|Players, organisers and officials ready to begin the competition||Styal Team|
STYAL Golf Club were great hosts as they staged the opening round of the Cheshire GolfSixes Junior League.
In the field were young players from Styal, Congleton, Macclesfield and Mottram Hall who are enjoying academy golf as they get into the game.
The format is a six-hole shotgun and they will play on each other’s courses during the summer months and get into a true team spirit as they get their first taste of competitive golf.
There were some top golf people at the competition including Andy Leigh of the Golf Foundation who do so much to get youngsters into golf. Cheshire’s England Golf Support Officers Sean Hammill and Alison Lysons and England’s PGA Golf 2018 Coach of the Year Matthew Turnock of Mottram Hall and Styal’s junior coach Mark Johnson as well as club junior organisers.
Junior GolfSixes are organised by the national junior charity, the Golf Foundation, in conjunction with England Golf, the national association of golf clubs.
Boys and girls aged from six to 14 are eligible to compete alongside each other and they don’t need to have a handicap.
All of the boys and girls in the league play in their golf club shirts with GolfSixes branding.
Matthew said: “When the junior members at Mottram found out we were going to be taking part I was taken aback at how excited they were . . . because it’s fast and it’s fun.
“I organised a free evening at Mottram for all the team players to come along to do a trial run of the format so everyone is comfortable with how to score.
“I know the other three clubs have done something similar and there is a real buzz about the event.
“The GolfSixes format appeals to younger golfers because it is enjoyable, easy to play and builds team spirit.”
The youngsters have been with their club’s PGA professionals preparing for the big event which will be supported by enthusiastic parents.
This family engagement follows the model of other team sports such as football, netball and rugby where families new to the sport are welcomed into the club environment.
Nationally there are 25 leagues featuring 125 golf clubs and 1,500 boys and girls following a mini pilot league last year.
Andy Leigh said: “GolfSixes offer a rapid starting point to hopefully create a long-lasting love of the sport.”
The first competition was won by Styal with four points from Mottram Hall three, Macclesfield two and Congleton one but with seven events to go there is plenty to play for as only 11 points separated the first and fourth places in a tight contest.
Copy & pictures Courtesy Geoff Garnett