Five rising stars from Chesterfield Golf Club have lived up to England Golf’s message that ‘Girls Golf Rocks’ by becoming the first all-girl team to compete in and then win the Derbyshire County Junior Championship.
Olivia Barker-Sabido, Lucia Maturi, Olivia Streets, Gabby Auld and Eva Myers (pictured left to right alongside team manager Steve Myers) claimed a fantastic victory in the handicap final staged at Kedleston Park Golf Club on Sunday.
The five friends – whose ages range from 12 to 15 and who hold handicap indexes stretching from four to 11 – have grown up playing the game together and continue to spur each other on to reach new heights.
This year, Chesterfield’s junior organiser John Barker decided that rather than enter two mixed teams he would send the girls into the competition on their own.
“We have a strong junior section within the club with some very capable girls who have progressed through our academy,” explained Barker.
“The girls are all good friends and really enjoy playing together so I thought instead of mixing it up with entering an A team and a B team, this year we would have a boys and a girls team”.
The move worked a treat.
After winning their quarter final against Burton Golf Club thanks to 12-year-old Myers sealing her match on the final hole, the semi pitted the girls against Breadsall Priory’s B team.
This match was played home and away with 15-year-old Barker-Sabido holing the clinching putt en route to a 6-2 overall match victory.
In the final held on neutral ground at Kedleston Park, the girls faced Breadsall Priory’s A squad and it proved to be a thrilling contest.
Having been down early in three of the four games, Chesterfield fought back bravely to win a point through Maturi and a half point courtesy of captain Streets (both aged 14).
The focus was then on 14-year-old Auld who held her nerve to sink a 12-foot putt on the last to guarantee the match win for the Chesterfield girls.
“They are great golfers but also great friends and it’s been a pleasure to watch them having so much fun,” commented team manager Myers.
“I’m so proud of not only the way they have played, but also how they have conducted themselves throughout the competition especially as they were a lot younger than the majority of the other teams.
“The challenge of playing older more experienced golfers and ‘beating the boys’ just never daunted them at all.
“The average age of the team is only 14, but they coped with the pressure like experienced professionals.
“They have a fantastic team ethic, side before self all the time.”
- Do you know a beginner girl who is interested in developing her love of the game in a relaxed and friendly environment?
‘Girls Golf Rocks’ is a fun, participation programme run by England Golf and supported by the Golf Foundation. Almost 200 clubs and facilities across all counties in England rolled out sessions in 2021 aimed at introducing beginner girls, aged primarily between 7-14, to the sport.
Find out more about the programme and keep tabs on plans for 2022 by clicking here