Junior golfers around Wales can now enter the Ping Welsh Junior Tour, bigger and better as the events build on the successes of last year’s debut.
New sponsors Ping have come on board as entries open from the start of February for this years Golf Union of Wales competition, with an extra event being held to make it five this season, building up to a Tour Final to be held at St Pierre near Chepstow.
Apart from the individual winners at U8, U10, U12 and U14 age levels, there will also be a new prize for the club represented by the largest number of players at the end of season Tour Final.
Events will be held in Parc, Mold, Carmarthen, Abergele and Lakeside Garthmyl, under the same format as last year with U8, U10 and U12 age groups playing a modified stableford competition over nine holes on shortened courses. Players in these age groups do not need an official handicap to take part.
Those in the U14 category will play a stableford competition over 18 holes with the usual golf rules applying.
Players with a disability in any of the age categories may, if they wish, use the Modified Rules of Golf.
There will also be skills challenges at every event, which proved highly popular with players and family members last year.
“Last year was our first year for the Welsh Junior Tour and a great success, but there are always improvements to be made and we have made some changes which we hope will achieve that,” said Golf Union of Wales chairman of championships and rules Ashton Bradbury.
“In particular there is a fifth regional event so more players can take part, last year we had around 200 across the four regional events, with players coming from 50 clubs and 75 players taking part in the Tour Final.
“We welcome Ping coming on board as a main sponsor for the first time, to have the involvement of someone with their profile in world golf shows the strength of the competition.
“We are looking to combine fun for the players and their families along with the competitive element.
“The modified stableford format for the younger age groups means players get at least a point on every hole and the fewer shots they take the more points they get.
“We shorten the courses to make sure they are appropriate for these young players and allow them to drop out of bunkers if they do not get out in three shots.
“At Under 14 level the players are more experienced and so the stableford competition is held over 18 holes with the normal rules of golf applying.”
Entries are open from February 1, 2017, with the first event held at Parc near Cardiff on April 13. Mold will host the second event on April 20, Carmarthen on July 9, Abergele on July 16 and Lakeside Garthmyl on August 9. The final at St Pierre will be on October 1.