Suffolk launches search for future stars
PUBLISHED: 12:54 15 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:11 03 March 2010
GOLF: The Suffolk junior golf committee is embarking on a Tiger hunt. Not a safari, but the latest project to find Suffolk's next generation of outstanding golfers – a Tiger Woods or Colin Montgomerie.
THE Suffolk junior golf committee is embarking on a Tiger hunt.
Not a safari, but the latest project to find Suffolk's next generation of outstanding golfers – a Tiger Woods or Colin Montgomerie.
Last year as a pilot project, Alan Reeve started an Under-12 section within the county coaching scheme, and around 30 boys from all over Suffolk attended several courses.
Alan has been with the Suffolk juniors for several years and took up the challenge of starting such a young group.
David Houston, chairman of Suffolk junior golf, said: "Alan has been very surprised at the numbers and quality of youngsters attending, a sentiment echoed by Ian MacPherson, the professional at Felixstowe Ferry where the coaching takes place."
Ian said: "The progress some boys have made in only a year is amazing, and if they continue at that rate, some can turn out to be very good golfers indeed."
Not content with resting on his laurels, Alan is now looking for further boys to come along and join the scheme.
"Ideally they should have had one or two lessons already and are keen to learn the sport," said Houston. "It is the enthusiasm and commitment that are the key features to being successful.
"If parents, grandparents or relatives have boys from the age of eight upwards who are keen to learn, give Alan a ring on 01473 720395 and arrange for them to come along to Felixstowe on one of the training days to join in and be assessed."
The next three dates are Saturdays February 9, March 9 and April 6.
It does not matter if the boys don't belong to a golf club – in fact, it may be an advantage. Many of the country's leading players started the game without their parents being golfers themselves.
Suffolk is also progressing ideas to introduce a softball version of golf, called Tri-golf, into primary and secondary schools. Tri-golf has been developed by the Golf Foundation together with the English Golf Union and other organisations.
It is ideal for young people to have a go at hitting a ball and getting a lot of fun from the activity.
The Tri-golf sets consist of plastic clubs and balls and a variety of hoops, cones, nets etc, all designed with safety in mind.
Kits are available with instructions on several games that can be played, all in a safe environment with minimal risk of injury.
Houston said: "If anyone is keen to progress, then it couldn't be easier to develop that interest further.
"There are a series of golf starter centres around the county who give professional instruction. Similarly, many clubs give group junior starter lessons in the school holidays, generally at a subsidised cost and even arrange club membership.
"Getting into golf couldn't be easier and there are plenty of vacancies within clubs for people to join.
"Like all sports, the younger you join the better you are likely to get, so tomorrow could be a day lost!"