Guernsey’s secondary schools have gone head-to-head in the Guernsey Golf Academy’s Interschool Secondary Cup at The Golf Club at St Pierre Park. Although COVID-19 postponed the competition by four months, the Academy was determined the schools would not miss out on the 2020 competition. Despite the logistical challenges of autumnal weather and school diary clashes, the competitors got into the swing of things on Saturday, 17 October.
Every year the schools are provided with a five-week long game coaching course ahead of the competition, where the PGA golf pro Andy Myers covers the fundamentals of golf, such as chipping and putting. Each secondary school on the island is offered the sessions, which are aimed at helping young people to discover the sport.
Andy commented: “The timing of this year’s competition certainly wasn’t what we had originally planned. Like many, we were limited to lockdown and social distancing restrictions that were still in place over the summer term. The schools programme is a great way for the younger generation to give golf a try. We’ve been seeing an upward trend of young people taking up the sport, so we are really keen to keep this increased interest going in 2020″.
Five schools with a total of eight teams took part in the competition: Elizabeth College ‘Woods’ and ‘Tigers’, Guernsey Grammar School, Le Murier School, Les Voies School, and St Sampson’s High School’s A, B and C teams. The competition took a ‘Texas Scramble’ format; this is where each player in a team tees off as normal. The best of these shots is then chosen and all players move their balls to where the “best shot” landed. The team then all hit again from that chosen spot, working their way towards the hole.
St Sampson’s B team were victorious with a score of 29 over nine holes. The team consisted of Ellie Blondel, Samuel Kail and Toby Sowerby, who only started playing golf recently. St Sampson’s C team, represented by Charlie Bowen, Connor Bonham and Jayden Tucknott, were runners up with a score of 31.
The Interschool Secondary Cup is a great opportunity for young people to get into golf through their school and one of the many events that the Academy, which is supported by Butterfield, have been able to host this year. Other events include the Butterfield Junior Summer Series and The Junior Open.
Richard Saunders, Managing Director of Butterfield, Guernsey, said: “We are very happy the Interschool Cup was able to go ahead this year. Well done to the Academy for persevering with its organisation despite the uncertainty and challenges. The junior coaching and competitions that the Academy offer are central to the increased youth engagement being seen within island golf, particularly from the school links. We are very proud to support them in their work to make golf a more inclusive sport”.
In 2021, the Cup will be held in June with details being sent to schools after the Christmas holidays. The Academy hope that they will have as many schools as previous years getting involved and taking part.