In an attempt to attract more entries from the Midlands and Northern regions the NAPGC Junior Championship was held this year at Rose Hill Golf Club playing over Lickey Hills golf course near Birmingham. We did get entries from St Helens (Wirral), Rose Hill and the Home Counties but the field was still quite small with only 23 players. However there was a good mix of golfers with ages ranging from 11 to 18 and handicaps from 0 to 36. We had 3 girl competitors so the competition was run as a mixed medal. We enjoyed good weather all day but Lickey Hills is quite a tricky course and a few struggled to play to their handicaps.
The first two players out were Struan Hancock of Easthampstead off a 3 handicap and Thomas Paris from Hainault Forest off 5. With 2 holes to go Struan was ahead by 3 shots gross but finished bogey and double-bogey against Thomas’s 2 pars to end up all square after 18. With no other players matching this we then had a 3-hole playoff over the 1st, 9th and 17th holes where Struan made amends for his earlier finish winning with one shot over par for the 3 holes. There were some very good nett scores particularly from some of the higher handicaps, and Ryan Podmore of Rose Hill scored net 65 to win the nett title.
In the Team competition Rose Hill recorded an exceptional nett score of 203 and Hainault Forest were best gross team with an excellent total of 238 gross from their 3 players.
The Love Cup was presented by Leaside Golf Cup many years ago and this is always presented for some outstanding piece of sporting behaviour or achievement. This year the prize was awarded to Luke Hynes of Easthampstead who had only recently been cut to a 28 handicap and was playing his first competition off white tees. Luke struggled on some of the holes but persevered and returned a score. Luke’s sister Mia won the Harbord Pen for the neatest marked card to make it a family double.
The presentations and speeches were made quite quickly and in plenty of time for everyone to be on their way home by late afternoon. I would particularly like to thank Ros Weston, the referee from England Golf out on the course all day and with some difficult situations to resolve. In particular a spectator advising one of the players that his ball ’might’ have gone out of bounds but he would be able to ‘drop one down there’. Not used to arguing with adults the Junior agreed but fortunately Ros sorted the situation out albeit at a very high cost score-wise for the player concerned. Jordan Speith didn’t have these problems!
Struan Hancock and his playoff caddie Struan Hancock winner of the Junior Championship sword
Rose Hill Team Nett Winners Ryan Podmore, Jack & Holly Murphy