Henry Hayward was crowned The Carris Trophy winner on 27th August 2020 – he is a product of our coaching and development programme. We had 5 players in the Boys and Girls Under 18s National Competitions this year as well as three in the English Amateur and 2 in the Brabazon – all these players have benefitted from our County Development Programmes in the last 3 years and from Taskers Trophy funding
About 70 young golfers will benefit from this years Taskers Trophy Funding, including over 20 girls.
The impact has been to see significant handicap reductions and success at a county level with our Under 18s winning the Midland County Cup for the first time ever in 2019, and our Girls winning the Scratch league for the first time in 17 years!
The importance cannot be overstated, as it puts these young golfers on to a county pathway, that not only supports their development but also develops their interest in and love of the sport.
Taskers Trophy Funding in 2018 and 2019 was used to support the County Junior Development Programme. 63 junior golfers in 2019 were able to access a structured programme of coaching and player support.
The results were impressive with an average handicap reduction of 29% over the year, and some notable successes at Midland level, with the Under 18 Boys winning the Midland County Cup for the first time ever, the Boys Schools’ team, who all accessed the coaching, winning the Midlands title for the second year running, and the Girls County team emerging Scratch League Champions for the first time in 17 years.
Individually three of our lads have won Schools International caps for England, two lads and one girl have been selected for England Regional squads, and one girl has played for the Welsh Girls at the age of 13. We also have the Midland Youths winner at the age of 17 and the runner up in the North of England Under 16s.
Our current Junior Golf Programme benefits between 60 and 70 golfers, boys and girls, who access a structured programme of support from PGA pros in the county. These young golfers have all been identified as having potential and a number are at the elite end and regular performers for their county.
There are 3 categories, ranging from ‘Participation’ level, which targets boys and girls who are quite young (often under 12), and have been identified as having future potential through such as the Futures Tour. ‘Performance’ level supports the development of those with a handicap of about 20 to 8. All are Under 16. The top ‘elite’ level supports the development of our strongest golfers, with single figures handicaps ranging from 8 down to scratch.
The main outcome is handicap reductions. In 2018, there was a 26% overall reduction in handicap, 1% above our target of 25%. In 2019 this rose to 29%. This was the same target for 2020 though it is unrealistic given how foreshortened the season has been.
There are also age group handicap targets we are working towards, and performance targets for the elite golfers at Under 14s, 16s, 18s and Girls levels.
The timeframe for our work is annually reviewed. We have a development plan in place which runs from 2019-2022, and this will be updated shortly to establish priorities and KPIs for 2020.
Our key objective of developing winning golfers has been met with our Under 18s winning the Midland County Cup, our Under 16s emerging as 10 Counties Champions, and our girls winning the Scratch League.
Our sub-objectives of developing and maintaining a county player pathway goes from strength to strength with the success of the Futures Tour and the introduction of a Mini-Tour for golfers with starter CONGU handicaps, bridging the gap to playing full representative golf.
Finally building and maintaining a sense of pride in representing the county – responses to our annual survey show that this is being addressed. Our Team Managers and Junior Delegate nurture this and we believe it is the main reason for the success of our Under 18s
John Barker - Board Member and Chair of Junior Development Group; County Coach Coordinator - Derbyshire County Golf