Development Tour Boys and Girls Are All Winners
The 2019 Wiltshire County Junior Development Tour season was brought to a close with Finals Day which took place on Sunday 6th October at the magnificent Manor House Golf Club and Hotel situated at Castle Coombe, a few minutes’ drive from the racing circuit.
The Development Tour is a series of 9-hole competitions over different courses throughout Wiltshire for boys and girls aged under 12. The age range this season has been from 7 to 11.
The whole ethos of the development tour is for young boys and girls in Wiltshire to have fun, enjoyment, the chance to make new friends and to play different courses. It also gives them a gentle introduction to competitive play but in a relaxed and fun environment. Players don’t need to have a handicap to play on the tour as they are given a Development Tour handicap specially designed for the tour.
The season long Order of Merit is made up of 8 events in which players are awarded points depending on where they finish in each event. The higher up the leaderboard you finish the more points you are awarded. Players are divided into specific age groups - under 12 boys, under 12 girls, under 10 boys, under 10 girls. A player’s best 4 points totals within their age group out of the 8 events go to make up their final total.
The question is did we achieve what we set out to do at the start of the season? Well I can safely say the success of the tour has been way beyond anything we could ever have imagined. We measure success not by how a player plays but how much they enjoy the experience of taking part. If a player doesn’t win a trophy but comes away with a smile on their face and has enjoyed the day then that to us is a success.
Each Development Tour event this season has brought a huge amount of pleasure to all the boys and girls who took part. Junior golfers in Wiltshire not only appear to be getting younger but they are also playing outstanding golf at a very young age which is fantastic news for the future of Wiltshire county golf and the sport of golf in general. I cannot believe how much every boy and girl on the tour has improved over the course of the season - it has just been incredible to watch. Not only was the standard of golf excellent but the standard of behavior was also excellent. Every single player on this year’s Development Tour has been a credit to the County, their club, parents and themselves. Every single boy and girl who took part in this season’s Development Tour is a winner in my eyes.
County junior golf in Wiltshire relies massively on volunteers. These events don’t run themselves. People give up a lot of their time and effort so that young boys and girls of all ages can enjoy participating in events and the Development Tour is no different. Two of these volunteers are Sandra Samra, our County Junior Press Officer, who does a huge amount of work for the Development Tour and for the County in general and Colin Rossitter, the Chippenham Golf Club Junior Organiser, who also gives up a lot of his time to not only the Development Tour but to junior golf at Chippenham. Without their help the tour just would not exist. A big thank you also to all the players and parents who supported the Development Tour throughout the season. We also owe a huge debt of thanks to Andy Ryan and Exclusive Hotels, owners of the Manor House Golf Club and hotel, for their very generous support for this seasons Development Tour. Special thanks to Dom Samra, a County U18 elite squad player and the 2019 Manor House Golf Club Junior Captain, for presenting the prizes.
The reports of each of the Development Tour Events, photos and the Final Order of Merit can be found on the Wiltshire Golf Website under Junior Golf / Junior Development Tour - https://www.wiltshiregolf.org/junior_development_tour_information
The Most Improved Player Award and the Manor House Special Award went to Ted Hodgkinson (Bowood Golf Club) (pictured below).
I believe that every single player who took part in the Development Tour is a winner and that this Development Tour was a fantastic golfing experience for those that took part.