More than 30 junior golfers swarmed the practice ground and 18th hole of the North Sound Golf Club on Sunday to take part in the Cayman Islands Golf Association “Drive, Chip and Putt Skills Challenge.”
In the challenge, 32 golfers from age 7 took part in a range of skills tests, including longest drive, most accurate shot and various putting and chipping challenges.
Some of those taking part were very new to the game or had recently attended one of the many golf clinics and camps run by the North Sound Golf Club over the past year. At the other end of the spectrum were the members of the National Junior Team who are due to represent the islands in USVI this summer.
Golf association vice president and junior golf coordinator James Walton said, “What a wonderful turnout, it was fantastic to see so many kids out here having fun and showcasing their skills. This is just one of many events we have planned over the year to try to involve young people throughout the islands in golf.”
He added, “We are very excited to now have Cayman National Bank signed on as a three-year sponsorship partner for our Community Golf Development Programme. We are grateful for their support and we look forward to working with them in the coming months.”
He also thanked North Sound Golf Club Director of Golf Josh Shepard and his staff for their help in setting up the challenges, and all the volunteers who gave up their time on a Sunday morning to show their support for the juniors and who were instrumental in making the event run smoothly.
Walton and his fellow junior coordinator Siobhan Ribbins volunteer many hours to organize and run the junior programs and events.
“I am passionate about it,” said Ribbins. “I grew up playing golf and have experienced both the fun of playing socially and the excitement competitions bring. I have also seen the numerous positive life skills it teaches.”
She added, “Golf is also a great at opening doors to further education opportunities. My daughter Emily is currently at school in the states on a golf scholarship and is playing on her college team as their number one player. She is also very proud to have made the team representing Cayman at the Island Games this summer.”
Another young Caymanian who is using golf as a route to further education is Andrew Jarvis, who will be attending the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy in September with the hope of gaining a golf scholarship for college.
He began playing competitively just two years ago when Cayman hosted the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships, he is now not only a member of the junior team but has also qualified for the men’s team Caribbean Championships in Jamaica in August.