Cartoon capers to attract young golfers

Barrie Appleby

Cartoon capers are to be used by a golf club to attract more young people into the sport.

One of the country’s leading comic strip artists has put his talents to work to create a cartoon aimed at catching the attention of youngsters.

Barrie Appleby (pictured), who illustrates for the Beano and other comics, has teamed up with Newton Green Golf Club in Suffolk.

Nationwide, the number of juniors joining clubs has tailed off in recent times, and Newton’s aim is to engage their attention.  

The club has gained a reputation for its progressive recruitment ideas, and has capitalised on the talents of neighbour Barrie, whose home overlooks the course.

Barrie said: “As we are near neighbours it was a pleasure to be involved.”

His illustration has been used by Sudbury-based Ark Design Consultants to produce a flyer. Each year until 2017 the club will circulate 350 Year Six pupils (aged 10-11) in a dozen local primary schools.

As part of the initiative, the club’s professional Tim Cooper has been carrying out a series of get into golf sessions in the schools. These will culminate in an inter schools competition at the club, and invitations to the keener pupils for more free lessons.

Peter Phillpot, club chairman, said: “We have one of the most successful junior sections in East Anglia and do not want to be caught out by the nationwide decline in interest from young people.

“We are being proactive by investing resources. The generous gesture from Barrie Appleby to assist our cause means we can blaze a trail and try to ensure we capture the attention of young people.

“We need to continue helping develop the sport locally, and ensure Newton Green is a benchmark club for young people.”

In recent times the club has had youngsters qualifying for national squad training and has a dozen juniors representing Suffolk at various levels.

Bookings can be made on 01787-377217 for 30 minute taster lessons for youngsters from 1.30 pm on Saturday, April 18.