Young golfers in Nottinghamshire can tee up this summer like the pros – with a new tour all of their own.
The 2014 Rookie Tour will be launched across the county to continue the drive to encourage more youngsters into the sport and give them a platform to develop their skills.
A team from the Nottinghamshire Golf Union, the county Ladies Association, the Notts PGA and the Nottinghamshire County Golf Partnership have been working hard to improve the competitive offering for juniors.
Now they have come together – under the banner of Nottinghamshire Golf – to deliver a programme of events that will reach every level of young golfers.
The Rookie Tour will complement the long-standing and successful Nippers Tour, which caters for juniors under the age of 12 on 1st January 2014, while the new season will also see the launch of a Junior Order of Merit for Nottinghamshire.
The number of events for the players, who do not need a golf handicap, on the Nippers Tour has been extended to seven and entry is just £15 for the nine-hole competitions.
The 2014 season will see the introduction of the Rookie Tour aimed at juniors aged 12-17 who do not have a handicap or have a CONGU handicap above 28 (boys) or 36 (girls). Three nine-hole competitions will be staged.
The Junior Order of Merit will be based on six junior open events and is open to under-18s with an official CONGU handicap.
Players will count their three best finishes from the six events with four categories – boys gross, boys nett, girls gross and girls nett.
Lauren Spray, Get into Golf officer for the Nottinghamshire County Golf Partnership, explains the thinking behind the new Order of Merit: “We want to provide a platform for young golfers to develop their competitive skills across a variety of courses by encouraging them to support junior open events.
“This will also give us the opportunity identify talented golfers and measure performance.”
Further details of the revamped junior structure for Nottinghamshire can be found at www.nottinghamshiregolfpartnership.co.uk
Nipper Tour dates: Wednesday, 16th April at Edwalton Golf Centre, Thursday, 29th May at Kilton Forest, Thursday, 24th July at Southwell, Wednesday, 30th July at Nottingham City, Thursday, 7th August at Rufford Park, Thursday, 14th August at Norwood Park, Thursday, 21st August at Trent Lock.
Rookie Tour dates: Friday, 30th May at Norwood Park Golf Centre, Friday, 25th July at The Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club, Wednesday, 20th August 20 at Stanton on the Wolds Golf Club.
Junior Order of Merit Events: Friday, 30th May at Norwood Park, Sunday, 22nd June at Mapperley, Friday, 25th July at The Nottinghamshire, Sunday, 10th August at Beeston Fields, Thursday, 14th August at Coxmoor, Wednesday, 20th August at Stanton on the Wolds.