Young guns of golf­ing


‘‘When I was a kid, I had to go down to the golf course with my par­ents and I used to think it was an old peo­ple’s sport,’’ Ti­tahi Golf Club man­ager Ol­lie Adams says, as she ral­lies young­sters for the Ti­tahi Golf Nine-Hole Ju­nior Clas­sic.

Some of the bay’s pint-sized put­ters will give their older com­peti­tors a run for their money when they tee off this Satur­day at the open tour­na­ment for six to 17-year-olds.

Nineteen young golfers will take each other on, and some hope to gain a hand­i­cap.

‘‘It’s quite a big thing for ju­nior golfers to get a hand­i­cap, be­cause they have to go right round the course and play 18 holes five times, and hand in five cards be­fore they can get one. The tour­na­ment has been tai­lored for kids with and with­out hand­i­caps to par­tic­i­pate in some healthy com­pe­ti­tion, and to en­cour­age ju­niors that do not have hand­i­caps to work to­wards get­ting one,’’ Ms Adams says.

Lo­cal mem­ber Cruize Wawatai, 16, has a slen­der hand­i­cap of 0.9, while Jay­den Ford, 6, and Ethan Adams, 10, both play off a 36.4 hand­i­cap. All will play at the up­com­ing ju­nior clas­sic.

Prizes will be awarded for best gross score, nett score af­ter the hand­i­cap has been de­ducted, best stable­ford, or points per hole and long­est drive.

Ms Adams says the sport is tak­ing off in the area, and the num­ber of ju­nior play­ers at tour­na­ments is ‘‘just as­tound­ing’’.

Ti­tahi Golf Club will hold an open day on Novem­ber 6 to in­spire more young peo­ple to have a go.

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