The North East final of GolfSixes at Close House showcased the format’s potential for growing junior participation while offering juniors from across the North East a chance to compete in the new format.
The national pilot project, which involved 32 clubs across seven regions of England, was run by the Golf Foundation with the competition format mirroring much of the European Tour’s GolfSixes event played at Centurion Club in May.
The GolfSixes Academy project saw boys and girls playing inter-club matches in teams of six players. The matches took place over six holes in a Texas scramble format with many children playing on golf courses for the first time. In the North East, Close House welcomed teams from Morpeth, Bedlingtonshire and Ponteland golf clubs to play the final matches in their league series – with Ponteland securing victory.
One youngster, Samara from Bedlingtonshire Golf Club, raised the loudest cheer of the day with a hole-in-one on the 65-yard fifth hole on Close House’s Yearling Course .
Martin Crowder, national development manager for the Golf Foundation, said: “Every facet of the GolfSixes Academy project has been designed to encourage kids to get the most out of their new experience in a club junior section or academy. They are playing the exciting new format with European Tour GolfSixes branding, they are presented with their team shirts and playing against other local teams; in each case they are building up to the big match through learning and practice with their PGA Professional, while often enjoying the support of their parents on the golf course.
“Thanks to the support from the European Tour and Sport England we are delighted with the progress of this pilot project.”