THE GOLF Union of Wales is starting a new Welsh Junior Tour to encourage young players of all standards to take part in some fun competitions building to a national final.
The new initiative will include mixed events at Under 8, 10, and 12 age groups, separate boys and girl’s competitions at Under 14 level, with four regional events allowing players to qualify for the Welsh Junior Tour Finals in the Autumn.
The four regional events will be held in Mold, North Wales, Carmarthen, West Wales, Lakeside, Mid Wales and Virginia Park, South Wales, with the final at former European Tour and Solheim Cup venue St Pierre near Chepstow. Entries open February 1.
“This is an exciting new competition which will combine participation with development, the growing junior initiatives of Golf Development Wales, the Coaching Centres Programme and the work at many clubs meant we needed to add this opportunity,” explained GUW chief executive Richard Dixon.
“Children of all standards can play, children with disabilities can compete on level terms, and this new Tour will be both fun and competitive. “It is open to anyone born in Wales, with Welsh parents or grandparents, who lives in Wales or is a member of a golf club affiliated to the GUW.
“The only people not allowed to enter is anyone with a handicap of nine or lower at the start of the year, because we already run competitions at the elite end to cater for those players.
“There is no need for an official handicap for the younger age levels, which will be played over shortened nine hole courses appropriate for their age. They will score at least one point on every hole in a modified Stableford scoring system, which also rewards the lower scores.
“In the U14 categories players must have a competition handicap which means 28 or less for boys, 36 or less for girls or a disability golf handicap of up to 54. They will play an 18 hole competition under normal Stableford rules.
“The top three players in each category will receive a prize at every event.
“There will also be skills challenges running alongside the competitions which will cover long game, chipping and putting which should provide extra fun as well as being a good way for players to see how different parts of their game are improving.
“We hope this initiative will provide a real boost and focus to the development of the game for younger golfers in Wales, offering them a target of a fun, national competition as they learn and improve.”
The Under 14 competitions will be under the normal rules of golf but the younger age groups will have some additional rules to help them, such as a free drop after three attempts to get out of a bunker and picking up after 10 shots while still scoring a point on the card. Players with a disability can play under appropriately modified rules.
Parents or guardians must accompany children at the events. The detailed rules for Welsh Junior Tour events can be found on the ‘specific’ and ‘general’ conditions sections of the entry form.
To get more information about the 2016 events including dates and venues go to the Event List and Information page in the Welsh Junior Tour section of the GUW web-site (under the championships heading).
Players can choose which events they wish to enter (players may enter as many as they like) by going to the entry forms and on-line entries page in the Welsh Junior Tour section of the GUW website (under the championships heading).
Entries can be made on-line or by printing out and posting or emailing the completed form to the GUW offices.
The U8, U10 and U12 categories cost £5 per event to enter and the U14 categories £10 per event.
Foel’s Championship dream halted
FELINFOEL’s hopes of promotion to the WRU Championship were brought to an end on Sunday (May 12) as they were beaten in the play-offs by Ystalyfera.
Ystalyfera had won the first leg 34-28 on their home soil but Felinfoel were still very much in the tie and they had the backing of an 800-strong home crowd in the reverse fixture. Fans packed in to the ground and they witnessed an epic encounter.
Felinfoel held the lead at one time but their opponents hit back to seal a 20-30 win to win overall by 64 points to 48.
Felinfoel played some attractive rugby during the first half with wingers Eray Wilson and Elliot Dawe scoring tries wide out one of which was converted by Aled Roberts. Ystalyfera scored a penalty and a converted try making the half time score 12 points to 10.
The second half opened brightly for Felinfoel with Roberts kicking a penalty and Wilson scoring a further try. With the score at 20 points to 10, matters were looking favourable for the home team.
It was at this stage that the Ystalyfera forwards took complete control of the match denying Felinfoel of any possession for the final 20mins of the match. With a strong scrummage and dynamic driving maul they continued to exert pressure onto the home team.
Ystalyfera were rewarded with a further two converted tries, penalty goal and drop goal and deserved their victory 20 points to 30, and promotion to the championship.
Both teams are to be congratulated in the way in which the game was played. Both sides gave their all and provided an entertaining encounter.
Both sets of supporters gave loud vocal support to each team and were sporting throughout the match.
At the end of the match Felinfoel coach Mike King who is leaving after two years in charge was given a rousing send off by players and supporters alike.
After the game Felinfoel took to twitter saying: “After another successful season, it’s time to say thank you. Thank you to all sponsors for supporting the club throughout the season once again. Without you we would not exist. Thank you to all the supporters who have been with us through thick and thin.
“Lastly, thank you to head coach Mike King who will be leaving us. He has set the foundations of the club and has turned this club around for the better. All at Felinfoel RFC can’t thank you enough. We wish you all the best in the future.”
Morgan marches seconds home
DAFEN Seconds earned the bragging rights over Llanelli Seconds on Saturday (May 11) as they cruised to an eight wicket win.
Dafen won the toss but elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they bowled their opponents out for just 118 inside 22 overs.
Aadil Mukhtar finished with excellent figures of 5-21 while Oliver Evans supported well taking four wickets for the loss of 40 runs.
Needing just thirty overs of their reply, Dafen Seconds eased to victory as Jac Morgan finished not out on 64 to see his side over the line.
The win for Dafen keeps them joint top of the table with Briton Ferry Town after two games while Llanelli sit bottom of Division 3 and are still searching for their first win.
On Saturday (May 18), Dafen Seconds are at home against Dyffryn while Llanelli Seconds are away to Neath thirds.
Jones duo sink Bronwydd
LLANGENNECH earned their first win of the season on Saturday (May 11) as they beat Bronwydd by 14 runs in a low scoring game.
Llangennech won the toss and elected to bat but they lost Chris Hickey early on when he was caught by Jacob Jenkinson off the bowling of Colin Tucker.
Matthew Jones scored 11 before he was caught and bowled by Tucker before David Williams was caught by Tom Gleeson off the bowling of Matthew Vaughan for a score of 14.
James Taube made the same score but was then caught by Phillip Howell off the bowling of Dafydd Morgan. Morgan also bowled Martin Gregory to leave Llangennech on 83-5.
Opener Scott Lloyd’s score of 30 had come off 127 balls and he was eventually caught by Vaughan off the bowling of Callum Collins-Davies.
Richard Clement was the third Llangennech batsman to make a score of 14 before getting out as he was caught by Jenkinson off the bowling of Gleeson.
Michael Jones was then run out before Gleeson claimed his second wicket as he had Simon Clement caught by Oliver Furneaux.
Vaughan then wrapped up the innings as he had Bav Patel caught by James Cale to leave Llangennech all out on 124. Photo by Darren Harries
Bronwydd’s opening pair of James Cale and Philip Howell shared 15 runs but Howell was out for a score of 8 to the bowling of Michael Jones.
Oliver Furneaux was next to fall when he was trapped leg before by Matthew Jones on a score of 11.
Chris Hickey then gave Owain Phillips his first wicket as he caught Jacob Jenkinson and the bowler then claimed his second as he had Cale caught by David Williams on a score of 17.
That left Bronwydd on 44-4 but Iwan Davies and Dafydd Morgan shared 40 runs for the fifth wicket to keep their side in the game.
Davies hit three fours and a six in his knock of 33 but he was then trapped leg before by Michael Jones. He then also bowled Callum Collins-Davies for a duck to reduce Bronwydd to 84-6.
Matthew Jones then had Dafydd Morgan caught on a score of 8 before then trapping Tom Gleeson leg before.
Hickey then took two more catches of Matthew Vaughan and Colin Tucker to give Matthew Jones his five-wicket haul and Bronwydd were all out for 110.
Gareth John had finished not out on 18 but it wasn’t enough for victory for the visitors.
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