RACHEL Gourley is in the pink – thanks to the Northumberland Junior Golf Tour.
The six-year-old golf fan from Cramlington was the lucky winner of a year’s free junior membership at one of the county’s top clubs.
Rachel, who names the American ‘Pink Panther’ Paula Creamer as her favourite player, took part in the raffles at the tour’s four qualifying events last year – and was first out of the hat in the grand prize draw.
She chose a year’s membership at Arcot Hall Golf Club, where dad Tony plays.
Lisa Ferrie, county development officer for the Northumberland Golf Partnership, said: “As many of the juniors playing in our events are not already members of clubs, it seemed a nice way of trying to offer them the opportunity to join.”
Rachel would love to follow her heroine Paula, known for always taking to the course in pink attire, with Arcot Hall secretary Brian Rumney saying: “I look forward to seeing Rachel’s progress on the golf course.”
Dad Tony said: “We are glad we bought some raffle tickets.
“The Junior Tour is great as it gives children something to play in; there was nothing like this when I was a junior.”
The county’s 2011 Junior Golf Tour, sponsored by Cleveland and Srixon, will again cater for young golfers ranging from seven to 12-years-old with the draw prize of a year’s junior membership again on offer.
The qualifying events are: Sunday, June 26: Close House GC; Sunday, July 10: Bedlingtonshire GC; Sunday, July 24: Alnmouth (Foxton) GC; Sunday, August 14: Tynemouth GC.
As part of a drive to encourage children to take up the sport, competitors do not need to be members of a club or have an official handicap.
And the whole family can get involved – at each venue there will be free taster sessions for adults and a family putting contest.
Competitions take place over nine holes at four different courses.
The youngsters will be split into six categories – so there will be plenty of opportunities to win prizes. Competitors must be between the ages of seven and 12 on January 1, 2011, and have a handicap of 18 to 54 or no handicap at all to enter.
Winners of the Order of Merit, based on the four events, will qualify for a final against teams from Durham and Cumbria at Ramside Golf Club on September 11.
The entry fee is £15 for all four events – or £5 per event. To qualify for the final players must play in at least three events.
The closing date for entries is June 1. Entry forms are now available online.
All information on the Junior Tour can be found at www.northumberlandcgp.co.uk
The Northumberland Junior Tour is one of a number of projects aimed at increasing participation in golf run under the umbrella of the Northumberland County Golf Partnership. This is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including the English Golf Union, The English Women’s Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.
In Northumberland the partnership is supported by the Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs, the Northumberland Ladies County Golf Association, the Northumberland Junior Golfing Association and the Professional Golfers’ Association.
For more details of the activities in Northumberland visit www.northumberlandcgp.co.uk