It has already been a busy start to the season with regards to junior golf development here at RND. So I thought I would take this chance to fill everyone in on all the things we have been doing to grow the game in the local area so far in 2019.
Our aim as one of the top clubs in the area is to do our bit in any way we can to ensure that the next generation are getting the chance to give golf a try and hopefully take up the game more seriously in the future.
I am lucky enough to have been involved with the Junior Section here at RND for nearly 10 years now. It is a section of the golf club I am particularly proud of as it continues to grow day by day.
North Devon Tri Golf Festival
Back in April I was lucky enough to be asked to host the North Devon Tri Golf Festival regional qualifier here at RND.
This saw 7 different primary schools and over 100 primary school children descend on our practice facilities to firstly have some fun and give golf a try and secondly see first-hand what Royal North Devon Golf Club can offer the stars of the future.
The feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive with regards to the venue and the format of the event. So much so we instantly had 5 new juniors turn up to Sunday coaching the very next week.
The schools that attended are as follows:
Torrington Blue Coats
St Margarets Primary
The winners on the day were Bradworthy Academy who have been coming back for individual sessions with myself over the past month in preparation for the national final which will take place in Southampton in June. Good luck to them!
North Devon Super Sixes Event
Due to the success of the Tri Golf event I was also asked in April to host a brand new event format again at RND for the slightly older primary school children.
This saw another 60 year 6 children come along to RND to give golf a try.
The event particularly interested me because each school had to bring a team of 6 (3 boys and 3 girls). Historically getting girls into playing golf has been a difficult task however events such as this that offer girls the chance to see how fun golf can be from an early age can only help.
The teams had to play in pairs using a Texas Scramble format over a 6 hole course that I had designed.
I decided to use our new Taylor Course with slightly forward tees as the course outline. It was the perfect venue, the kids loved it and the natural talent on show was mind blowing.
I am happy to be able to tell you that both events will be going ahead again next year at RND with new primary schools showing an interest in signing up.
Shebbear College Prep
Just last week I had Shebbear college prep school come down for some golf taster sessions.
I did three 2 hour sessions split over three days covering years 1,2,3,4,5 and 6. Another 60 children were introduced to the game of golf and again got to have a look at what we have to offer.
I decided to set up 10 different stations around the putting and chipping green for the children to complete. All games were designed to test skills that are essential to be able to play this game such as distance control, accuracy and strategy.
I also took the children into the clubhouse after the session to show them around and make them understand more about the history of our great club. I showed them the difference between modern day clubs/balls in relation to those in the olden days that are on display in the clubhouse. Plus they were very interested in looking at the honours boards that of course date back well over 100 years.
We would like to thank all the members for being so accommodating with regards to the schools coming down and using the facilities. Everyone is always positive and we get loads of comments on how great it is to see so many children participating in golf!
This is reiterated by a letter we received from Martin Butler one of the teachers at Shebbear College that you can read below:
In summary I have already seen in excess of 250 primary school children from the local area this year and I have taster sessions booked with 3 different primary schools due to take place over the next 2 months.
We have already seen that this golf in schools push is working with between 10 -12 new children now in regular attendance of our Sunday coaching sessions here at RND as a direct result of the sessions I have held. That is also not to say that other children haven’t been encouraged to have a go at club more local to them which of course is great.
Must visit, RND is the oldest golf club in England and has excellent facilities and practice areas. You get to share the course with ponies roaming close by and at the end of the round enjoy some lovely food from the restaurant whilst looking out across the horizon. Wonderful staff, help you enjoy the experience of this treasured gem.
At points wide open. The rushes and bushes are what will swallow your ball. The thing that makes this course tricky will always be fighting the wind and judging yardage. Greens true and well paced. Starter was helpful. Clubhouse like a museum of history