Ed Featherstone is set to take time away from the exam room and face a different type of test in this weekend’s Norfolk Amateur Championship.

Featherstone, who is sitting A-Level papers at Sheringham High School, is part of a 60-strong entry for the historic competition that this year will be staged on Saturday and Sunday over 54 holes at Eaton Golf Club.

The teenager is aiming to defend the title he won by five shots last June at Royal Cromer.

Featherstone, 18, said: “I can’t wait. It’s going to be really nice to have a break from the books and just a bit of freedom.”

He has been studying hard before starting a business management course in America where collegiate golf has helped to develop a long line of stars. 

Featherstone explained: “I’m leaving on August 10 and going to the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. I’m really looking forward to it. The team we’ve got for the first year I’m there is looking really strong.”

In the gaps between A-Levels concluding and his US departure date, Featherstone has high-profile tournaments on home shores.

He said: “The week after I finish exams is Open qualifying. I really want to get through to Final qualifying. It’s the first time I’ve done it, but that will be a really good opportunity for me to see professional-level golf, if I could do. 

“After that, it’s the England Under-25s Championship (at Woburn) and then hopefully the English Amateur Championship at Seaton Carew a couple of weeks before I leave. 

“This year we’re focusing much more on the performance side of the game. I got a bit swing-orientated last year. So we’re just trying to get some results and some good scores.”

Featherstone warmed up for the Norfolk Amateur Championship with a round of six-under-par in a team competition at Royal Norwich. 

He also shot a sub-par total in practice at Eaton, which bodes well ahead of his 8am first-round tee-time on Saturday.

Featherstone said: “It looked really good – the putting surfaces were very consistent throughout the course. 
“There’s two ways, I think, you can play it. I’m aiming to play slightly more aggressive the first day.”
He is keen to secure a second Norfolk Amateur crown after getting his name on the trophy 12 months ago.

Featherstone said: “It was a real confidence booster for me. That kind of solidified where I thought I was in the game.”

This weekend he will pit his game against a host of Norfolk first- and second-team players, as well as some of the county’s most talented juniors, including Welsh Under-16s international Harry Thomas and fellow rising star Sully Goddard.

The senior ranks are represented by evergreens such as Iain Yule and John Little.

A cut will be made after Saturday’s opening 36 holes before the top-20 and ties return for Sunday’s final round.