Archive for the ‘Junior Golf’ Category

Duxbury Park youngsters are six hits

GolfSixes NW - Duxbury Park.JPG

READY FOR ACTION: Youngsters take part in the pilot project at Duxbury Park

TEAMS of Lancashire youngsters have played their first Golf Foundation “GolfSixes” event in a pilot project that follows the new European Tour format and aims to keep more junior players at the heart of club golf.

More than 32 clubs are involved in a series of local leagues across seven regions of England. It features boys and girls playing inter-club matches, taking aspects of the GolfSixes format as seen on television on the European Tour in May.

Six players figure in each team, competing over six holes in a Texas Scramble format against neighbouring clubs, with points counting at every hole towards the final results.

Many children are playing on golf courses for the first time.

In a recent example, teams from Duxbury Park (pictured), Hart Common, Haigh Hall and Regent Park golf clubs all competed.

One parent commented: “We love this event because it’s great for our children to play six holes on the course, all as part of a team, which is fantastic for increasing confidence and making friends.

“Our lad plays at the range a bit during the week but as I’m working I don’t see that. Here, on a Sunday, all the parents can come along and cheer on their children!”

With youngster playing in their club team coloured shirts in a league series funded by Sport England, the nationally recognised charity the Golf Foundation is seeking to encourage more involvement in the scheme for newcomers.

It also helps to instil a sense of belonging for the juniors at club level and allowing them to experience golf out on the course while supported by the club PGA Professional and also their parents.

The project is in support of England Golf’s strategy to retain more junior members at club level.

 

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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.

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

Junior golfers get their own Open

YOUNG golfers inspired to follow in the footsteps of a Rory McIlroy or a Tommy Fleetwood can now take part in an Open of their own.

The first North West Junior Open is on Sunday, August 27, at Knott End Golf Club.

The event is supported by the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and comes hard on the heels of Royal Birkdale staging the 146th Open Championship. Record-breaking crowds saw Jordan Spieth become the 2017 champion golfer with thousands taking advantage of the R&A initiative to allow under-16s in for free.

Entry to the North West Junior Open is available to talented young golfers with a handicap who live in Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Merseyside with a field of more than 100 expected to tee up.

Knott End professional Paul Walker said: “This is a terrific opportunity for juniors with widely ranging handicaps to compete against each other.

“It will be great for the sport, especially as it has the support of clubs across the north west through the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs.”

The entry fee for the individual 18-hole strokeplay competition is £10 per player, which includes food and a drink courtesy of the main sponsor, Nu-Form Fire UK. There are prizes for best gross and nett scores.

Paul Walker added: “Knott End will give juniors the chance to play one of the most interesting golf clubs in the region, famous for its seaside location and holes which follow the scenic Wyre Estuary.”

The handicap limit is 24 for boys and 28 for girls. The upper age limit is under 18 on January 1, 2017.

To book online, parents of junior golfers should visit http://www.lancashiregolf.org or for further information contact the host club’s professional, Paul Walker, on 01253 810576 or email paul@knottendgolfclub.com

 

 

Euro champs England bid for double

EUROPEAN champions England will aim to double up with a successful defence of the women’s Home Internationals next month.

Five members of the winning European team are in the line-up for the annual battle against the other three home nations, which will be played at Little Aston Golf Club, Staffordshire, from August 9-11.

They are Lianna Bailey of Leicestershire, Gemma Clews of Cheshire, India Clyburn of Lincolnshire, Sophie Lamb of Lancashire and Rochelle Morris of Yorkshire. England also won European gold in 2016 and the Home Internationals team is completed by two members of that side: Emma Allen of Hampshire and Olivia Winning of Yorkshire.

Alice Hewson, who was in both European teams, is playing in the US women’s amateur and is therefore unavailable.

The girls’ Home Internationals will be played simultaneously and the team will be aiming to regain the crown they lost last year after eight successive wins. In total, England has won the girls’ title 50 times since the championship began in 1954.

The team is Sammy Fuller of Surrey, Lily May Humphreys of Essex, Hollie Muse of Lancashire, Emily Price of Worcestershire, Hannah Screen of Hertfordshire, Bel Wardle of Cheshire and Amelia Williamson of Norfolk.  All but Screen were in the England side which won the bronze medal in the European girls’ team championship.

The players

Women 

Emma Allen, 20, (Meon Valley) is a student at the University of Missouri. She was joint runner-up in last week’s English women’s amateur championship.

Lianna Bailey, 20, (Kirby Muxloe) has had a string of high finishes this season in the English women’s amateur, the Welsh and Irish stroke play and the St Rule Trophy.

Gemma Clews, 22, (Delamere Forest) is the Welsh women’s stroke play champion, was joint runner-up in the Irish stroke play and third in the St Rule Trophy.

India Clyburn, 20, (Woodhall Spa) tied second in the English women’s amateur and is  a winner on the US college circuit where she had five top tens in her second year.

Sophie Lamb, 19, (Clitheroe) is the British women’s stroke play champion, was joint runner up in Irish women’s stroke play and fifth in the English amateur. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography)

Rochelle Morris, 22, (Woodsome Hall) is a Curtis Cup player and has had a series of top-five results in stroke play events and a win in The Leveret.

Olivia Winning, 22, (Rotherham) was fourth in the English amateur and a semi-finalist in the English women’s match play.

Girls 

Sammy Fuller, 18, (Roehampton) has had high finishes in a string of women’s championships and also reached the quarter finals of the French U21s.

Lily May Humphreys, 15, (Stoke by Nayland) is the new English women’s amateur champion, adding that success to a host of top girls’ titles.

Hollie Muse, 17, (West Lancashire) won the girls’ title at the Fairhaven Trophies and was third in the Scottish women’s open and the Scottish girls’ championship.

Emily Price, 17, (Cleobury Mortimer) is the English women’s open stroke play champion and was runner up in the 2016 English girls’ championship.

Hannah Screen, 17, (Berkhamsted) won the Bridget Jackson Bowl, led qualifying in the English women’s match play and was runner-up in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.

Bel Wardle, 17, (Prestbury) was runner-up in the 2016 British girls’ and eighth in the world girls’ championships. She was sixth in the 2017 St Rule Trophy.

 

Amelia Williamson, 17, (Royal Cromer) has had high finishes in a series of women’s events and was runner-up in the girls’ Fairhaven Trophies.

Golf moves into the fast lane

ON your marks! Golf moved into the fast lane when players took up an invitation to try Speedgolf at special taster sessions in Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Speedgolf is the fast, fun and athletic version of the game where players jog between shots and can complete a full 18 holes in under 80 minutes.

The British Speedgolf tasters were supported by England Golf and proved a quick hit with the players. They took part in sessions over seven and eight holes, which are less daunting for those new to Speedo.jpgthe sport and a great way to experience the format.

“What a rush, that was so much fun,” said Aaron Cove, who is a member at Bromborough Golf Club. “I seemed to play better when I didn’t have time to think.”

He took part in the session at Wirral Golf Club where PGA professional Sean Bailey commented: “It is great for the club to embrace a new format. We are willing to try anything that will increase awareness of the club and continue to breakdown the perceptions of golf.”

The opportunity appealed to golfers and non-golfers with runner Sarah Matthews remarking: “That was so much fun. I think I might book some golf lessons.”

Over at Trentham Park Golf Club the reaction was the same and general manager Jon Farmer said: “This is what golf is all about, opening your doors to try something new.”

Craig Smith said: “I’ve played golf since the age of four and have a handicap of 12. SpeedGolf is hard work but very enjoyable. The biggest surprise is how well you play because of not overthinking it”.

Rich Piggott added: “I’ve played golf on and off for 20 years. I also like to keep fit so SpeedGolf was a great opportunity to combine the two and not take up too much time.”

England Golf is partnering British Speedgolf through its Golf Express campaign, which encourages busy people to play more often by promoting shorter and quicker formats of the game.

Speedgolf will be showcased during England Golf Week in August with an event on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa.

It will also be highlighted during Golf Express Month in September when 9-hole offers, shorter and quicker formats will be promoted to golfers to encourage them to keep playing through the autumn.

Claire Hodgson, England Golf head of participation, commented: “Speedgolf is great fun for players who enjoy a more athletic version of the game and we’re delighted to take it to a wider audience.”

Pam Painter of British Speedgolf added: “Speedgolf is always a surprise, not least that those who play often find it helps rather than detracts from their golf performance. Players should set their pace according to distance as well as their fitness, so it is nowhere near as daunting as people might think; you simply need to try it for yourself!”

Click here to visit the GolfExpress9.org website

Caption: Speedgolf (pictured) is attracting golfers and non-golfers to try the fun and athletic version of the game.

ON your marks! Golf moved into the fast lane when players took up an invitation to try Speedgolf at special taster sessions in Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Speedgolf is the fast, fun and athletic version of the game where players jog between shots and can complete a full 18 holes in under 80 minutes.

The British Speedgolf tasters were supported by England Golf and proved a quick hit with the players. They took part in sessions over seven and eight holes, which are less daunting for those new to the sport and a great way to experience the format.

“What a rush, that was so much fun,” said Aaron Cove, who is a member at Bromborough Golf Club. “I seemed to play better when I didn’t have time to think.”

He took part in the session at Wirral Golf Club where PGA professional Sean Bailey commented: “It is great for the club to embrace a new format. We are willing to try anything that will increase awareness of the club and continue to breakdown the perceptions of golf.”

The opportunity appealed to golfers and non-golfers with runner Sarah Matthews remarking: “That was so much fun. I think I might book some golf lessons.”

Over at Trentham Park Golf Club the reaction was the same and general manager Jon Farmer said: “This is what golf is all about, opening your doors to try something new.”

Craig Smith said: “I’ve played golf since the age of four and have a handicap of 12. SpeedGolf is hard work but very enjoyable. The biggest surprise is how well you play because of not overthinking it”.

Rich Piggott added: “I’ve played golf on and off for 20 years. I also like to keep fit so SpeedGolf was a great opportunity to combine the two and not take up too much time.”

England Golf is partnering British Speedgolf through its Golf Express campaign, which encourages busy people to play more often by promoting shorter and quicker formats of the game.

Speedgolf will be showcased during England Golf Week in August with an event on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa.

It will also be highlighted during Golf Express Month in September when 9-hole offers, shorter and quicker formats will be promoted to golfers to encourage them to keep playing through the autumn.

Claire Hodgson, England Golf head of participation, commented: “Speedgolf is great fun for players who enjoy a more athletic version of the game and we’re delighted to take it to a wider audience.”

Pam Painter of British Speedgolf added: “Speedgolf is always a surprise, not least that those who play often find it helps rather than detracts from their golf performance. Players should set their pace according to distance as well as their fitness, so it is nowhere near as daunting as people might think; you simply need to try it for yourself!”

Visit the GolfExpress9.org website for more information

 

Open springboard to grow the sport

 GOLF clubs across Lancashire are using this week’s Open Championship as a springboard to growing the sport.

The world’s best golfers will be heading to Royal Birkdale in Southport from July 16-23 with the dream of becoming the latest player to lift the coveted Claret Jug.

The event attracts worldwide attention, and now clubs in the region are hoping to raise awareness of local opportunities to give golf a go.

A Road to The Open campaign has been organised by England Golf, the Professional Golfers’ Association and the Golf Foundation with a range of activities to promote golf in schools, the local community and clubs.

It is being supported by the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies’ Golf Association.

Aintree Grand National Golf Club set the tone for the project with a special family community open day.

As well as the more traditional

RoadtoOpen.jpgfree golf taster sessions, putting challenges and the chance to use the driving range, supported by US Kids Golf, families could enjoy bouncy castles, craft and food stalls with local businesses as well as live music.

A further community event took place at Speke Hall in Liverpool.

Sixteen clubs around the Red Rose county are hosting special events while the Road to the Open project has connected with 10 primary schools and four secondary schools in the Southport area.

Each school now has a link to a local golf club, equipment has been provided and teachers trained alongside Young Leaders so they can deliver golf in PE classes or at schools sports events.

The Golf Foundation’s Andy Leigh (pictured above with Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber) said: “We’re already hearing great things from the teachers as they have started introducing their youngsters to golf and this should only intensify when ‘Open fever’ starts soon.

“Many of the schools in the area are arranging trips to The Open to watch the best golfers in the world. During the visit, the school groups will spend time with the Golf Foundation development team in the ‘R&A Swing Zone’ playing fun Tri-Golf and StreetGolf challenges.

“Don’t forget! It’s free admission for under 16’s at The Open, when accompanied by an adult.”

As part of the build-up to the Open, the final of the National Street Golf competition will take place at Formby Hall Golf Resort on Monday, July 17.

A special brochure has been produced highlighting the Get into golf work going on at the 16 clubs – Accrington and District, Aintree Grand National, Blackley, Burnley, Fleetwood, Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, Haydock Park, Lancaster, Lee Park, Longridge, Myerscough, Mytton Fold, Oldham, Rossendale, Southport Old Links, and Stand.

Statistics show that sports enjoy a two-week spike in interest following a major event and Lancashire Golf Development Group county officers Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber will be working with clubs to help capitalise on this potential surge in participation.

England Golf regional manager Jason Budd says: “The Open is a great shop window for golf and a chance for the sport to kick football off the back pages of the national newspapers.

“It is golf’s Olympic moment and we want to make sure that those people who are interested in trying golf or returning to it as a result of watching or reading about The Open can find the right opportunity to suit them at a local club.”

Road to the Open organisers have launched a new Twitter handle, #roadtotheopen2017, which they are encouraging clubs to adopt on social media.

Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.

To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

You can follow Get into golf on Twitter twitter.com/getintogolf or on Facebook at facebook.com/Getintogolf