The Junior Medals continue to be poorly attended with some medals having no entrants at all, while the most that played in any medal was eight (8). Hopefully these figures will improve over this coming season.
On the 9th May, we had a meeting Scottish Golf Regional Officer, Martin Ritchie, to give us ideas to increase junior members.
Entries to the Junior competitions were sadly lacking in numbers ranging from 1 to 6 Juniors playing. The Junior Convener intends to hold off for a few weeks into the new season hoping numbers will improve before considering an alternative course of action.
The Junior Convener was thinking of running a new 6-hole Competition on the back nine on selected Sundays at around 2.30pm to encourage juveniles to play. This would require adult players to start at the 10th Tee for those days. After some discussion regarding frequency of this event and its timing, it was agreed by Club Council to trial a monthly 6-Hole Competition on Sunday’s for Juniors/Juveniles commencing at 4:00pm. A commencement date is still to be set.
We had mixed fortunes with our Pennant League Team this past year. Our Club like many others had difficulties raising a team on some occasions. We had wins over Deeside GC and Murcar GC, lost to Portlethen GC, got one point when our match with Newmachar GC was cancelled due to an unplayable course (theirs) and had a match conceded to us when Kemnay GC were unable to raise a team.
On 29th June, Junior Club Championship match between C. High & L. Watt was played to a very high standard. C. High had a really hard task in this scratch match over 36 holes, playing off a 22 handicap against 3 handicap player in L. Watt, nonetheless, he gave a good account of himself but in the end the gulf was just too much and L. Watt eventually won 12 & 11.
The numbers playing in the Rotary Junior Open in June were considerably down on previous years with only 5 home players and 23 Visitors. The club recorded a small profit of £284.00 once all prizes were paid out. L. Watt won the Scratch Prize with a 71. A Catto was 2nd in the 13 – 36 Handicap section. The Club would like to thank Ellon Rotary Club for their continued support of our Junior Open.
Junior Champion has completed his final season as a Junior with an impressive list of achievements;
He finished 9th in Scottish Boys Junior Tour Final at the Renaissance Golf Course, East Lothian. Was 1st in the following competitions, Ellon Gents Open (Scratch), Ellon Junior Open (Scratch), Murcar Junior Open (Scratch) and the Portlethen Junior Open (Scratch). He was also a creditable 5th in the Scottish Boys Junior Tour at Duff House and 10th in the Scottish Schools Championship played at Murryashall GC. In addition, he made the cut at the Paul Lawrie Junior Jug Competition at Pollock GC, he was 5th when playing for the North East District in the District Triangular Boys Match at Dunkeld &Burnum GC. He won the Dawson Trophy, the Norco Shield, the Gillanders Trophy, the Strachan Trophy, the Kestrel Trophy and the Winter Eclectic.
In Clubgolf, although numbers were down, it is still a successful venture for the Club due in no small part to the drive and commitment from M. Keith and the volunteer coaches who give their time up to coach the boys & girls, hopefully they will progress into our junior section.
The Paul Lawrie Flag day at McDonald Golf Club was yet another example how junior event numbers are in decline, with only 9 under 15’s playing and only 19 in the flag event itself. We can only hope thinks do improve for Junior golf in the next few years.
In the Felicity Trophy although our team won on the day, the deficit from the first match at Duff House Royal was too much to overcome and we exited the competition.
The Murray Trophy for under 14s was held at the same venue and A. Hunter finished in 1st place with 45 points.
In September L. Watt qualified to play in the final rounds of the Spence Trophy at Murcar GC. Unfortunately, he lost 4 & 3 to C. Black of Royal Aberdeen GC, the eventual winner of the competition.
All the Juniors who represented the club in various competitions enjoyed the experience which will hopefully be of benefit for them in 2020.
For this year we have registered an interest in taking part in the new Golf Sixes Leagues being run by Scottish Golf Ltd., with 16 clubs taking part in three leagues here in the Northeast.
In conclusion although junior membership within the club continues to be a cause for concern, the Club is open to any suggestions from the membership who have any ideas on how to address the downturn.
I would like to thank Iain Campbell for standing in for me at Junior events when I was unable to be there in person, and to the parents of the boys for taking them to the various events saving the club transport costs.
And finally, I wish to thank Sandra Brockie for all the invaluable help she has been to the Junior Section and myself.
Author: Mitch Cabel, Junior Convener
Date: 30 January 2020
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