Juniors to the fore at Heaton Moor

Many golf clubs across the region and the country have been struggling to get more juniors into golf.
But Heaton Moor Golf Club have bucked this trend with some great efforts by club members producing great results.
Moor’s junior organiser Jackie Hall outlined how they have achieved this: “Currently we have 95 juniors at Heaton Moor which consists of 66 juniors (over 10) and 29 cubs (10 and under).
“Recruitment comes in several forms. We have a seven-person committee who work hard to raise the profile of the Junior Section both within the club and greater afield.
“With the support of the Golf Foundation we link with PGA Golf Professional, Dave Cullen, to go into schools around the area.
“Dave holds sessions tailored to the age range of the children present.
“This year, again with the support we receive from the Golf Foundation, we are planning to hold a Taster Day in May which should target more children than the limited number achieved by going into schools.
“We also highlight the Junior Section within the club with the use of posters, a notice board, the club newsletter and word of mouth.
“We find this works well, especially in the recruitment of children/grandchildren of current members. In fact it sometimes works the other way around with parents joining because their child has become a member. It is for this reason that we are planning to hold a parent or grandparent/child event in August.
“Obviously the development once juniors have joined is just as important as recruitment if we want to retain our juniors.
“To achieve this we have a varied range of initiatives which hopefully meets the wide range of needs our juniors have.
“We regularly arrange group coaching sessions with Dave Cullen which have proved to be really popular.
“Once a month we hold a junior competition day where we run three different competitions to meet the different ages and capabilities of all our juniors.
“Then at the end of the year we award prizes for achievements such as the most improved golfer and the golfer who has contributed most.
“Every Saturday afternoon we run a roll up where we decide the format on the day to suit the requirements of those present. This is a new initiative which has proven to be really popular.
“We also participate in the Golf Sixes League which is a Golf Foundation initiative for the less experienced children.
“This year we have been drawn to play Lymm and Heyrose and this is a popular event giving the children a chance to participate in a team game and play other courses.
“Whatever the initiative or format we always strive to make golf fun for all our participants.
“We also liaise with Cheshire when young golfers with outstanding potential are identified to ensure they are given a chance to meet their maximum potential.
While our input appears to be working at the moment as a club we are always striving to identify new initiatives to aid us in both the recruitment and development of young golfers.
“Luckily we have a dedicated Junior Committee to make this happen!”

Pics Top: Jackie with Junior Captain Jack Clarke (left) and last year’s Junior Captain Alf Gittins (right) on the first tee preparing for action
2/3 Jack and Alf in action on the tee

Copy & images: Geoff Garnett

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