Switzerland at the weekend.

He will tee off at 9.05am alongside Robert Rock and Ricardo Gonzalez.