As 2017 is now upon us, along with wishing you all Happy New Year, it’s a great time to reflect on what has been an incredible year for FUEL Golf. The Future Elite Junior Golf Programme was the brain child of former Director Phillip Akers, assisted by Mark Pearson and myself, and has come a long way since its formation in 2014. In May 2016, I took over as Director as Phillip sadly departed from Q Hotels Golf Academies Oulton Hall to pursue a fantastic opportunity at The Belfry; I would like to thank Phillip, on behalf of all the team at QHotels Golf Academies, for his efforts with FUEL Golf.
At the original birthplace of FUEL Golf, Oulton Hall has again seen growth in 2016 with now 157 children enrolled onto the weekly programme; in addition to this, FUEL Golf at Oulton Hall has delivered to another 1600 children through variety of TriGolf taster sessions, open days and school clubs.
Away from Oulton Hall, an exciting time for FUEL Golf was the launch of the programme in 6 other Q Hotels Golf Academies in September 2016. Accompanying this was the launch of the FUEL Golf Junior Skills Handbooks, given to each child and designed to help them through the FUEL grading system. This system is based around a coloured cap scheme, allowing children to achieve different colours as they progress with their golfing skills.
Since September, the new facilities have added another 100 children onto the FUEL Golf weekly programme plus another 2200 children have been introduced to golf through taster sessions and Tri Golf classes at local schools. That brings the 2016 total to over 4000 children who have participated in at least one FUEL Golf session; thank you to all the coaches, parents and children who have been involved!
Coming in early 2017 will be our new FUEL Golf Parents Handbooks. Without doubt a very misunderstood role by many, the handbooks are designed to guide parents towards the best ways to help their child develop. I am very excited about this launch and look forward to educating more parents about junior development and our programme.
Throughout the year, there have been too many success stories to list, whether it be when 4 year old Maxwell Sheldon Price first hit it past 30 yards or when 10 year old Jake Wallis first broke 45 around 9 holes. However, below are listed some particular FUEL Golf successes.
– Sam McIntyre (Oulton Hall) – Under 8’s UK American Golf Championship Winner
– Ewan Bromley (Oulton Hall) – made first appearance for Yorkshire U’16’s
– Eddie Claughton (Oulton Hall) – youngest child to receive a green cap, aged 5
– Djalece Van Der Merwe (Telford) – County Girls Handicap Champion
– Ethan Lin (Telford) – County U12 Boys Champion
– Xan Milligan (Slaley) Hexham Junior Club Champion
– Sahmae Mian (Mottram Hall, right) – awarded ‘most enthusiastic’ golfer at FUEL Mottram Hall
– Jack Porter (Belton Woods) – Winner of a Nippers Tour, Lincolnshire, event
– Joseph Murfin (Belton Woods) – achieved his first drive past 50 yards at only 6 years old
On a final note, if you have seen our social media at all this year, you will be familiar with our hashtag of #personathletegolfer and it is always worthwhile remembering that our programme is not solely about golf. We want to create 1) well rounded, mannered and respectful individuals, who are 2) physically active and have a broad range of physical skills to use in any sport they sample, and who 3) have a passion for and love golf! We might not always get all 3, but if we can at least get one, I think we are on the right roads!