Exciting times ahead for newly-named England boys’ squad

Eight of the country’s brightest young talents have been selected to form the new-look England Golf boys’ squad.

There is a fresh look to this year’s squad with Home Internationals and European team events on the horizon in 2021.

Derbyshire’s Henry Hayward, Will Horne and Harley Smith from Essex, Cheshire’s Frank Kennedy, Yorkshire’s Josh Berry (main image) and BB&O golfer Ben Loveard step up for the new season.

Jack Bigham from Hertfordshire and Dubai-based Josh Hill retain their places from this year’s group that, unfortunately, were denied the chance to represent their country in UK, European and world events due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Men’s Performance Manager Stephen Burnett said: “It’s an exciting time for golf in England and that’s reflected in the new young talents we have coming through into our boys’ squad.

“There is a great balance in this group with Jack and Josh already aware of what is required of squad members at this level.

“For the others, we are confident that they not only have the ability, but also the temperament to flourish in our England set-up.

“It’s a young group, but a very talented one who have the chance to carve out an exciting future in the game.

“The boys will be given every opportunity to fulfil their potential with expert technical coaching, strength and conditioning training and assistance in dealing with the psychological aspects of elite amateur sport.

“Hopefully, the boys will get the chance to do their country proud in 2021 after what has been a difficult and disrupted 2020 season for everyone involved in the performance programme.”

Hayward earned his place in the squad after winning the Carris Trophy in August (pictured below). Horne also impressed at the same event played at Broadstone Golf Club in Dorset.

Kennedy – who is based for part of the year in Jupiter, Florida – is the youngest member of the squad, but showed age was no barrier with excellent performances at the English Men’s Amateur and Brabazon Trophy as well as boys’ events.

Loveard and Smith have enjoyed a consistent season and showed plenty promise at a recent national competitive session at Goodwood Golf Club.

Berry has represented England at under 16 level in matches against Ireland and Switzerland and will be eager to build on these performances.

Bigham, too, has international experience at under 16 level and has had a year of England coaching under his belt after making the boys’ squad in 2020.

Hill achieved worldwide headlines when last year, at the age of 15, he became the youngest ever winner of an Official World Golf Ranking professional event in the United Arab Emirates. That win earned him a place in the field at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi Championship.

It took eventual Amateur Champion Joe Long to end Josh’s run in both the English Amateur and Amateur Championships this summer.

The group will gather for regular coaching sessions at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa over the winter months ahead of what is hoped can be a full season of competitions in 2021.

 

England Boys’ Squad 2020/21

Josh Berry: (aged 15, Doncaster Golf Club, Yorkshire)

Jack Bigham: (aged 17, Harpenden Golf Club, Hertfordshire)

Henry Hayward: (aged 16, Kedleston Park Golf Club, Derbyshire)

Josh Hill: (aged 16, Dubai)

Will Horne: (aged 16, Thorndon Park Golf Club, Essex)

Frank Kennedy: (aged 14, Prestbury Golf Club, Cheshire)

Ben Loveard: (aged 16, Woburn Golf Club, Bedfordshire)

Harley Smith: (aged 15, The Rayleigh Club, Essex)

 

Photography: Leaderboard