Tom Metcalfe & Lola Pratt
Alderley Edge Golf Club has one of the biggest and most successful junior sections in the region and is continuing to go from strength to strength Edge professional Charles le Sueur said: “What have we done to get such a big junior section?
“t all started with offering some lessons included in the junior membership package. As soon as we re-opened last year we got so busy that I decided to bring in Tom Metcalfe, PGA Professional, to take over all of the junior coaching as I didn’t have the time available that the junior section deserves.
“Tom has been offering regular coaching and it has spiralled from there with 80 junior members and nine on the waiting list.
“Several of the Dad’s have also joined which has helped the club get to the point where we now have a waiting list in place for our full membership for men.”
Tom said: “when I started we had just over 30 juniors, we now are at full capacity and some who have been added as youth members just so they can join the club!
“The success of our junior section is due to a few things I believe, firstly the price, £50 for membership and in their first year they get 2 x 30 minutes lessons free of charge with myself.
“Secondly the work that I have put into the lessons and competitions, making them better golfers which adds to the enjoyment but also my style of making lessons fun and last but certain not least I try and encourage them to play as much as possible. They join the club to play golf, and I find great pleasure in seeing the young men and ladies turn up to the golf club with their friends and enjoying playing our course.
“I teach my students not only to make them better golfers when they leave the lesson, but to increase their playing potential further on down their golfing career.
“My aim when starting the job at the club was to make our junior section the best in Cheshire, which I believe we are firmly on our way to achieving.
“Lola Pratt is the new Junior Captain and she is not only a fantastic golfer but a superb young lady.
“She has been involved since day one and her mother, Jo, has been very supportive in growing Lola as a golfer.
“All of these things contributing into making Lola a great fit for our Junior Captain but also I believe it will encourage other young ladies to get involved in the game which I think is fantastic for the growth of Ladies involvement in golf.”
Lola added: “My age is 15 and I am a student at Wilmslow High School and for my GCSEs I am doing Music, Food Tech, Triple Science and Spanish. I aspire to get good grades in all these subjects by the end of next year and plan to continue Music, Food Tech and Chemistry through to A Level.
“I started out playing golf at another club and moved to Alderley Edge approximately two years ago. My mum is a member at the club and my dad learned to play here as a teenager accompanied by his Grandfather who was also a member in the 40s/50s.
“The arrival of Tom Metcalfe as junior coach has really encouraged me to improve my golf game over the past year, his commitment and enthusiasm for the junior section has made it a really fun club to be part of. My parent’s interest in golf has also been a big help as I enjoy playing with them both!
“One of my golfing idols would definitely be Justin Rose as he’s one of my earliest recollections from watching golf when I was younger. He’s extremely dedicated and talented, I aspire to be like him!
“My aim this year is to get a handicap, play in some competitions, improve my game and most importantly enjoy golf with friends and family. In my role as junior captain I hope to inspire the other junior members to do the same.”
Photos & copy courtesy Geoff Garnett