Archive for August 3rd, 2017

What a Bel-ter! Prestbury ace England girls’ champ

Bel.jpgTHE winds blew at gale force – but nothing could stop Cheshire’s Bel Wardle as she swept to a seven-shot win in the English girls’ championship at Littlestone, Kent.
The brutal weather made it tough to take a stance, let alone hit a ball, but the 17-year-old international shot one-under 72 in the third round – and became the champion when the fourth round was abandoned because of the conditions.
She was seven-under par for 54 holes, while runner-up Martha Lewis (St George’s Hill, Surrey) finished on level par. Third place, on three over, was taken by Megan Dennis (Woburn, Buckinghamshire) and Annabell Fuller (Roehampton, Surrey) was a further shot back.
The win is huge for Wardle, who plays at Prestbury. She said: “Last year I led after two rounds and kind of blew it in the third round. I went out there today so determined not to let that happen again. I didn’t want that that sinking feeling again.
“I knew I could compete, but this was about getting over the line with my first win and it does so much for my confidence. It shows me I can do it, I really can do it.”
Wardle’s plan was to get off a quick start – and she couldn’t have been speedier. She drove the first green and holed the 3ft putt for an eagle, then birdied the next two holes to get to 10-under for the championship. She parred her way to the turn and then began the very difficult inward half.
“It was so tough coming in. On the 10th I started wondering how I could get the club back in the wind and we were only just making the fairway. When you were over the ball it was a matter of take whatever stance you could and give it a go.
“I just kept things simple, I didn’t go pin-hunting, I just tried to hit greens and control my shots into the greens.”
Now Wardle is off to play for England in the girls’ Home Internationals at Little Aston, Staffordshire, which start on Wednesday. After that it’s the British girls’ championship, where she was runner-up last year.

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Cheshire chosen to attract more juniors

CHESHIRE is among four counties chosen to work in partnership with England Golf over the next two years to get more juniors involved in the sport.

Durham, Lincolnshire and Somerset are also joining the pilot project which aims to get more under-18s playing and joining clubs.

The latest England Golf Club Questionnaire, which is carried out every two years and tracks trends, shows a decline in junior membership. On average, each club lost three boy members between 2014 and 2016 and altogether juniors account for just seven per cent of club members.

Lee Dolby, England Golf’s Young People Manager, commented: “It’s vital that we address the challenges facing junior golf. Cheshire and the other three counties have enormous commitment and enthusiasm for developing junior golf and involving more young people. “I am looking forward to working with them over the next couple of years to see how much of an impact

Junior-golf (3).jpgwe can have and how we can inspire a love of golf to last a lifetime.”

Cheshire is already deeply committed to growing junior golf. It has had excellent results with Girls Golf Rocks, the England Golf and Golf Foundation project to attract more girls into the game, and has just started a county-wide project to encourage more juniors generally. It has also run junior leagues for 24 years and has a talent pathway for promising youngsters.

David Durling, Chair of the Cheshire Golf Development Group, said: “We have already identified junior development as a priority and are hugely enthusiastic about this project. It will help us increase the number of young people coming into golf and support the clubs which are struggling to run junior sections.”

Each of the four counties will have a bespoke plan which recognises their particular challenges and targets. They’ll be supported by Lee Dolby and the England Golf network of club support offers and regional managers.

This will include offering access to research, workshops and educational resources and help with marketing to a younger audience.

Dolby added: “By working closely with counties, rather than individual clubs, we can look at wider solutions which, eventually, we can share across the country.”

Image copyright Leaderboard Photography