Talented youngsters win Skills Challenge national final

Skills Challenge national winners

Eight talented youngsters have been crowned 2012 champions of England Golf’s National Skills Challenge, supported by FootJoy, the #1 Shoe and Glove in Golf.

They won their titles at the grand final at The National Golf Centre, Woodhalll Spa, on Saturday, 29 September 2012. The event was contested by 30 young golfers from all over the country who had won through regional finals. They demonstrated some fantastic skills and will no doubt continue to be great golfers in the future.
The National Skills Challenge is now in its seventh year and continues to progress with nearly 800 clubs registered and 6,200 juniors involved nationwide.  England Golf are delighted that FootJoy, the #1 Shoe and Glove in Golf, has continued to support the National Skills Challenge in 2012 and have kindly donated products and prizes to the qualifiers and winners.

The 2012 champions (image © John Thompson) are:

Rookie 8 years & under
Boys’ winner – Drew Mackinnon, Southampton GC
Girls’ Winner – Rio Everitt, Stowmarket GC
Rookie 9 to 11 years
Boys’ winner – Harry Fricker, Ufford Park GC
Girls’ winner – Bethany Fletcher, Heysham GC
Tour 12 to 14 years
Boys’ winner – James Swash, Ingleby Barwick Golf Academy
Girls’ winner – Georgina Hirst, Flamborough Head GC
Tour 15 to 17 years
Boys’ winner- Josh McMahon, Bromsgrove Golf Centre
Girls’ winner – Megan Cullen, Heysham Golf Club

They were among the 30 finalists listed below, who had all won their respective age categories at regional finals around the country. They all demonstrated impressive putting, chipping, bunker, pitching and long game skills, with some great scores achieved on the particularly challenging set-up on the famous short game academy.

Richard Flint, England Golf Development Manager, said: “It is great to see youngsters with such golfing talent taking part in our Skills Challenge National Final and this can be credited to the coaching they receive from their home clubs.  

“The Skills Challenge continues to grow each year and England Golf would like to see even more clubs represented, giving their juniors an opportunity to take part and potentially qualify for the regional and national final”.

Following this year’s final, England Golf ran a fun, Ryder Cup Challenge for the participants, over five holes at the short game academy with Team USA winning the event.

Russell Lawes, FootJoy’s European Marketing Manager, is delighted to have once again supported the initiative, “Grass roots golf is immensely important and we are committed to supporting the stars of tomorrow.

“This is a fantastic initiative that provides a fun and easy way for junior golfers to improve all aspects of their game in an enjoyable and relaxed environment.

“This year’s event has once again proved extremely successful and we at FootJoy would like to congratulate not only just the winners but all junior golfers who participated in this event. We look forward to continue to support this event further next year”

The National Skills Challenge is an initiative provided by England Golf via the England Golf Partnership’s Whole Sport Plan for golf and is an integral part of the partnership’s vision to grow the game.  For more information on the National Skills Challenge visit www.getintogolf.org/skills  

The following players qualified for the 2012 National Final:

Rookie 8 yrs & under
Callum McManus, Cuddington Golf Club
Drew Mackinnon, Southampton Golf Club
Sam Haynes-Coote, Kilworth Springs Golf Club
CJ Linfoot, Blackpool Park Golf Club
Rio Everitt, Stowmarket Golf Club
Maisie Coward, Weymouth Golf Club
Georgia d’Araujo, Wharton Park Golf Club
Grace Worth, Blackpool Park Golf Club

Rookie 9 to 11 years
Harry Fricker, Ufford Park Golf Club
Sebastian James, North Wilts Golf Club
Hugo Kedzlie, Spalding Golf Club
Robert Hillier, Ingleby Barwick Golf Academy
Lily Rendell, Clacton on Sea Golf Club
Shannon Parfitt, Weymouth Golf Club
Charlotte Voysey, Wharton Park Golf Club
Bethany Fletcher, Heysham Golf Club

Tour 12 to 14 years
Ben Rendell, Clacton on Sea Golf Club
Sam Keyte, Royal North Devon Golf Club
James Weaver, Sherwood Forest Golf Club
James Swash, Ingleby Barwick Golf Club
Chloe Rose, Clacton on Sea Golf Club
Emma Anderson, Sherwood Forest Golf Club
Georgina Hirst, Flamborough Head Golf Club

Tour 15 to 17 years
Jonathan Hewett, Clacton on Sea Golf Club
Liam Walker, Southwick Park Golf Club
Josh McMahon, Bromsgrove Golf Club
Connor Marriott, Ingleby Barwick Golf Academy
Khadeejar Khan, Fairlop Waters Golf Club
Jasmine Skinner, Droitwich Golf Club
Megan Cullen, Heysham Golf Club