Foster’s Focus: Golf success is par for course at Boldon

TRIPLE CHAMPS ... Boldon Golf Club's junior squad.
TRIPLE CHAMPS ... Boldon Golf Club's junior squad.

THEY say that winning becomes a habit.

Well one group of youngsters at a South Tyneside golf club has certainly got in the swing of things, having picked up a hat-trick of trophies last season.

Now in its centenary year, Boldon Golf Club in Dipe Lane, East Boldon, has a proud history.

But the club also takes pride in the fact that its future is looking bright on the course, with its junior team enjoying great success.

Ashley Lamb junior liaison officer, said: “Last year was a great year for the team, and they can be really proud of their efforts. The Durham Junior League, which they play in, is split into North East, North West and South sections.

“They won the North East First Division, which put them into a round robin competition with the winners from the North West and South groups, and they won that as well.

“They also played in a five-man team knock-out against teams from across the county, which they won.”

Pulling off a hat-trick of successes is no mean feat, and the club believe their groups of youngsters are the first in the region to do so in the same season.

Ashley added: “As far as we know it’s the first time ever in the county that a team has won all three trophies.

“That is a superb record to have, and everyone at the club is very proud of the lads.

“One or two teams have won a couple of trophies in the past, but we have never heard of anyone winning all three.”

The club could have been forgiven if they didn’t think the treble was possible, especially after it didn’t get off to the best of starts.

But Ashley believes that the right attitude played a big part in the team’s season of success.

“We lost our first match, but after that we won the next 18 out of 19, so it is a great achievement,” he said.

“They are a talented group of young golfers, but they also work very hard and have a great team spirit.

“They support each other even if they are not playing they are there to back up their team-mates, and they are good friends off the course as well, despite the age difference, which helps.

Clubs field a five-man team with 10 points to be played for in each match.

While out on the course it is the individual that has to perform, but Boldon put great stead in the team side of the game.

“You see a lot of teams where if a player loses his match he walks off the course and straight into the club house,” Ashley added.

“Of course, it’s disappointing when you get beat, but instead of going off with their heads down, our lads make sure they stay out there to support the rest of the team.

“I really think that makes a difference, Despite their own disappointment, they are out there to let their team-mates know that they are behind them.”

And the young group haven’t just experienced success as a team, with their efforts winning them recognition on a wider stage.

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Five of the youngsters have been selected to go to the David Leadbitter Academy for coaching as part of the Durham County set-up.

Toby Purvis, 15, enjoyed individual success as he won the Second Division Gents Championship.

And Ashley’s son Rian, 14, has been chosen to attend Lee Westwood’s Academy at Close House this summer.

Boldon aren’t just focused on their success stories however.

The club realise to continue for another 100 years, it is key to attract new members.

Would-be members of all ages and abilities, male and female are always welcome to go along to the club, but the club is making a concerted effort to attract more youngsters to the game.

After all, young players coming through the ranks are the lifeblood of any sporting organisation or club.

Boldon are well aware of this, and want to make sure they are open to all.

Club captain Fred Palmer said: “Every Monday, we hold what we call our Wee Wonders sessions. We take the young kids around the course, teach them about the etiquette of the game, get them to play six holes and show them a little bit about what they should or shouldn’t be doing to improve.

“Myself Ashley and a few others do this for a few weeks to get them settled in, and then after that we have a club pro who will work with them on the practice ground and give them some one-to-one coaching.

“It is important to us to keep growing as a club, and the more youngsters we get interested in the game, the more likely we are to have members of the future. Some of these kids who start at six or seven years old in the Wee Wonders could go on to be members for four or five decades.”

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