Archive for the ‘Junior Golf’ Category

Lancashire youngsters speak up for golf

Ambassadors2.jpg

A GROUP of 11 remarkable young people, which includes two from Lancashire, are set to give golf a fresh, new voice.

They are Young Ambassadors for England Golf and the Golf Foundation and through their own stories, enthusiasm and love of the sport, they will challenge negative perceptions and play a part in getting more people talking about and playing the game.

The ambassadors range in age from 10 to 22 and include school pupils, students, a volunteer coach, a trainee PGA professional, a would-be PE teacher and a trainee doctor.

They’re all prepared to do what it takes to inspire others, whether it’s speaking at meetings, blogging or vlogging, getting involved with national campaigns or helping to organise events.

“They’re an amazing group,” said Lee Dolby, England Golf’s Young People manager. “They’re bringing to life our Children and Young People’s Plan for Golf and helping us achieve our vision of inspiring a love of golf that lasts a lifetime.

“By sharing their stories they’ll help raise awareness of golf, show the positive impact of young people and prove that it’s a game for all.”

Alice Lowe, Golf Foundation Regional Development Officer and lead on volunteering, added: “Each member of the group is so enthusiastic about changing the negative perceptions of golf, and supporting our ambition to help young people enjoy the playing and personal benefits of golf by making it inclusive and fun.”

The Ambassadors are:

Emma Anderson, 20, of Sherwood Forest Golf Club, Nottinghamshire

Ella Baker, 12, of Warley Woods Golf Club, Halesowen

Isabella Bleaken, 10, of Westonbirt Golf Club, Gloucestershire

Warren Clark, 17, from Hampshire and a member of Salisbury & South Wilts Golf Club

Emily Furness, 18, of Gaudet Luce Golf Club, Worcestershire

Morgan Halpin, 19, of Morecambe Golf Club, Lancashire

Ali Jodivawalla, 18, of Hatchford Brook Golf Club, Birmingham

Ysobel Lush, 16, of Langdon Hills Golf Club, Essex,

Hope Neild, 16, of Royal Norwich Golf Club, Norfolk

Jessica Pilgrim, 12, of Harewood Downs Golf Club, Buckinghamshire

Matthew Wilcox, 22, of West Lancashire Golf Club, Lancashire

The ambassadors recently got together for a training session involving the Youth Sport Trust and the Sport and Recreation Alliance. It was a chance to share their stories and experiences and similar themes emerged right across the age range.

They spoke of how golf has given them confidence and inspired their career ambitions, how they want to work to make the game truly inclusive and their passion to show that it’s not an ‘old man’s’ game.

Morecambe’s Morgan Halpin started playing golf with plastic clubs as a three-year-old and is now in the first year of his PGA training. He likes the social aspect of golf and comments: “It’s fun, that’s what it’s all about.”

Morgan is passionate about sharing his pleasure in the game and has particular interest in disability golf, inspired by his sister who has a rare genetic disorder. His mum and a friend founded Unique Kidz, a charity to help families find suitable childcare and social activities for their disabled children, and Morgan has been involved with golf activities.

Advertisements

Ffion makes history thanks to Girls Golf Rocks

GIRLS Golf really Rocks for Cheshire teenager Ffion Jones who is about to make history as the first female junior captain at her club.

Ffion, who only started playing golf 14 months ago thanks to the Girls Golf Rocks campaign, will be the 2018 junior captain at Eaton Golf Club in Chester.

The 17-year-old got into golf after her mum spotted an advert for Girls Golf Rocks, the recruitment campaign run by England Golf and the Golf Foundation which inspires more girls to take up the game. At first Ffion was reluctant to go along to the taster session at Eaton

Ffion-Jones.jpgas she didn’t think she would know anyone. But when she arrived she found she knew several of the other girls and in her own words “golf was a lot better than I thought.”

In fact, she enjoyed golf so much so that when her Gran offered to buy her a junior membership at Eaton for Christmas she jumped at the chance to join the club. She’s since been followed by her 11-year-old brother and the two of them can be found practising together at the club on most days.

Over the last 12 months Ffion has lowered her handicap from 36 to 21.8 and was the most improved woman golfer of the year for 2017. She has also played for Eaton in matches against other local clubs, is  playing in Eaton’s junior

winter league and recently, along with her brother, their friend and one of the clubs pros, won a night golf competition where they were the only juniors playing.

Ffion is studying for her A Levels at Christleton High School and then will take a gap year when she plans to work and play as much golf as possible to achieve her aim of getting her handicap down to single figures.

She will also be carrying out her role as junior captain throughout 2018 and hopes that this will help her to get to know the other juniors better and encourage more girls to become members of Eaton Golf Club. She would especially like to se

e more girls playing in the winter

junior league next year to redress the balance in the league which this year has three girls and 19 boys taking part.

Eaton’s Head PGA Professional Bill Tye, commented: “I could tell from the start that Ffion was a talented ball player and she has excelled. She’s really, really keen, completely hooked on the game and we thought we would give her this honour.”

Ffion’s mum Hilary Jones – who is not a golfer – said: “All the members a

nd the staff at Eaton Golf Club have been really good to the juniors at Eaton and I’m really pleased that I signed Ffion up for Girls Golf Rocks. It’s also great for me to see Ffion and her younger brother enjoying an activity together, golf is good for them as a physical activity but it also teaches them other things such as honesty and respect “.

Ffion said:  “I really wish my mum had signed me up for golf years ag

o, I enjoy it so much and am really excited to be Eaton’s first female junior captain.’

Alison Lysons, England Golf Club Support Officer in Cheshire commented “It’s exciting to hear that someone coming through the Girls Golf Rocks programme has developed such a love for golf and is becoming her club’s first female junior captain. Eaton Golf Club has a great junior programme and Ffion’s experience will be invaluable in encouraging other young girls to take up the game of golf there”.

Lauren Spray, Women and Girls Participation Manager at England Golf adde

d: “It’s fantastic to see how quickly Ffion has progressed through the programme, attaining a handicap in such a short space of time and getting it down to 22 is fantastic to hear.

“As part of Girls Golf Rocks we ask girls to become county ambassadors to inspire new girls who come into the programme. By being appointed junior captain Ffion will now be one of those vital role models to new girls coming into the programme and at Eaton. This is a fantastic success and we wish Ffion all the best with her A Levels and her year as junior captain!”

For more information about Girls Golf Rocks visit www.getintogolf.org/ggr

For more information about junior golf at Eaton Golf Club contact Bill Tye at bill@billtye.co.uk 

 

Youngsters get the Abbey habit

Vale-Royal-junior-academy.jpg

A JUNIOR golf academy launched by new  head PGA professional Ben Derbyshire at Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club  in Cheshire is proving to be a big hit with local youngsters.

Derbyshire and his assistant, Brian Cassidy, arrived at the club earlier this year and launched the academy with a free open day in March – and they’re planning another in 2018.

The day was combined with a seminar for parents to learn about the academy and it was a huge success with 60 young people attending and around 50 juniors going on to take coaching classes. These were run in eight-week blocks and the final session was a competition to test the juniors’ new skills, followed by presentation of prizes and certificates.

The new juniors at Vale Royal Abbey were also able to develop their game and grow their confidence on the club’s practice area, three-hole course, junior tees on the main course and eventually the full length course.

Ben and Brian have been so pleased with the response to the academy that they are planning to repeat the programme in 2018, holding another taster day in the spring, following this with more blocks of lessons and developing an events calendar for juniors.

Ben said: “The academy has been a huge success and we have also had great support from the members here at Vale Royal Abbey who have gone out of their way to help us in numerous ways, thus showing what a friendly and enthusiastic membership we have. The academy will now take a small break over the Christmas/New Year period and we will be back again with a free open day on Sunday 4 March 2018.”

Alison Lysons, Cheshire Club support officer for England Golf, said:  “The junior academy has been a great success thanks to the hard work of Ben and Brian and the fantastic junior friendly facilities at Vale Royal Abbey. It’s exciting to see so many young people enjoying the game of golf and having a real pathway to develop their skills. I look forward to supporting Ben and Brian with developing the junior section further in 2018”.

For further information about the Junior Academy at Vale Royal Abbey Golf Club, please contact:  Ben Derbyshire, Head PGA Professional, on 01606 301291 (option 4) or email golfpro@vra.co.uk

Lancs youngsters benefit from coaching

PROMISING young Lancashire golfers have the chance to develop their skills under the watchful eye of the some of the county’s top junior coaches.

The Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire Ladies’ County Golf Association have teamed up to deliver an opportunity for youngsters to make significant progress.

The aim is to create a pathway for them to hone their game to the highest level.

And to show what can be achieved, they look no further than Ashton & Lea Golf Club’s Jack Wallbank (pictured), who lifted the Lancashire Under-14 county boys’ championship this this summer.

jack wallbank solo u14 2017.jpgHis success came playing off three, two years after joining the under-14 programme with a handicap of 25.

The region’s under-14 programme caters for those aged 13 or under on December 31, 2017.

The County Academy scheme is aimed at boys and girls from the age of 14 to 18.

The county is divided into five regions to administer the coaching.

The CAP programme consists of 21 hours coaching by PGA professionals, working with small groups and providing all the elements needed to go on and become an elite player.

The under-14s will take part in three half-day group sessions, again with a PGA professional, focussing on the fundamental skills.

Phil Harvey, Lancashire Union secretary, said: “Both programmes are designed to complement a player’s work with their own club professional or individual coach.”

One of the highlights of the U14 season is the finale at Houghwood Golf Club, which this year saw more than 60 youngsters competing over 18 and nine holes.

Club owner Peter Turner is an enthusiastic supporter of Lancashire junior golf and offers free use of the facilities on the day while club member Tony Mather provides the prizes.

This season’s competition was won by Harry Lee of Lancaster Golf Club, while Zak
Tidmarsh of Aintree Golf Centre took the honours in the nine-hole competition.

Registration for the 2018 Under 14 programme is now open at http://www.lancashiregolf.org/talent_development_programmes

The cost of the U14 programme is £25, with CAP £75, though some bursaries are available. Further details from secretary@lancashiregolf.org.

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.

 

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