Youngsters prove they’ve got what it takes on the course

Northumberland Junior Tour - round 3'Calum Macdonald
Northumberland Junior Tour - round 3'Calum Macdonald

ANDREW Shipley is showing what can be achieved on Northumberland’s Junior Golf Tour

The 10-year-old from Gosforth is not even a member of a golf club, but is still eligible to compete in the four events held throughout the summer.

And he emerged from the third round, held at Foxton Golf Club – as one of the five category winners, taking top spot in the Boys’ seven-10 Beginners group.

The Northumberland Junior Tour is aimed at giving young players a chance to develop their golf skills on different courses against players of a similar ability, whether they are members of a club or not.

Lisa Ferrie, county development officer for the Northumberland County Golf Partnership, said: “Andrew has shown that the Junior Tour is not just about players who are already members of a club, but is a chance for youngsters to improve their game and hopefully maintain their golfing interest for years to come.

“They may not be members of a club now, but the opportunities exist for them to become so in the future.”

The county’s 2011 Junior Golf Tour, which is sponsored by Cleveland and Srixon, is aimed at young golfers ranging from seven to 12 years-old.

As part of a county-wide drive to encourage children to take up the sport, competitors on the Tour do not need to be members of a club or even have an official handicap.

Calum MacDonald (Northumberland) ended the winning run of Marc Friar in Category One with his first win Tour win.

The winners at Foxton Golf Club were:

Category One (Boys’ seven-12 advanced): Calum MacDonald (Northumberland GC); Category Two (Girls’ seven-12 advanced): Niamh Lendrum (Parklands GC); Category Three (Boys’ seven-10 beginners): Andrew Shipley; Category Four (Girls’ seven-10 beginners): Camryn Bulman (Tynemouth GC); Category Five (Boys’ 11-12 beginners): Jamie Hodge (Morpeth GC); Category Six (Girls’ 11-12 beginners): Alexandra Reeman (Ponteland GC).

Competitions take place over nine holes at four different courses. Winners of the Order of Merit, based on the four events, will qualify for a final against teams from Durham and Cumbria at Ramside Golf Club on September 11.

The remaining qualifying event is on Sunday, August 14, at Tynemouth GC with all still to play for in the race for overall honours and a place in the final team.

The players in the qualifying positions are:

Category One: Marc Friar (Alnwick Castle Golf Club) 40 points; Luke Denny 40; Jack Walling 36.

Category Two: Niamh Lendrum 57; Emma Allison 35; Rachel Simpson 27.

Category Three: Alex Donaghy 28; Bertie Hinson (Rothbury Golf Club 28; George Bonner 27.

Category Four: Imogen Horrocks 45; Emily Forman 36; Kiri-Mae Lamb 35.

Category Five: Jamie Hodge 55; Elliot Hair 35; Archie Castle 24.

Category Six: Olivia Rodda 45; Katie Thirlwell 40; Alexandra Reeman 35.

All information on the Junior Tour can be found at www.northumberlandcgp.co.uk