Schools In Swing

Having recently been awarded the EGU/EWGA GolfMark and Clubmark awards, Ponteland Golf Club has successfully hosted its first Schools Tri Golf Festival.

Having recently been awarded the EGU/EWGA GolfMark and Clubmark awards, Ponteland Golf Club has successfully hosted its first Schools Tri Golf Festival. Following days of wet weather, over 140 youngsters took advantage of a warm sunny morning, all enjoying their trip out to the Northumberland club.

James Ellison is the Partnership and Development Manager for the Schools Sports Partnership for Morpeth and Ponteland covering a total of 27 schools in Northumberland.

He said: "Today we are holding the Tri Golf Festival for the Ponteland family of schools and these children are all from years three and four from schools in the Ponteland area. So we have around 144 children, the majority of them being seven and eight year olds taking part. The kids are from Darrass Hall, Ponteland, Belsay, and Stamfordham first schools."

James explained: "We started the golf festival last year up at Rothbury where we've been running the Tri Golf for 12 months now and then Helen Atkinson, the Schools Sports Co-ordinator for the Ponteland area made contact with the club here and between them they set about trying to organise how the first schools could get access to some golf.

"We put the Tri Golf bags into the schools and then we set up the festival here for everybody where they all receive some coaching. John Wood has already done some initial coaching with the children but this is just the first stage. From here we then move to the middle schools with Extreme Golf and then we have our Golf Championships with the High Schools as well.

"This is our first year at Ponteland and we are trying to follow the same sort of model that has been up and running at Blyth Golf Club for the past three years. We have been very fortunate with Ponteland Golf Club, they are pro-active and very supportive and with the club having the Golf Mark, it makes things much easier for us - the club here has great facilities.

"Our prime aim is to get the kids really interested in golf and when they move onto the second schools, we introduce them to Extreme Golf and they move on from there. Golf is one of our priority areas and was identified by the schools themselves and now, everybody wants to get in on the act and it is our job to push it as far as we can."

Golf Shorts

LATEST winners from Golf North East competitions are; Winner of Golf for 4 at Hartlepool (April issue) was Mrs K Stephenson of Stocksfield Northumberland; May issue winners: golf for 4 at Saltburn Mr W Grievson of Eaglescliffe & golf for 4 at Ponteland was Mr B Poulton of Hartlepool.

PONTELAND Golf Club will be holding the Camerons Scratch Open on Sunday, August 10th. Format is 36 holes with a first prize of £300 and further prizes down to 8th position. Entry fee is £20. To book your place, contact the secretary on 01661-822689.

COMPETITORS in the Dale Garage Open, which offered prize money worth nearly £1,000, enjoyed further bonuses. There was a free car wash each, plus an unexpected free drink. That was because the proprietor of the Hexham garage, Russell Handcock, who is one of the Allendale club's best known players, registered a hole-in-one in his own event. That came at the 86-yard 11th (86 yards) where, despite the short distance, the surface of the green cannot be seen from the tee. In a club poll to name all the holes, it has just been titled Bunny Hop. Handcock, whose 78th birthday is this week, used a gap wedge given him by the Matfen Hall pro Andrew Paisley.

In a big shock, last year's winners of the team stableford event, led by local champion Richie Rutherford, found that their 132 points were nowhere near enough to match the stunning 147 of an Alston team in which Peter Richardson, a 19-handicapper, astounded his teammates and himself by accumulating a personal tally of of 49 points, in the course of which he played the first nine holes in a two-under-par gross 31.

Open Success

CATTERICK Golf club have staged their annual Ladies Open Day and it attracted 116 players from 20 different golf clubs. The weather was overcast and dry but the natural beauty of the course almost made up for the lack of sunshine. The course itself was in magnificent condition and that together with the catering provisions, friendly administration and the complimentary drinks at the halfway house all helped to make the competition a huge success.

The format of the competition (stableford off three quarters handicap) meant that four ladies formed a team with two scores to count on every hole except the three short holes where all four scores had to count, there was also a prize for" nearest the pin" at the 13th hole.

Marks & Spencer's Simply Food store in Northallerton had generously donated prizes.

The winners were from Skipton Golf Club (Eastwood, Hinkles, Weatherall and Oversby) with a total of 78 points, who won on count back from the Beamish team. However, a member of the Beamish team (McGee) did win the nearest the pin.

Centenary Boost

CENTENARY-celebrating Middlesbrough Golf Club has hosted a hugely successful Yorkshire Ladies County Golf Association Challenge Bowl meeting. The first two days of this major regional tournament were qualifying rounds for players who would participate in the matchplay knock out competition for the Challenge Bowl Trophy - the ultimate prize in the four-day event.

There were five other trophies and all 16 qualifiers received a prize.

The winner of the Challenge Bowl and Silver Quaiche prize was Christine Barnett from Lightcliffe Golf Club with Sylvia Eastwood from Skipton receiving the Pontefract Ladies Trophy as runner-up.

The losing semi-finalists were Paddy Marquis from the host club, Middlesbrough, and Liz Wrigglesworth from Hornsea, who also received prizes.

Kath Neely from Middlesbrough qualified on day one but lost to Liz Wrigglesworth by one hole but Kath did receive first prize for best nett score on day one of qualifying.

Judy Glover and Maureen Forster from Middlesbrough came second with the best nett score in the foursomes competition.


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