Consett targets juniors

Consett has joined the growing number of clubs setting up an academy course in an effort to attract juniors.

The club invited European Tour winner Graeme Storm – recently made a Durham County vice-president as a result of his efforts to promote junior golf – to officially open the facility with a junior clinic and question and answer session.

The new Blue Tee course is a tribute to the foresight of club officials, in particular junior organisers Mark Bonser and Janet Turnbull.

They took on the job last year and after discussing what was needed to attract new juniors, decided a shortened academy course was the obvious first step.

“A long course can seem very daunting for youngsters,” said Mark, “and it can take the fun element out of learning golf, so with generous sponsorship from local businesses we raised enough money to set up a Blue Tee course with the help of Tony McLure and his company TM Amenities.”

Mark also asked Storm if he would officially open the academy course, and the club will host one of Storm’s Mini Tour events in the future while helping to raise money for the Finlay Cooper Fund.

“We now plan to host an open day soon,” added Mark,

“We’ll be inviting children and parents to come along and have a taster session, and to see what a fun environment the golf course can be.

“You never know, we might find the next Graeme Storm!”

Graeme, who is undergoing physiotherapy following a wrist operation and hopes to be back on tour in January, congratulated Consett.

He said: “It’s good to see the club providing facilities like this for young players – it’s very much the way forward and more and more clubs in the North East are going down this road.”

Consett has also added 13 junior events this year and plans to host a Happy Gilmore tournament.

The initiative has already brought rewards – Consett Juniors have just won the North West Durham League title and have reached the semi-final of the knockout cup.