England Golf Trust
Laura Curtis in an 11-year-old who lives with her parents and younger brother in Wiltshire – and she’s a rapidly improving young golfer.
She first became interested in golf three years ago when she started taking lessons with Rob Morris, the professional at Whitley Golf Club.
The golf club is a short walk from her home and Laura found that she enjoyed spending time there to practice. It quickly became apparent to the professionals that she had a natural aptitude for the game and her efforts were soon rewarded as she progressed on to the course and gained a handicap.
Before long, Laura had been noticed by the Wiltshire county junior organiser and over the last two years she has represented the county in many fixtures and last year progressed from the Performance Squad to the Elite Coaching Squad.
Laura really enjoys playing in competitions and she likes travelling around the country playing in some of the elite girls’ events. In 2015 she played at St Andrews in the Wee Wonders Finals, Royal Cromer in the Abraham Trophy final for England’s most improved girl golfers, and at Gullane in the US Kids Golf European Championships.
Laura’s parents have been fully supportive of her desire to play golf at ever higher levels, which often involves early morning starts and long journeys to distant venues in the family car. Fortunately, Laura’s younger brother likes golf since he invariably accompanies her on those long journeys and follows her as she plays those amazing golf courses.
The highlight of her achievements so far came in October 2015 when she set the ladies’ course record at Whitley by shooting a remarkable nine-over par.
To put that into perspective, 18 months ago Laura nearly gave up playing golf, not because she was not enjoying the game but because of the negative effect of peer pressure from her close school friends. Fortunately Laura, with great support from her family, found the strength to stand up to that pressure and forge ahead to where she is now. Laura is now coached by Ben Lloyd of Cumberwell Park and her handicap is plummeting.
England Golf Trust is delighted to be associated with supporting Laura’s progress and wishes her every success in the future.
Ten-year-old Lucy Buckley lives with her mum, dad and seven-year old sister in an urban area of Birmingham. She enjoys swimming and loves animals, spending time with her family – and playing golf.
Lucy was first introduced to golf using the Wii. She would play against her sister in her living room and really enjoyed the whole experience. As a result her grandma enrolled her for a series of golf lessons with Greg Lynch, the PGA professional at the local driving range. Greg recognised her potential straight away and encouraged her to join Warley Woods Golf Club, a local municipal nine-hole course, owned by a Community Trust.
Lucy’s progress in golf in a short period of time is very impressive. In her first season of playing she shot to the top of the junior order of merit table at her club and won the Luke Reid Memorial Trophy for her age range. In addition, Lucy was selected to captain her Junior School Tri Golf Team which finished second in the Sainsbury Schools Tri-Golf Area Games.
Lucy is keen to do well at golf. She is a very determined and focused young lady who loves to win, but just as important to her is the taking part and she has a very sanguine disposition when things do not go as well as she was expecting.
Lucy has been awarded a grant from the EWGA Trust to support her as she develops as a young golfer. Her mum, Clair, says: "Lucy really wants to test her golfing skills on new courses and this grant will be really helpful since it will enable her to have more regular coaching and then hopefully she will be good enough to take part in junior open competitions at other clubs."
Given the right stimulus and support, we can be reasonably sure that Lucy will go on to become a high achiever and hopefully see golf as a life-long sport. The EWGA Trust is delighted to be part of Lucy's progress and wishes her all the best in the future.
The Trust provided a grant to run a series of special coaching programmes for 20 under-12 year old girls at Knowle Golf Club in South Bristol.
The Knowle GC Junior Organiser, Dave Owen, said: “Many of the children taking part in the special coaching programme are from disadvantaged backgrounds and many from single parent families, so the grant from the Trust has been absolutely critical in introducing golf to these girls. Without the grant many of the girls would just not have been able afford the programme”.
This is a case study which can boast some tangible success with two young girls who took part having gone on to gain national recognition for their golfing achievements. Players such as Shelby Smart, who has been a member of the England Girls' Squad and plays off a handicap of +1 and Courtney Stone, who was the Junior Champion Club winner in 2008, have benefitted from the bursary grant available.