From boys to men

Northumberland systems merged to improve path for young players

The route for junior golfers and the ties between the men’s and junior systems in Northumberland have been streamlined through a merger of the Northumberland Junior Golf Association and Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs.

The new system, which has been championed by county captain David Gilroy, will see juniors more involved with the men’s team through coaching sessions and at elite events.

David explained: “The junior association had started to struggle for volunteers and we’d found there was a widening gap between players reaching the top level of junior golf and making the transition into the county system.

“We’ve got some very good young players in the county and the aim is to provide them with the best opportunities to improve and step up to the next level.”

Members of the junior squad will be invited to take part in the men’s coaching programme during the winter months with Andy Paisley and John Harrison. They will also be part of a mentoring system with senior players and will be invited to take part in the county’s top events.

“We’ve got some new blood on board to manage the junior system and we’re confident that we’ll see young players regularly featuring in the county setup in the next 18 months,” added David.

“The men’s team players are looking forward to it and to have them on board will make the whole thing a great experience for the juniors.

“The time is right to bring the two together and make things as simple as possible. We’ve struggled to get things right in the last few years and there’s work still to do, but this is a step in the right direction and we should reap the rewards in the near future,” added David.