Youngsters get into the swing of golf at academy

One boy practices his putting skills at one of the sessions at an Appleton school

Frilford Heath Golf Club went back to school to welcome the second year of a junior academy sponsored by European Tour golfer Eddie Pepperell.

The Abingdon golfer set up The Frilford Heath Junior Academy in 2016 when he handed his sponsorship money back to the club to support junior golf.

The 26-year-old has done the same this year, enabling the club to take the academy into schools in the hope of enticing youngsters who aren’t golfers but could benefit from the academy.

The initiative hopes to spark an interest and encourage children to take up the sport.

During the past couple of months, Derek Craik, Frilford Heath’s golf professional, has visited five schools and coached over 400 youngsters.

Each session teed off with a taster session at the school, which gave children the opportunity to try golf.

Following the taster sessions the children were invited to sign up for a subsidised five-week course of lessons at the Oxford Road-based club.

Hoping to secure the next wave of golfing talent in Oxfordshire, club chairman Alistair Booth said: “Of the 52 juniors who joined last year the majority have re-joined for a second year.

“The majority were beginners or players who hadn’t played the game for very long, which shows they have obviously enjoyed it and stayed with it.

“It shows that Eddie’s generosity has resulted in more youngsters getting involved in the sport – exactly what he and the club set out to do.

“He has such a profound impact on youngsters with this academy and he is a perfect role model and we are delighted to have the Eddie Pepperell Junior Golf Academy at Frilford Heath Golf Club for a second year.”

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