Beadlow Manor Juniors had much to celebrate at their Junior Presentation evening.
The Section looked back at their most successful season ever with a fourth successive Tavistock Trophy win, victory in the Ver League Plate in their first season in the Herts Golf Union competition, and retention of the Junior Patrons Scratch Invitational hosted by John O’Gaunt.
All that said, the jewel in the crown was finishing runners up in the Junior Team Golf (JTG) England Final which now sees Beadlow Manor travel to Portugal in February to represent England and compete in a tournament to find the best junior section within the Home Nations.
Individually there was also much t recognise in 2016, with Annabel Pitts (hcp 4, in her last junior year) receiving winners medals for both the Ladies and Girls County Championships, and runners up in the Mixed Foursomes.
Two of the lads involved in the Portugal trip competed against each other in the last domestic competition of the 2016 season in the Final of the Junior Matchplay. Jamie Gibbons (hcp 5) and Will Murray (hcp 10) both came through tight semi-finals with Gibbons beating James Manning (hcp 10) by 2&1, and Murray securing his final spot overcoming Ben Loveard (hcp 10) on the 19th hole.
The final was played on Christmas Eve and on the day a fast start by Gibbons gave him the edge throughout, and he finally ran out the winner by 6&5. This saw all the domestic honours shared across the section and Gibbons accepted his winners medal during the presentation evening with Conner Penning (hcp 4) and Sean Foster (hcp 12) receiving medals for their gross and nett wins in the Junior Club Championships, and Lewis Vereecque (hcp 14) collecting the Junior Order of Merit.
Much preparation has taken place in the last couple of months to help Beadlow Manor juniors make their trip to Portugal. The same team of Luke Charalambous (hcp 4), Penning, Gibbons, Loveard, Murray, Vereecque and Jack Munson (hcp 17), who represented the club in the England Final, have been preparing with group practice sessions overseen by club professional Alistair Halliday. The sessions have gone well and the team are quietly confident of a good showing in The Algarve.
The JTG event has grown into one of the biggest and most prestigious junior team tournaments in existence, and is the only one in the British Isles and Ireland supported by the R&A, and the four national golf unions.
This year the Home Nations Final will be played at Morgado Golf Resort near Portimao (over both Morgado and Alamos golf courses) for the Nigel Dolton Trophy, and will receive Sky Sports coverage.