LANSDOWN’S Ed Butler has been recognised by the England selectors for the first time.
He has been drafted into the England A squad alongside 11 other potential internationals for the future.
The list includes two other south west representatives, Cornwall’s Scott Godfrey (St Enodoc), who qualified to play in The Open at Royal St Georges this year, and Devon’s rising star James Ruth (Tavistock).
Butler 23, said: “I felt this was overdue so I am really chuffed.
“This is going to be a new experience for me and will mean going on trips, having coaching and hopefully going abroad with England.”
The squad will form the basis of the England team for the traditional opening international against Spain in March.
Butler said: “I understand they will be picking the team from the A squad so I am keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to make my first international appearance at senior level.”
He played for England Schools while on a golf course at Cannington College, Bridgwater.
The trio have already attended their first two England training sessions at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire.
The Lansdown champion, who plays off a handicap of plus two, was told of his selection while he was on holiday in Spain.
He compared the Woodhall gatherings to being back at school.
“We worked on fitness, diet, the swing and short game – everything related to improvement,” he said.
“They were intensive three-day sessions and we had to focus on what we were doing. There were no distractions.”
Butler, who is working behind the bar at Lansdown to finance his golf, and the others can also draw on a special fund of up to £2,000 over the next 12 months set up by the English Golf Union.
“This is a great breakthrough in my career and can only lead to bigger and better things,” he said.
“I have no immediate plans to do anything but play golf to the best of my ability for the next couple of years. I want to see how far I can go, but there’s no rush.”
He has just finished his most successful season. He first made the selectors aware of his ability when he won the West of England Strokeplay Championship at Saunton in April.
And his final flourish was winning the West of England matchplay title against top England international Lee Corfield over his own Burnham and Berrow links.
In between he fared well in national tournaments, also setting a new Lansdown course record, and was a key member of the Gloucestershire county team.