Charley Hull has attracted a new set of young fans after signed photos of the Ladies European Tour Number One were given to all 70 competitors in the Shires Junior Golf Tour event at her home club of Kettering Golf Club, Northamptonshire last weekend (June 14).
The next generation of champion golfers received their special prizes after taking part in the seventh round of the Shires Tour, which holds 12 events in the counties of Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Bedfordshire, plus the Grand Final in October.
Hull, who at the age of 19 could, in theory, still play on the Shires Tour, was taught how to play the game at Kettering by club professional Kevin Theobald, starting when she was just six years old.
Theobald, who has always been a keen advocate of letting young golfers learn from their own mistakes on a course without being over coached, took part in a Q&A session with the parents beforehand.
On a day when a four-year-old boy called Bobby Moore, who has already had a hole-in-one, took part, Bedford and County’s Oliver Saunders became the first person in Shires Tour history to bag an ace as he found the bottom of the cup with his tee shot on the 12th.
The 15-year-old’s reward was to be given a Ladies European Tour book, which 2014 champion Hull signed and encrypted with one of her catchphrases; ‘I just hit it, find it and then hit it again’.
On a good day for golfers in the surrounding region, Matthew Green (Aspley Guise and Woburn Sands) clinched the top division, Abbey Hill’s Jamie Greenhalghe won the Silver section, while Manato Nakatani, who had travelled up from Finchley to play in the bronze category, smashed 45 points.
The nine-hole competition also witnessed some fine golf as Fraser Jones (Forest Hill) secured his third victory of the season as he nudged ahead of Rushden’s Hannah Talbot and Brampton Heath’s Amelia Humphries, who still leads the Order of Merit.
With boy and girl golfers of all abilities and ages competing, anyone interested in taking part on Shires Junior Golf Tour should visit www.shiresjuniorgolftour.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Paul Bull on 07824 666480.