Over 1400 young golfers across the country have taken part in the first official round of the 2013 National Skills Challenge, supported by FootJoy.
Their names are featured on online leaderboards and if they complete the second round – which is now underway – they could qualify for England Golf’s regional and national finals.
For the fourth year, FootJoy is supporting the Challenge with prizes and gifts for competitors at the regional and national finals.
The National Skills Challenge is one of a host of England Golf initiatives which support junior golf. It aims to make practice fun for young golfers and help them improve their putting, chipping, pitching, bunker play and the long game.
Over 830 clubs and 7075 juniors are registered for the Challenge. Clubs receive a variety of free resources to support the initiative, including manuals, certificates and scorecards, and they can also take the opportunity to hold two official Challenge events.
This year, the first event finished on May 5 and was undertaken by 1400-plus youngsters from 102 clubs. The second Challenge event can be played until Sunday, 7 July. The leading competitors will be eligible for one of four regional finals, held in August, and the qualifiers from those will go forward to the national final at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa in September.
Richard Flint, England Golf Development Manager, commented “The National Skills Challenge supports golf clubs in offering a structured junior coaching programme, with a variety of free resources available. England Golf are delighted that FootJoy continue to support this initiative and provide some fantastic gifts and prizes for those juniors involved in the regional and national finals.”
Russell Lawes, European Marketing Manager – FootJoy, commented: “We are once again delighted to be supporting The National Skills Challenge programme.
“The future of the game of golf lies with the next generation of golfers and we are keen to help these juniors through their golf development as well as enhancing their enjoyment of the game. The National Skills Challenge is a fantastic programme and we look forward to seeing everyone’s progress this year.”
England Golf has a wide-ranging package of support for junior golf. This includes the GolfMark award which recognises junior and beginner-friendly clubs, the Junior Organisers’ Handbook, which is a complete guide to running a junior section; and the Junior Development Grant, which can be used to offer structured coaching sessions with PGA professionals and for activities to attract boys and girls and encourage them to progress and stay in the sport.
To find out more about the National Skills Challenge please visit www.getintogolf.org/skills Clubs may register at any time of year and have the option to take part in the events or simply use the resources to support their junior coaching programmes.
Our picture (image © John Thomson) shows the winners of the 2012 National Skills Challenge.