The Golf Foundation Junior Championships 2006 has been launched and around 5,000 boys and girls will hope to emulate the likes of Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Mhairi McKay as they enter their club competition in a bid to reach regional finals and then the Grand Final, at the Marriott Forest of Arden Golf & Country Club, on the 15th and 16th of August.
The Golf Foundation Junior Championships has been renamed this year; it was formerly called the Weetabix Age Group Championships
This is a scratch event for age groups – Under 13, Under 14 and Under 15 – for both boys and girls. Club competitions will run until early May and regional finals will be held between June and early August. One hundred golfers will earn a place in the two-round Grand Final of the event, which was first staged in 1987.
For a number of today’s Tour stars a victory in their age group has been a first step to the top. Lee Westwood won the Under 15 boys’ event in 1987 and the Under 16 title a year later. Justin Rose was Under 14 boys’ champion in 1993 while Mhairi McKay, twice a winner on the Ladies European Tour, was the Under 13 girls’ champion in 1987 and Under 14 champion in 1988.
Mike Round, chief executive of the Golf Foundation, said, “This year we are making a concerted effort to bring more girls into the tournament. With its fairly generous handicap restriction (boys’ handicap 24 and better, girls’ 33 and better), this tournament aims to appeal to as many children as possible at a grass roots level and is an inclusive event for a good range of players, while offering a chance of real glory for those who score well and make it to our Grand Final.”
Players in the regional finals and Grand Final will tee up with Titleist NXT balls, as Titleist is Official Golf Ball Supplier to the Golf Foundation. Special packs of tees will be supplied by Pride Golf Tees as Official Tee Supplier, and ProQuip, preferred weatherwear supplier to the 2006 European Ryder Cup Team, is supporting the Grand Finals by donating junior rainsuits worth £75 as additional prizes.
Golf Foundation www.golf-foundation.org