Young Ambassadors

Young Ambassadors

In association with the Golf Foundation

In January 2018, we announced eleven young people are Young Ambassadors for England Golf and the Golf Foundation who, through telling their own stories and sharing their enthusiasm and love of golf, will challenge the negative perceptions and play a part in getting more people talking about the game.

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Warren Clark

Mannings Heath Golf & Wine Estate

 

Warren Clarke

How I got into golf

I got into golf through my parents

What I love about golf

I love golf because I meet new people and it gives me time to do something I enjoy.

What I’d like to change about golf

I would like to see more people with disabilities playing golf.

Why I’d like to involve more people in golf

I love getting people into golf and inspiring them to try the game.

What I’ve achieved in golf (both on and off the course)

I have met lots of people through golf, a lot of super golfers have helped me along the way.

My other interests are:

I adore my dogs, Taff and Lucky.

An interesting fact about me

I have special needs – some people don’t believe I do!

Why I want to be an ambassador

I love golf and want to inspire others.

I would like to become a PGA pro and learn even more about golf that I don’t already know.


Ysobel Lush

Langdon Hills Golf Club, Essex

 

Ysobel Lush

How I got into golf

My dad played a little bit so he would take me to a course or a range then from there I began to have lessons.

What I love about golf

I love the team aspect, I have met lots of friends through golf.  It helps take my mind off things, it’s great to be outside and have fun.

What I’d like to change about golf

The stigma of an ‘old man’s’ game, I can play better than a lot of men in my club and want to prove that young girls deserve a place in golfing society. I have some amazing memories with people my age on a golf course so I don’t want people to be afraid to join in.

I find it annoying the way I have been treated at times in the past. I am no different to anyone else, plus aren’t we all here to do the same thing…to play golf and enjoy it!! So I want unnecessary aggravation to stop, then maybe the game will grow more.

Why I volunteer

I want to show how fun golf is for younger girls. I am going to grow up and there needs to be girls filling my place. I also love helping and coaching, one day I want to be a PE teacher. I love what I get back from volunteering, seeing girls progress and having so much fun is amazing. To me being a role model is very important. There are girls I aspire to be like, but I didn’t have significant sporting role models.  I believe young girls should have one and I would love to be just that.

What I’ve achieved in golf (both on and off the course)

I’ve been a Girls Golf Rocks Ambassador for four years, which is just one of the ways I encourage girls to get into golf. I also help to coach young girls at my golf club and go in to primary schools to take Tri-Golf sessions.

I’ve won local and national awards for volunteering in and out of school and for my role with GGR. I was Essex Golfer of the Year 2016 for my help, attitude and volunteering efforts

My other interests are:

I am an England East Region Rugby player and have recently gained a place on the development pathway.  I also play for Essex and my club in Basildon. I am also Vice Captain for Essex U18 squad. I want to be a PE teacher when I am older.  I love going to concerts and watching my favourite bands.

Who inspires you?

I aspire to be like Jessica Breach who made her debut as an England women’s rugby player at the age of 19 alongside her studies. She is a lovely girl and great player.


Ali Jodiyawalla

The Welcombe Golf Club, Stratford-upon-Avon

 

Ali Jodiyawalla

How I got into golf

My dad started playing through work and eventually took me to the driving range with him. I started spending lots of time on the range trying to get better.

What I love about golf

Mostly I love the social aspect. I always enjoy going to play a round of golf or going to the driving range with my mates as it makes it all the more enjoyable.

What I’d like to change about golf

Attitudes about golf, inside and outside the game. It really frustrates me when members complain about small things, like people wearing caps in clubhouses, but there’s also some bigger issues like their attitude towards junior golfers.

I also want to change the idea that golf is a rich old man’s sport. I think this is a real barrier to entry into the sport. Unfortunately people don’t get to see the other side of golf, which can be so entertaining and fun to be a part of.

Why I’d like to involve more people in golf

I have gained so much from the sport, not just playing skills but social skills and interpersonal skills. I’d like other people to have the opportunity to experience this and for me to be able to help them would be very exciting.

What I’ve achieved in golf (both on and off the course)

There have been some key life changing moments for me and also some personal highlights.

I have won a national Gallagher award from the Golf Foundation recognising the work I have put in as a volunteer and some of the junior initiatives I have been involved with at my golf club. A year later I introduced the awards, which really helped develop my confidence and my ability to speak in large crowds.

After winning the award I took part in promotional videos for both the Golf Foundation and England Golf. I also helped them at events such as the British Masters by working on their stands in the tented village.

I have massively developed as a person and improved so many important life skills such as time keeping, confidence, organisation, passion and many more interpersonal skills. I owe a lot of this to golf as it has helped me develop these skills.

I have also been able to improve my own golf, which isn’t currently where I want it to be but is certainly on the way there.

My other interests are:

I mainly spend time with my family or friends going out. I am very keen on seeing different places in the world.

I am currently studying a sports science course at college having completed my A-Levels. I want to go to university after this to study for a degree in sports.

In the future I would like to develop a career in golf and hopefully be a golf coach somewhere warm.

Who inspires you?

My parents and my coach. My parents have played a massive part in my golfing career and seeing them give up so much of their time to help me has made me push myself and work harder. My coach has also been an inspiration. Being able to witness the work he has done in junior golf first hand has had a positive impact on me.


Jessica Pilgrim

Stoke Park Golf Club, Buckinghamshire

 

Jessica Pilgrim

How I got into golf

When I was three or four I asked my parents if I could please have some golf lessons. Nobody really knows what triggered it! I got some plastic clubs and played in the garden. Then I kept asking for lessons. I went to a golf camp age eight and loved it and they said I showed real potential in that first week. I started competing in pre-handicap events and loved it.

What I love about golf

I love being out in the open air and I love that I can play a round of golf with people of all ages, boys, girls, women, men, and we can all play our own game. I love playing dads and daughter too as I am better than my dad!

What I’d like to change about golf

I’m probably not allowed to say this but some of the club rules seem a bit too strict, for children anyway. For children we should be encouraged to get into golf and try it. I’d like more opportunity to practise. My old club used to moan and complain that kids were in the way. My new club is GREAT, we feel really welcome and we even feel special.

I’d also like more coaching, once or twice a week, but is expensive. And I would love maybe mentoring, someone to guide me more.

Why I’d like to involve more people in golf

I think a lot of girls think it’s a boys sport and a lots of kids think it’s an old man’s sport so I want to show them how great it is for kids and girls

What I’ve achieved in golf (both on and off the course)

I like that my school is excited that I won the county schools trophy, twice. I love competing in the World Mini Golf Champs every year, I won bronze first time!

My other interests are:

I love skiing, I like diving and trampolining and dance and drama. And anything Harry Potter!

Who inspires you?

Beeeef! I absolutely love Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston as he is FUN – he makes golf fun and he is still at the same time serious about his golf and achieving great golf scores! I have met him and he is always the same big fun character.


Ella Baker

Warley Woods Golf Club, West Midlands

 

Ella Baker

How I got into golf

I got into golf through my dad. I use it as an escape route from both mine and my brother’s disability. I am also a young carer as my younger brother has a rare genetic disease called CNKSR2 (only six people in the world have this condition).

I have Myasthenia Gravis and when it was diagnosed the doctors recommended that I play a sport or there would be a high risk of intense muscle stiffness. I picked golf up immediately and it provides a balance of doing some sport without overworking yourself.

As soon as I started I figured that I wanted to have some sort of coaching role throughout the sport. After playing for a year I was offered a role as a young golf leader at my home golf club. I enjoy finding out about disability golf and how we can solve the discrimination that both juniors and disabled players have to face on a daily basis

What I love about golf

I love that there are so many opportunities to make friends with both older and younger players. I also enjoy leading and planning lessons for the academy. I’m really pleased that my school, Windsor High School and Sixth Form, encourage me and other players to keep up the sport and stay resilient at the same time. The freedom the game brings is just amazing. Some of the older players may judge me but usually it is a fun, judge-free time!

What I’d like to change about golf

My main goal is stop all the hate that is targeted at disability golf whilst making golf clubs more involved in junior and disability golf. Personally, I think that everybody is equal and golf players need to respect each other more than they do currently.

A golf club should be a friendly environment, not an extremely formal place. Everybody there is supposed to wear fancy, expensive golf clothing, but people should be allowed wear whatever appropriate clothing they wish to.

It would be extremely good if golf clubs had lifts or small ramps so that wheelchair bound people can access either the café, shop or golf course.

Why I’d like to involve more people in golf

Golf has impacted me both mentally and physically. A person can gain many things throughout golf like confidence, social skills and fitness improvement.

What I’ve achieved in golf (on and off the course)

In 2015 I became a young golf leader of GLGOLF Academy. In 2016 I was golfer of the month in the magazine Midlands Golfer. After my story was featured OOB clothing asked if I was willing to be their ambassador for the West Midlands. In 2017 I successfully became a Young Ambassador with England Golf.

My other interests are:

I enjoy looking after my brother and venturing into my local library to indulge myself with all the different genres of books. When I am older I would like to have a job to do with hospitals. I do a lot of research about economic problems and conditions.

Who inspires you?

My dad is my main inspiration as he makes time for himself and for me and my brother. We take up a lot of time but he still manages to balance his hobbies. My dad is my saviour. I love that my mom also manages to find time to take me to my golf things. James Leathem-Pugh at my school helps me with time management and organisation skills!


Emily Furniss

Gaudet Luce Golf Club, Worcestershire

 

Emily Furniss

How I got into golf

Dad tried and tried to get me started and I finally agreed to go to the range when I was 12. I thought that golf was for old men, that it would be really boring and not for me. I couldn’t believe how wrong I was.

I could hit the ball straight away and joined the junior academy to have lessons. It was quite daunting because I knew no-one, but they made me so welcome I soon found I had nothing to worry about

What I love about golf

It’s great for family time and making friends.  I play regularly with my Dad and my Mum often walks round with us. I’ve made so many friends and we have achieved so much together they’re like a second family.

I love the friendly atmosphere at the golf club and seeing everyone happy, enjoying each other’s company. It’s priceless.

I love the skills golf has given me which will help me throughout life.  I have learnt so much, about sportsmanship, respect, honesty and perseverance and I know I’ve grown as a person

What I’d like to change about golf

I’m really frustrated when adults have a negative attitude towards young people within a golf club. They’re reluctant to play with us, see us as an inconvenience and a threat in competition. They should be encouraging and inspiring the next generation.

If golf clubs listened to their young people and made them feel like they belong it would help to change perceptions.

Why I’d like to involve more people in golf

I volunteer because I want to give something back to the sport that has given me so many opportunities. The people around me helped through difficult times when I was injured and it just seemed natural to give something back.

I think more young people should get involved and try golf as it helps you to grow as a person and gives you skills that will be useful for the rest of your life

What I’ve achieved

Before taking up golf I was a quiet, reserved child unable to even speak in class. My experiences in golf have given me a real confidence to overcome my fear of public speaking and I can now address a room full of people with new found confidence.

I’ve become junior club and county captain, I’ve got a low single figure handicap and I’ve progressed through England development squads.

Golf has given me the opportunity to show my passion for the game and hopefully inspire others to try it too. I’ve had opportunities to do things I never thought possible, like guiding blind golfers, getting involved with disability golf, volunteer coaching and organising charity events. It was amazng to be recognized with the Golf Foundation President’s Montgomerie Award for Young Volunteer of the Year 2017.

My other interests are:

I am an avid West Bromwich Albion football supporter. I love shopping and spending time with my friends as well as spending time on social media such as Snapchat and Facebook. I also love listening to music. I really love to travel and see new places. I have been lucky enough to go on some amazing holidays with my family to places like China, Dubai, Australia and America.

Playing golf has had a huge impact in shaping what I want to do in the future. I have decided that I would like to study Golf Management at University and take my career in the direction of golf event management and coaching. I would also like to further my interest in disability and inclusive golf, having met some inspirational individuals who have overcome so much to get where they are that I too would like to be able to offer something back to the sport I love.

Who inspires you?

My dad! Also, players such as Dustin Johnson inspire me to work on my long game and driving while Mickleson and Spieth inspire me to focus on my short game and putting. Charley Hull is a young, ambitious golfer who has shown that with ability and determination anything is possible, breaking down the barriers within female golf. Also In-Kyung Kim, because of the work she does for charity, on one occasion she gave away all of her winnings from a tournament to two charities.


Isabella Bleaken

Bowood Golf Club

 

How I got into golf

I watched The Open on TV and wanted to have a go, so my parents took me to the nearest driving range on a Saturday morning with a group of kids of the same age. They said I had a natural swing and recommended I join a golf club with a good junior section.

The challenges I have had on my way is the perception that being a girl and very young I wouldn’t be any good. Also because my parents didn’t play, people thought I shouldn’t play.

What I love about golf

I enjoy the social time with people and being able to talk with people going around a course. I enjoy the fresh air and the walk. I enjoy playing golf for fun along with competitions and being the best I can.

What I’d like to change about golf

I would like to see more of people my age playing golf. I’d like people not to be upset when they do a bad shot, and parents not to shout at children when doing a bad shot and make them cry.

I’d like people not to cheat on the golf course by not counting properly and moving balls. I’d also like to make memberships cheaper, range balls cheaper for practice and make clubhouses more welcoming.

Why I’d like to involve more people in golf

To get more people into golf and see what a great game it is. It is one of the few sports where a young child and an OAP can play together. People will get fitter, enjoy fresh air, socialise and see what a great game it is

What I’ve achieved in golf (both on and off the course)

I have played on some great courses and gone to parts of the country that I would not have otherwise visited. I have met and played with some wonderful people of all ages.

I have been able to show people what a great game golf is and how to play it. Even though I was very nervous at first showing people how to play I have now gained in confidence doing this.

I have been very fortunate to get a hole in one at St Andrews in a competition and been a European and British runner up in my age group. I have represented my county, golf club and school locally.

I’ve met Peter Alliss, which was amazing. Being asked to be an England Golf Junior Ambassador has been a great honour and I was very proud to be asked.

I was lucky to be given a golf and music scholarship to a great prep school.

I have been interviewed on Sky Sports 4, local BBC TV and radio!

My other interests are:

I enjoy music and play piano to grade seven, violin and singing to Grade six. I am a member of the National Girls’ Youth Choir of Great Britain and play in my school’s orchestra.

I have been lucky to gain a senior school choral and music scholarship.

I also play tennis, netball and hockey. Maths and science are also a passion of mine

Who inspires you?

Seve, who came from nothing becoming one of the best golfers ever.


Hope Neild

Royal Norwich Golf Club, Norfolk

 

How I got into golf

My parents don’t play golf but I went to the local driving range and from there found out about the junior coaching academy at Royal Norwich. I went along, loved it and have being playing ever since!

What I love about golf

No two rounds are ever the same and there’s always something new to learn and practice.

What I’d like to change about golf

I’d like to see more juniors playing.

Why I’d like to involve more people in golf

I think it would help to get rid of the stereotypes about golf and show people what it’s really like. I’d also like to share my love of the game.

What I’ve achieved in golf (both on and off the course)

I’ve helped win the English National Schools’ Team Championship and I’ve topped my county girls’ order of merit. I’ve won a regional U15 scratch event and was a regional winner in the national Abraham Trophy for the most improved girl golfers.

I’ve learnt new skills, like public speaking and how to help coach younger players. I was selected as House Captain at my school

My other interests are:

I like fashion design and photography – I took textile design GCSE in year 10 and achieved an A star! I want to have a career in the golf industry & would like to study for a degree in Golf Course Management.

Who inspires you?

My coach Neil Lythgoe. He’s always really helpful and makes coaching fun