A NORTH Yorkshire golfer is aiming for the big time as he prepares to embark on the developmental PGA EuroPro Tour.

Former Yorkshire junior champion Sam Wilkinson, 21, who first got into the game aged four when playing with plastic clubs around the house, is now two steps away from the European Tour.

And having been coached by Graham Walker - the tutor of Masters-winning Danny Willett - and Steve Robinson, who guided the England Women's team to become double European champions, he is no stranger to making big steps in relatively short spaces of time.

Initially inspired by his father to take up the game, Wilkinson, from Huntington, now plays out of Sandburn Hall Golf Club near Flaxton.

He explained: "My dad when he was younger was a footballer, but being sport-obsessed there was always sport on the television, with golf being a close favourite to football.

"My dad used to play golf also and so he and my mum bought me some plastic clubs to play with in the house. After taking to the game like a duck to water, I soon progressed to playing in the garden and chipping the ball over my mum's ironing board into her washing basket."

From those humble beginnings, former Huntington School pupil Wilkinson is now stepping onto the professional stage with the EuroPro Tour, with the season beginning on Wednesday, March 28 at Moor Allerton GC outside Leeds, and finishing with the Tour Championship in Europe.

The EuroPro Tour is a known breeding ground for European Tour winners and has been broadcast in nearly 100 countries around the world.

The tour offers a direct route into the higher-tier competition, the Challenge Tour, which itself is one step below the European Tour.

That is the ultimate goal for Wilkinson - and a far cry from playing around the house.

The ambitious youngster got his first golf club membership aged just seven, at Forest Park GC, north east of York, where his dad was also a member.

Four years on, he was playing for Yorkshire, and he did so until he was 18. During this time, he held a perfect unbeaten record in the singles matches he featured in.

In 2008 at 12 years old, he won the English Golf Union National Skills Challenge before holding the County Championship for his age group from 2010 to 2011. The year after, he won the Northern Faldo Series tournament and in 2013 he finished second in the British Boys Amateur Championship Strokeplay, which is arguably one of the biggest under-18s tournaments in the world.

He was also a part of the England squad and represented the North of England on two occasions.

Wilkinson is now seeking sponsorship to help him through the EuroPro Tour and beyond.

He said: "I am looking for sponsors who are willing to help me out as much as possible - ideally financially, as a typical season on the EuroPro Tour costs the best part of £20,000 without a wage for myself."

Wilkinson's equipment is currently sponsored by Srixon, whom he says have committed to staying with him throughout his career in the belief he will move onto the European Tour in years to come.

He also has the help of Luxus Property, Excel Sports Clinic, Axis Barbershop, Max Golf Protein and AKP Group.

For any enquiries about sponsorship, email Sam's agent Paul Wilson at tftmanagement@outlook.com