Leeds Club Leads Again…
Sand Moor Golf Club near Leeds is famous for producing some great young golfers including Iain Pyman and brothers Mark and Stephen Pullan, Stuart Cage and Simon Dyson, who all won some of golf’s top trophies.
After a quieter time for the junior section in recent years, a commitment was made 18 months ago to galvanise the younger generation of players. PGA Assistant Pro Glen Ient was set the task of creating a junior league team to be proud of and he started working with Golf Foundation RDO for the region Stacey Mitchell. Together they proposed the creation of a ‘development squad’ in which juniors from the area’s community were incentivised by receiving free coaching, a team kit and match meals etc. Selection was made not solely on ability but also on commitment to the club and motivation. Stacey Mitchell said: “Glen’s imagination and support should be really applauded.”
So far so good? Certainly was: last season, Sand Moor’s team were promoted in their league by finishing second and they went on to win the Leeds District Union Junior Cup!
Warm welcome at Whittington Heath
Many of our clubs today are working hard to encourage more young girl players and this is certainly true at Whittington Heath GC near Tamworth in Staffordshire. Along with its own innovative marketing in the community locally the club also signed up to ‘Girls Golf Rocks’ and has even been working recently with two other area clubs – Ingestre Park GC and Enville GC – to share a combined message in Staffordshire that golf is a brilliant game for girls!
Last season, 17 new girls took part in a taster session in May while the keenest ones continued with a further six-week follow up coaching programme. Already, some of the girls have joined the club as members. PGA Assistant Professional Victoria Mallett plans to widen the scope of this work in 2020 and, with Golf Foundation support, will be coaching in more schools in the area and will also be using the starter format Tri-Golf in the club environment.
Victoria, a former junior international player herself, said: “I really enjoy coaching and find it very rewarding to see the benefits that the introduction to the game of golf brings juniors, particularly as their skill levels grow and develop… in the club’s flourishing junior friendly environment.”
Victoria thanked all at the golf club for their support and gave special praise to young members Abbie and Izzy, both 15, who were inspirational to younger girls in Girls Golf Rocks.