Dyke House student Amy Burton earns regional squad place

Amy Burton, a member of the Durham County Ladies Golf Union’s junior squad and a student at Northern Education Trust Dyke House Academy, has been selected for the North Region U18s training programme.

Amy, 12, was crowned Durham County Ladies Golf Union Juniors’ most improved player of the year this season and is one of only seven girls from Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland to secure a place after a full day of assessment.

Seaton Carew-based Amy has reduced her handicap to 5.6 this year and will receive 18 full days of coaching over the winter months at Matfen Hall with PGA professional JJ Vallely, and Bryan Ross.

“I feel like my attitude, confidence and ability has got me there,” said Amy. “As part of the training squad I will have some group and individual lessons, some strength and conditioning sessions, and it is a good introduction to what it would be like on the full England squad.”

Amy will compete against other regions as part of the squad as she looks to continue her development after an impressive 2021. She finished second in the St Andrews Ladies Junior Open for U23s and won the Northern Junior Tour Masters events at Teesside and Heworth. She also finished third in the Wee Wonders Grand Final at Gullane, East Lothian.

Her St Andrews display was a stand-out moment. After finishing in the top eight in qualifying, she won quarter-final and semi-final matches against 19-year-olds. Those set up an appearance on the Old Course where she narrowly lost on the 17th hole after staging a fightback on the historic links.

Amy, who also finished 10th in the Scottish Girls U14s in Stirling, said: “I was five down with nine holes to play when I fought back to just one down with two holes to play. I lost on the 17th, but we still played the 18th just so we could cross the famous Swilcan Bridge. It was an unbelievable experience. It was a lovely course and very windy. I think I might have won if it hadn’t been for the wind. I am proud of what I did. I didn’t expect to get that far. Everyone was really proud of me and supportive.”

Amy, a year eight student, is part of Dyke House’s Elite Development Squad scholarship programme. She receives coaching from Wynyard’s Andrew Betts as part of the scheme and is a member there, as well as at Seaton Carew.

She added: “Apart from the coaching, I haven’t got much on over winter. Next year I will probably be playing in the same tournaments I have this year. I am enjoying school too – I just want that to continue.”

Joseph Palmer, elite coordinator at Dyke House, added: “Amy has an exemplary character around school and within sport. I am exceptionally proud of Amy’s achievements, and I hope that being part of the Elite Development Squad at Dyke House can help propel her into what she wants to achieve.”

For further information on Dyke House’s Elite Development Squad contact j.palmer@northerneducationtrust.org