In Leicestershire and Rutland Golf Union I have joined forces with the ladies association with a real focus on developing junior golf at grassroots levels and in 2022 with the aid of your funding we launched our Foxes Junior Pathway Tour creating playing and development opportunities for both Boys and Girls across our County we had over 100 juniors playing across 5 events from this we identified a number of players to join our County Training squads.
How we plan to use the Taskers Trophy Funding. Following the success of our 2022 Foxes Junior Pathway Tour we have just launched our 2023 Tour and with funding support and support from our County Clubs we now have approx. 140 junior’s boys and girls who are signed up to next year’s tour. In addition to the tour due to the high level of interest we will be looking to run a couple of spin off events for non-handicapped boys and girls where we may not have been able to accommodate them onto the main tour due to demand. We are also looking to expand our County Boys Training Programme to may sure it can embrace players at a younger developing stage so that our County engagement embraces players at a younger age than previously. The ultimate aim is that if we can encourage more players to initially take up the game and go to be long-term club members that a number of these will naturally flow through into our County Boys Teams.
We will be looking to embrace a greater number of players with the 2023 Tour (approx. an increase of 30%) . The expectation will be that we will see an increase in players joining our County Boys Training squads of approx. 20% and the follow on to that would be a greater pool of players at a level where they would be able to represent the County Boys squads approx. 10%.
The actual outcomes will be fully realised by the of the 2023 playing season however planning is already well underway for the 2023 Foxes Junior Pathway Tour and our County Boys winter training plan will be in place for October 2023.
The main objective as previously mentioned is to grow the pool of boys playing golf at a grass roots level and look to sustain and encourage their development via initiatives such as the Pathway Tour. The ultimate aim by doing this is to create a stronger pyramid at the bottom so that more players reach the levels required to play county representative golf.
It has grown the pool of players we can engage with across our County and has provided more playing and development opportunities via the support of the Foxes Junior Pathway Tour. it is now having a spin off in that more non handicapped players are converting to full handicaps and membership at clubs which can only be healthy for the players themselves and all of our County Clubs.
Michael John Billingham - Leicestershire and Rutland Golf Union