Sunderland golf club’s big drive for young players

Anna Potts, aged three, from Hall Farm, Sunderland,  is one of the youngest members of Wearside Golf Club.'The club is aiming to achieve the Golf Mark Award in recognition of junior and beginner friendly facilities.'She is pictured with Joan Lillie, centre, the club's Junior Liaison Officer, and adult and junior members about to start a match.

Anna Potts, aged three, from Hall Farm, Sunderland, is one of the youngest members of Wearside Golf Club.'The club is aiming to achieve the Golf Mark Award in recognition of junior and beginner friendly facilities.'She is pictured with Joan Lillie, centre, the club's Junior Liaison Officer, and adult and junior members about to start a match.

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A GOLF club wants more budding Rory McIlroys to tee off on its course.

Wearside Golf Club, in Cox Green, is looking to achieve GolfMark status, a national scheme which identifies and recognises junior and beginner-friendly golf facilities.

Bosses at the club hope by attaining the status it will make the course more attractive to youngsters hoping to pick up a club for the first time.

They also hope it will help them obtain cash for development of the course and club.

The club already has a Wee Wonders group for golfers aged up to 11.

New secretary Jim Dutton said: “We have quite a good junior section here at the club and we want to see the juniors stay together and progress.

“Getting GolfMark status will enable us to get certain grants in future.

“We have a par three course here which we want to upgrade and make better and the money could help that.”

As part of the drive to get more younger members in, eight senior team members played eight juniors.

They would also like to encourage more girls to get involved.

“Golf should not just be seen as a game for men,” said liaison officer Joan Lilley.

She added: “We’ve got a thriving junior section and it’s a good mixture of girls and boys.”

St Chad’s ward councillor Stuart Porthouse, who is a member of the club, said that the sport is cheaper to get involved in than people think.

Hee said: “Like other golf clubs we have a few senior golfers who have reached 80 and are still managing to play.

“Golf is no longer a sport just for the well off – it’s less expensive than a season ticket for Sunderland AFC.

“Whereas a season ticket only gets you about 19 games, being a member of a golf club means if you have the time you can play nearly every day except Christmas Day.”

The club will be represented at Saturday’s Olympic torch relay event, at Herrington Country Park, in zone four from noon to 6pm where families can take part in a number of golf-related activities.

For more information about Wearside Golf Club call Mrs Lilley on 552 9206 or Mr Dutton on 534 2518.

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