STUDENTS from Gateshead College are teeing up the celebrations after success in their first ever Intercollegiate Tour (ICT) golf competition.
The college team finished top in the Nett League North Division after playing in the last of five tournaments at Cheadle and Marple College in Stockport.
Golf Academy member Andrew McCarrick, from Sunderland, is studying towards a Certificate in Developing Personal Health and Fitness at Gateshead College. The 18-year-old said: "We're all really happy with the result, it's been a fantastic season for us and this is only just the beginning.
"Having golf coaching has really made a difference to my game and the experience of playing alongside golfers of similar age and ability has been excellent."
The newly formed team of ten have spent their first season in the ICT playing against colleges with a strong golfing tradition, such as Myerscough College in Preston, which has over 200 golfers.
Paul Whittaker, Gateshead College's curriculum leader for sports, exercise and science commented:
"We launched the Golf Academy last year and this has been the first season that we've entered a team into the league. All of the players have done extremely well and they've improved their game as a result of the coaching and their experiences in tournaments.
"To do this well in the Nett League is a fantastic result, especially as this is the first year the students have competed against students from other colleges."
Gateshead College hosted the first of this season's tournaments earlier this year at Boldon. It was the first tournament of its kind held in the region.
Any student at Gateshead College can become a member of the Golf Academy. Weekly training comprises two hours coaching, two hours of strengthening and conditioning and a full game.
Gateshead College is keen to build on the team's success next year.
Golf coach Gary Shipley intends to continue training, help the team reduce their handicaps, and get into a position that will enable Gateshead to compete in the Gross League, a competition that attracts golfers across the country and, unlike the Nett League, is played without handicaps.
Youngsters head for Matfen
Liz Barnett who took over from Doreen Swinburne as County Junior Organiser for the Northumberland Ladies Golf Association along with her Junior Sub - Committee have selected six promising girl golfers aged 10 - 13 years.
This exciting development for the 2009 season follows this year's decision by the English Women's Golf Association (EWGA) not to run the England Northern Birdie Squad programme in which they had two players.
Former squad members Kelly McNulty and Grace Anderson have now been selected by the Northumberland Ladies County Association Executive Committee along with four other promising golfers with handicaps of 36 or less for the North East Birdie Squad, which is part funded by EWGA and following their curriculum. They have five coaching sessions planned at Matfen with top North East professional John Harrison.