Playing golf since he was two, Armidale legend Isaac Riches is now seven years old and has achieved more in his chosen sport than most of us will achieve in a lifetime. Coming third in the Under Sixes division at the invitation-only World Golf Championship in the USA last year, Isaac is still driving, chipping and putting his way to success – with quite a few upcoming tournaments planned for this year …
Hi Isaac. Introduce yourself please – how old are you, and who are your other family members?
My name is Isaac Matthew Riches, and I’m seven years old. I have two brothers: Caleb, who is five, and Noah, who is three. Caleb and I go to Armidale City Public School.
Whereabouts in the New England do you call home – and what do you most like about living there?
I live in Armidale, but I was born in Glen Innes – this is where my nan and pop live.
I like living in the New England, because we have lots of friends who also live here!
You were very young when you first started to play golf – 18 months old, I believe! Who introduced you to golf?
Mum and Dad got me some toy golf clubs from Kmart, and Dad showed me how to swing.
You’ve had around six years to work on your game now! What parts of golf do you think you’re best at – driving, putting – getting out of tricky situations?
I think I’m best at driving the ball. My coach, Andrew Walkley, thinks I am best at pitching and chipping the ball. But, my favourite things to do are trick shots!
Where and how often do you train?
I practice at home and at the Armidale Golf Club two or three times a week. I also help out at golf every Friday, teaching other kids how to play.
Golf has given you some opportunities to not only compete, but travel too! Where are some of the places you’ve visited, and what are some the comps you’ve played in?
I went to Melbourne when I was four to film a video for Golf Australia. Then, when I was five, I flew to New York to be on the Jimmy Fallon Show.
Last year I went back to America to play in the World Championship. I came third in the world! [In the Under Sixes Division.]
What golf tournament results are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my third place in the World Championship. I had fun playing with and making friends with the other kids from all around the world.
I’m also proud of coming second in the Australian Junior Age Championships, playing against boys two years older than me.
Tell us a bit about the clubs/gear you play with and wear …
I get all my clubs, balls, hats, bags and any other golf stuff from the team at Callaway – they have been helping me since I was five.
My coach, Andrew Walkley makes my clubs fit me, as well as being my coach.
Robbie from RJ Apparel gives me special junior golf shirts to wear.
Whom would you like to thank for helping you with your sporting journey so far?
My coach, Andrew, for teaching me. My mum and dad, for letting me play golf and other sports like soccer, cricket and football.
I would also like to thank God for giving me lots of talent to play golf really well.
What upcoming tournaments do you have planned?
I was asked to play for Australia in the Trans Tasman Cup.
I have also been asked to play in the Australian Open and the Australian Junior Age Championship, which are both in April.
The 2019 World Championships are in August, again in America.
Where can we find out more about you/follow your achievements?
We do videos and put them on Instagram
@issac_riches_golf and on Facebook @IsaacRichesgolfer.
If you Google me or search YouTube, there are lots of stories, photos and videos to see.
When you’re not playing golf, what else do you like to do?
Play with my brothers, go to school, go to church, and play cricket and other games in my backyard.
I also like watching golf, cricket and rugby on Kayo Sports.
Interview: Jo Robinson.