STYAL were short-listed for the 2018 England Golf Club of the Year Award because of their incredible programmes for youngsters. And on Monday they will host the opening round of the inaugural Cheshire GolfSixes Junior League.
By October the Styal youngsters – plus those of Congleton, Macclesfield and Mottram Hall – will all have played on each other’s courses in six-hole tournaments.

The PGA professional at Mottram Hall is Matthew Turnock, the 2018 England Golf Coach of the Year. He said: “It is fitting Styal should launch one of the brightest ideas since the invention of the light bulb after all the good work they have done.”

Junior GolfSixes are organised by the national junior charity, the Golf Foundation, in conjunction with England Golf, the national association of golf clubs. Boys and girls aged from six to 14 are eligible to compete alongside each other and they don’t need to have a handicap. All the kids in the league play in their golf club shirts with GolfSixes branding.

Turnock is an expert on the subject of junior golf, having introduced over 2,500 youngsters to the sport at over 50 primary schools in the Macclesfield area over the past ten years. He added: : “When the junior members at Mottram found out we were going to be taking part I was taken aback at how excited they were . . . because it’s fast and it’s fun.

“I organised a free evening at Mottram for all the team players to come along to do a trial run of the format so everyone is comfortable with how to score. Iknow the other three clubs have done something similar and there is a real buzz about the event. The GolfSixes format appeals to younger golfers because it is enjoyable, easy to play and builds team spirit.”

The youngsters have been with their club’s PGA professionals preparing for the big event which will be supported by enthusiastic parents. This family engagement follows the model of other team sports such as football, netball and rugby where families new to the sport are welcomed into the club environment.

There’s a junior GolfSixes league running in Lancashire involving the Duxbury Park, Regent Park, Haig Hall and Hart Common clubs. Nationally there are 25 leagues featuring 125 golf clubs and 1,500 boys and girls following a mini pilot league last year.

The Golf Foundation regional development officer Andy Leigh said: “GolfSixes offer a rapid starting point to hopefully create a long-lasting love of the sport.”


Photograph courtesy of Leaderboard Photography