YOUNG Samantha Taylor has scored a major triumph by winning the Northumberland Girls Junior Matchplay Championship.
The 13-year-old from Parklands Golf Club in Newcastle only played her first round of medal golf in September 2007 when she had just received a 36 handicap.
One year later she was down to 21 and during the last three weeks has been cut further to 14.
She achieved a three shot reduction at the Qualifiers for the Ladies Championship and went through to the first 16 matchplay event.
She was beaten by Alyssa Balding of Parklands by the slender margin of 2&1.
Later the same week, she went to Wallsend (with her new handicap) and won the Matchplay Championship, beating ten handicapper Nicola Haynes of Gosforth Park Ladies 2&1, having recovered from a three-hole deficit earlier in the match. But for a strange twist of fate, Samantha may not have qualified for the match play stages at all as another player should have taken the final qualifying spot but forgot to sign her card.
Samantha started playing golf after enjoying watching it on TV
Her grandad bought some books, and started coaching her, though he had never held a club in his life.
Together they have achieved great things, although Samantha now warrants and receives some county coaching.
She is also an active member of Tynemouth Diving Club and is something of a sporting all-rounder, also enjoying ice skating, running, football and hockey at youth level.
Phipps targets the ladies
GOLF shops and stores in the region are not that renowned for catering for lady golfers and Phipps Golf have decided to restore the balance.
To mark the occasion, they recently staged their first fashion show (in aid of their nominated charity St Oswalds Childrens Hospice) at the new Phipps Golf mega store, Centurion Park - the home of Wallsend Golf Club.
Their four volunteer models, Paula Richardson, Alyssa Balding, Anne Jennings and Carol Richardson, enjoyed parading the new collections from Ping, Galvin Green and Daily Sports.
There was a good turn-out for the evening with lady golfers from as far a field as Ponteland Golf Club attending.
On behalf of Phipps Golf, Amanda Richardson, said: "We know from our research that lady golfers are finding great difficulty sourcing ladies clothing and accessories at affordable prices, this is one market we intend to exploit.
"I would like to thank our niece Emma for organising a fabulous evening and as a result, we raised £141.76 and will be holding further fashion shows in the future so watch out for the dates to be published in Golf North East."
Dan's the man
TWENTY-year-old scratch man Danny Shevill from Prudhoe Golf club captured the Northumberland Junior Match Play Championship in gale force winds at Wallsend golf club. Playing against Richard Robson-Crosby from Ponteland, a two handicapper, Shevill won the first hole and never looked back - he eventually won the title 4&3.
Robson-Crosby had the consolation of collecting the leading qualifier trophy for shooting a 3 over par 72, the best score carded from the 16 qualifiers.
Shevill could have won both trophies but a quadruple bogey seven at the par three 16th eventually led to a 75. "I played solidly all week and my game suits the wind," said Shevill. "All credit to Richard for a close fought final until the last couple of holes where he didn't get the run of the green. I'm delighted to win a title early in the season and it's yet another bit of silverware for the "Home Of Champions!