I’m delighted to say that it’s been another fantastic year for Hampshire’s Junior Girls. For those of you who are members of our Junior Facebook page you will have seen the steady stream of wins, handicap cuts and a myriad of other outstanding achievements for club and county that have been posted throughout the year but there are just a few that I would like to highlight.
- Gemma Burgess and Hannah Hellyer who have been selected for England South Region Squads
- Hannah Dymott and Lily Walker who have been appointed as Young Ambassadors for England Golf against some stiff competition
- Gemma Burgess and Lily Walker who both qualified for the European Junior Open which took place in Spain in November.
There are many more examples of fantastic achievements coming from this group of girls and it’s a real pleasure to share their good news stories with you.
In terms of the 2019 season. Once again, we kicked off with our junior academies. We saw a good uptake in these sessions again this year and it was great to see some new faces joining the existing cohort. It wasn’t long before our first competition of the season, Spring Meeting, was held at South Winchester Golf Club. Some fantastic scores were recorded that day and some significant handicap cuts for many including our winner Brooke Macarthur.
We had beautiful weather for our Junior Championship at Lee-on-the-Solent Golf Club in July and some excellent golf was played by all the girls. Congratulations to our Gross Champion, Gemma Burgess, our Nett Winner, Hannah Dymott, and to Jennifer Ballay who won the Douglas Cup. This year’s Summer Knockout competition was also a roaring success with many competitive matches throughout the summer months. Congratulations go to our 2019 winner, Rosie Rooney and runner up Cara Patient.
August quickly came around and off to Sussex we went for Junior County Match Week. Unfortunately for the girls, the weather wasn’t too kind to us and the format for the week had to be altered to 9-hole match play to enable the girls to play each county. All the girls showed true grit and determination, battling for every point. As you will all appreciate, 9-hole match play is exceptionally tough as the holes run out very quickly. It wasn’t our year this year, in fact it was home county Sussex who were finally promoted from bridesmaid position where they have been stuck the last few years; but mark my words, there is some exciting potential in this young team and I can’t wait to see what they may be able to achieve next year when we make our way to Puttenham Golf Club in Surrey. I’d like to say a special thanks to Debbie, Jill, Catherine and Chris for their help during the week.
Once again, Alresford Golf Club kindly hosted the Alresford Cup, where this year 9 counties competed for the title. The Hampshire team did exceptionally well, coming 2nd to winners Middlesex. A huge thank you to all of the ladies from Alresford Golf Club, parents who acted as shepherds, to Di and Jill for refereeing and to Ann for ensuring everything was organised and ran smoothly on the day.
The following weekend we enjoyed another Autumn Meeting, which this year was hosted by Meon Valley Golf Club. The blustery wind and dampness under foot made for some tough playing conditions but, as always, the girls stepped up to the challenge. Congratulations to Lily Walker who had the best nett and scratch scores of the day of 40 and 32 points respectively. 2nd nett was won by Abby Dymott with an excellent score of 39 points and in 3rd place with a score of 37 points was Lily Stroud from Romsey, who also took home the President’s Cup for best score from a newcomer in Autumn Meeting.
As in previous years, our season closed out with another successful Festival Day at Ampfield Golf Club for our academy participants. It was wonderful to see the girls having such a splendid time out on the course. This is always a really lovely event but it wouldn’t be possible without those who willingly give up their time to support it including our shepherds, organisers and professionals, my sincerest thanks to you all.
The weather played havoc with our final training session of the year and some last-minute changes had to be made. Thankfully we were able to go to Winchester Academy and use their state-of-the-art driving range facilities. I think it’s fair to say that the girls had great fun playing a virtual Texas Scramble at St. Andrews as rain lashed down beyond the covered bays. As is becoming the tradition at this end of season event, we presented a number of trophies to the girls which included:
- Order of merit gross winner – Hannah Dymott
- Order of merit net winner – Stevie Crozier-Hunt
- Most improved player was Amelia Aikenhead with a cut of 18.6 shots
The Kerry Smith award was also presented and this year was awarded to Gemma Burgess for her contribution to Hampshire Junior Golf. Well done Gemma.
As part of this award ceremony we also said a very special thank you to Marc Dack who has been the Performance Group’s Team Manager for the last three years and it was my privilege to present him with a gift of thanks from all of us at HLCGA. Marc has done an exceptional job together with our head coach Kevin Flynn, helping our girls to really thrive. He will be sorely missed by the girls but look forward to seeing him cheering us on from outside the ropes.
Looking ahead to 2020, I’m delighted to have an excellent subcommittee that will be helping me with execution of our 2020 programme and we have some exciting things planned for the girls. We will be introducing a projection squad who will have their own schedule of matches and training sessions and I’m thrilled to say that Georgie Mundy will be joining the coaching team to support this initiative.
We have also announced our Junior Captain for 2020. Izzy Lawson, a member at North Hants Golf Club, will be taking on the mantle from outgoing Captain Charlotte Dack. I know Izzy will do an amazing job in this role and wish her every success. For the first time we are also introducing a Vice Captain to act in a supporting role, and I’m pleased to announce that fellow North Hants member, Lily Walker has accepted this role.
Hannah Holloway – Junior & Intermediate Golf Director