At the AGM of Rookery Park Golf Club junior section held on Friday 19th February, the attendance was extremely encouraging and bodes well for the future development at the club in the years to come. On the back of the club's successful award of the high achievers Golf Mark during 2015, the development of the sport at the club has grown considerably and the membership of the junior section is becoming very healthy.
At the meeting the club junior committee were very encouraged by the attendance of over forty (40+) juniors and parents, keen to find out more about the plans under consideration for the growth and support of this section. The club's junior committee have produced a plan for greater integration and development of the thriving junior section. The Assistant Professional, Ed Garrard has been a key player in the growth of this section of the club, through visiting local schools to run beginner sessions, coaching each week with groups of young players on basic skills and we already have over thirty (30+) new youngsters signed up for the junior academy scheme. During the next few months we are planning some junior taster days and open days to increase the interest in the game of golf even more.
Other committee officials of the club's junior section include Steve Whiteside (Captain in 2014) John Pawsey (Club President 2013-2016), Mrs. Sally DeSousa (Secretary for the juniors) Ed Garrard (Assistant Professional) and Robert Pettett (Club Secretary). On the back of the Club Mark accreditation, this group of officers have produced a forward thinking business and development plan, which includes aspects of coaching, a competition calendar, an area of the club house for genuine integration and relaxation for juniors to socialise. Other plans are building through communication and discussion with the juniors, together with their parents. The competition programme for the juniors in 2016 includes a variety of events with over twelve being linked to a trophy/cup. There will also be an 'Order of Merit', most improved player of the year prize and several other events for them.
The club has moved to the appointment of a junior vice-captain to support and stand in for the junior captain, if they are unavailable. The role of the vice-captain will be a progression to the next junior captain role. The current junior captain is Conal Downing and the newly appointed vice-captain for the juniors will be Tegan Arlow. Their joint positions will give the juniors a channel of communication to the committee to bring ideas and views forward.
The AGM was preceded by an eighteen hole stableford competition for those juniors who had expressed an interest in the event. Some of the very young juniors did not take part this year, but this will grow in the future. Rookery Park will hold their Junior Open on Friday 5th August 2016, which is a Suffolk Golf Union Junior Order of Merit event. This event is open to all interested juniors from across the region and is run as a three tier competition, depending upon the handicap of the individuals, either a medal event for sub 18 handicaps, a stableford for those above 18 handicap, and a new 9 hole stableford for those juniors who are just starting out and have attained their first handicap.
Below is a photograph of those present at the AGM.