Loughborough Echo

Boys v girls as county organisers announce new mixed junior tour



THE new year will bring increased co-operation between the county boys’ golf organiser Mick Billingham (Cosby) and county girls’ Anita Higginson (Kibworth).

The pair started to work together this year to develop and improve opportunit­ies for boys and girls in the game.

For the first time ever in 2021, some of the competitio­ns organised by the county ladies’ golf associatio­n were open to boys. This proved to be a popular move towards boosting young golfers’ interest in the game.

Boys competed in the Flag 50 and nine-hole competitio­ns, which have been run by the county associatio­n for several years with great success. The boys’ involvemen­t was ruled to be popular and enjoyable.

The initiative is being extended next year. Young golfers are being invited to register as soon as possible for a new tour programme of five competitio­ns across five clubs throughout the county, with the aim of introducin­g junior golfers to competitiv­e golf in a safe and fun environmen­t.

Organisers say it will also provide members with the opportunit­y to develop the game at all levels under the watchful eye of Billingham and Higginson.

The pair will be running the junior tour in conjunctio­n with the counties’ affiliated golf clubs.

The tour is set to start in early May at Hinckley, where the course will be available from noon to 3pm, with further dates also planned at The Leicesters­hire in June, at Lutterwort­h in July, at Cosby in August and Birstall also in August.

Two of the events will have a similar three-hour time slot, with three of the dates on Sundays, one on Wednesday and another on a Friday, so there is a good diversity of venues, days and times.

There are four categories for this new junior tour:

Flag 50 is aimed at nonhandica­pped new juniors who should have started beginners group coaching sessions. Each boy or girl will have 50 shots to get as far round the shortened course as they can.

Super 50 is a new category for non-handicappe­d players who have naturally progressed from the Flag 50 event. They will play a slightly longer course which will take them closer to being awarded their first official WHS handicap.

The nine-hole Stableford events will run from the red tees for boys and girls and are aimed at the new and higher handicappe­d players (WHS handicap Index 36.1-54.0.) These will all be supervised by an adult.

The 18-hole Stableford­s are the next step in the young golfers’ developmen­t pathway. A natural progressio­n from the nine-hole events and will be run on the red tees for the girls and the yellow tees for the boys (WHS handicap Index 36.0 and below) i n all categories for boys and girls. The aim is to make these events as affordable as possible for tour members, in addition to being run at county clubs, thus reducing travel costs for those taking part.

Organisers have thanked the host clubs and Taskers funding for helping to keep the entry fees low.

Membership of the tour at no cost is available to any junior – under 18 on January 1 – who is either a junior or academy member of any Leicesters­hire and Rutland-affiliated club.

Entry is just £5 for Flag 50, Super 50 and nine-hole, and £8 for the 18-hole competitio­ns.

Young golfers are invited to register their interest online, at the junior sections of the county golf union or county ladies’ associatio­n, or by contacting Mick Billingham or Anita Higginson for more informatio­n at:

Membership of the tour at no cost is available to any junior - under 18 on January 1 - who is a junior or academy member

 ?? ?? TEAMWORK: County junior organisers Mick Billingham and Anita Higginson
TEAMWORK: County junior organisers Mick Billingham and Anita Higginson

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