The Golf Foundation’s National StreetGolf Championship Final took place on Monday 17th July 2017 at Formby Hall, where young golfers from all over the UK compete against each other. They had to be qualified as new golfers, many of whom had only recently experiences a real course for the first time.
StreetGolf uses all the skills learnt on the golf course but instead of the putting green the golf ball is put through obstacles that can be found on the ‘street’; for example, tyres, bins or nets. The teams are made up of four players and have to complete the course with the best score.
The championship was set up to bring youngsters from diverse backgrounds and traditionally non-golfing families and communities and introducing them to junior-friendly golf clubs, to compete for the coveted title of National StreetGolf Champions, through a partnership between the Golf Foundation, Golf Union of Wales, the Premier League and Sport England.
Five teams, and members of the First Swing Golf Academy entered the Welsh qualifier in June 2017, becoming Welsh StreetGolf Champions for the 3rd year running, at Cardiff City Stadium. The winning team were then invited to play in the national final.
First Swing Golf Academy Members with Louis Oosthuizen
The team First Swing Team placed 2nd in the National StreetGolf Championship. 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen presented the prizes to the winning teams. He also presented two sets of clubs to two young people who show the best attitude and respect for the sport and their peers on the day.
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “Louis has been a great friend to the Golf Foundation over the last few years, famously even playing Tri-Golf with our youngsters the day before embarking on his Open Championship victory run at St Andrews in 2010. With Louis’s sense of fun, his continual encouragement of young players and the valuable work he is doing for Bags 4 Birdies, Louis is a wonderful ambassador for golf and is helping to further raise the profile of StreetGolf and getting young people started in this great sport.”
After the tournament, all of the participants were taken to Royal Birkdale to savour the atmosphere of the first Open practice day and watch the best players in action. The team were lucky to see the likes Rory McIlroy teeing off.
The golf development programme is approved by the Golf Union of Wales, and is delivered by Bryn Meadows Golf, Hotel & Spa Head Professional, David Pocock. He said, “For a golf tutor, the biggest reward is seeing those who you have coached excel. These children started with little to no skills in golf and over a short period of time have developed into very promising players. They’ve come a long way, so it really is a massive achievement. I was thrilled to support them at both the Welsh and National finals, and was exhilarating to watch them win. I’m extremely proud of them all. Today they were the youngest in the competition, so the silver medal is gold in my eyes.”
David Pocock with the First Swing Golf Academy Welsh StreetGolf Champions
The First Swing Golf Academy is Wales' largest golf academy and was established in September 2014. The future outlook for the team of budding golfers is very promising. So far 1000’s local children have enjoyed taster sessions on the academy course whilst enjoying the great outdoors and panoramic stunning views over the surrounding area, with each hole of the course named after a local school. This year they have also been able to use the brand new Indoor Putting Studio and state of the art Golf Simulator during bad weather, allowing them to play all year round.
During the school summer holidays Junior Golf Summer Camps are being held which is a fantastic way to keep youngsters occupied during the summer holidays. They can learn new skills and enhance existing skill levels in a safe, fun environment with all sessions delivered by specialist junior golf coaches.