The funding from the Taskers Trophy is used to assist talented junior golfers in Staffordshire with coaching. This improves their abilities as golfers, which will mean as they improve as golfers, their club and county teams are more likely to be successful as is the individual himself. As golfers improve they are more likely to remain in the sport, especially as over the past decade golf club membership has continued to fall. It can also assist the talented junior whose parents may not be able to afford coaching lessons for their son.
Staffordshire encourages juniors to get into golf with support from the national golfing body England Golf. We currently run county championships for boys aged under twelve upwards. We also run county teams for the ages under fourteen, sixteen and eighteen, players who are aged under fourteen have regular group coaching sessions with a designated county coach, we find at this age it is better to work with these boys in a group. We also funding individual coaching for boys in our under sixteen and under eighteen squads. This type of coaching is individual coaching based on a maximum of nine lessons a year, we expect the coach to provide a report from each lesson so we can monitor players during a playing season. We will use the Taskers funding to supplement these coaching costs in 2020.
Staffordshire has been extremely successful in both regional and national competitions over the past six or seven years, we believe that is in part to ensure that junior county golfers have the support that they need to become better golfers, which in the main is good quality coaching. The Taskers funding is very much appreciated and is used to assist producing some of the talented county golfers that we have produced over the past few years, we many of them either representing England and then turning professional, the Taskers funding has played its part in our success.
We keep statistics for each county squad player, so we monitor their handicap at the start of a year, expecting an improvement by the end of the year, we also monitor the amount of qualifying scores that each golfer plays, with a particular interest in qualifying scores away from their home club. We do have some squad sessions where we will set up a skills test and repeat later in the year to again monitor improvements.
Every year we receive a grant from England Golf to fund the national under fourteen pathway, the figure is approximately £5000, which we are extremely grateful for. This money is used to coach in group sessions juniors under the age of fourteen with a talent range from county players to juniors who have just started playing. We work with about 48 juniors in four regional centres of training in the county. Some of the Taskers funding will be used to supplement this coaching.
We ensure that any funding we receive is spent in a transparent way, the main aim of this is to ensure the coaching is structured and monitored to ensure we get the best value for money, with a view to improving the abilities of each and every junior who is part of any county coaching.
We thank all the Staffordshire Golf Clubs for entering the excellent Taskers Trophy over many years, with much success I must add, the funding that Taskers give to Staffordshire is spent wisely and helps junior golfers become better golfers and stay in the sport.
Malcolm Eustace, County Secretary - The Staffordshire Union of Golf Clubs