GOLF-mad Jack Elkins got to meet some of his idols – including Masters winner Danny Willett and Ryder Cup record holder Lee Westwood – last week.

The 11-year-old from Romsey was taken to watch the practice day at The Belfry last week, where Willett, who became just the second Englishman ever to win the Green Jacket at Augusta in 2016, was the official host for the Betfred British Masters.

Stoneham Golf Club member Jack, who has already played for Hampshire’s U14s, and picked up a couple of good wins in junior golf events, was thrilled to get to meet his heroes.

And when he bumped into Southampton’s Richard Bland, the British Masters defending champion, the first thing the former Dibden Golf Club junior did was spot Jack was wearing a Stoneham GC hat.

Jack, who only joined Stoneham a few weeks ago, had posted a picture on Twitter of him stood by the sign by the ninth and 10th holes at the Bassett Green course, which is now dubbed “Blandy’s Corner.”

Jack’s dad Simon said: “As soon as he mentioned that he was the boy in the pic stood at Blandy’s Corner, which he had liked, on Twitter, Richard was laughing and happy to sign his Stoneham cap.”

While Bland – who famously claimed the British Masters at The Belfry 12 months ago in his 478th start on the European Tour – missed the cut on Friday, Jack’s dad could not put a price on their experience at the West Midlands club.

Simon said: “I got permission for him to miss school for a day as Jack is absolutely golf mad, and I knew he would learn so much from watching and talking to his heroes at the official practice day.

“I booked us into The Belfry Hotel and lo and behold, we went down to dinner and there was Danny Willett, followed by Lee Westwood, also eating there.

“Jack was able to chat to them and have some pictures taken. They were both brilliant and happy to talk to him, and hear about his own success in golf.

“We went to the pro-am at Wentworth last year, but this was even better.

“We were able to use all the facilities at the hotel as guests and that meant we bumped into some of the players who were using the gym and the pool.

“Lee Westwood gave Jack a putter head cover at Wentworth where his playing partner Vernon Kay, the TV presenter, got Jack inside the ropes and let him walk a few holes with Lee and Anton Du Beke, from Strictly Come Dancing, who was also in their fourball.

“Lee remembered Jack from that, and when he pulled out the putter head cover, he was happy to sign that too.”

The Belfry is famous for hosting the Ryder Cup four times between 1985 and 2002 – including three wins for Europe over the Americans.

Westwood, a former World No. 1, was a member of the 2002 team, and has played in a record 11 Ryder Cups, equalling Sir Nick Faldo’s record.

And Thomas Bjorn, the winning captain in 2018 – who also played in the 2002 victory at The Belfry – also bumped into Jack in the hotel.

Jack has not taken long to find his feet at Stoneham, hitting a hole-in-one at the second for his first-ever ace, with his dad on the bag as caddy.

Simon said: “The ball pitched about five feet from the flag and just disappeared into the hole. It was incredible to see it go in.”

Jack, who is a 19-handicapper, first picked up a plastic club when he was just two, and started hitting balls with a cut-down seven-iron when he was three at Paulton’s Park’s driving range.

The Halterworth Primary School pupil was eight when he was first picked for Hampshire’s U10s squad, and made his U14s debut when he was just nine.

Last year, Jack won Bramshaw’s Red and Blue Tee Championship for juniors, as well as the club’s Mini-Masters.

After meeting Willett and Westwood, who was runner-up to Phil Mickelson at the 2010 Masters, Jack will no doubt be dreaming of donning the famous Green Jacket himself at the real Masters one day.