Going up against both metropolitan and regional golf clubs from all across NSW, Bathurst Golf Club was not expecting to receive any awards at the Jack Newton Junior Club Presentation and Sponsors Dinner on December 11.
But club officials where left shocked but happy when they were awarded the trophy for junior club of the year.
Bathurst Golf Club professional Matt Barrett said the award is in recognition of the club’s fantastic junior programs.
“We do a lot to promote golf in the community and based on how we promote to kids,” he said.
“We have some fantastic golf programs. We give cheaper membership for juniors and provide them with shirts, with sponsors on them.
“We wouldn’t be able to do these programs without the sponsorship. They put money into making it able to run.”
Jack Newton Junior Golf was set up in 1986 to introduce more young people to the game of golf and to nurture their skills and enjoyment of the sport.
Barrett said the porgram is also heavily involved in schools.
“We take golf to schools and we get kids coming to the golf range as well,” he said.
“We run holiday programs too.
“We’re more than just golf pros, we’re development officers as well.”
On March 18 and 19, 2017, the Bathurst Golf Club played host to the Peter O’Malley Junior Masters tournament which was Bonnie Doon Golf Club junior Jones Comerford.
It is just one of the events Jack Newton Junior Golf has been impressed by.
“They’ve liked what we’ve being doing in Bathurst, with tournaments and junior programs,” Barrett said.
“What we’re pretty much trying to do is find the next Peter O’Malley.
“You need both gold pros and clubs that are committed to junior development.”
O’Malley is a Bathurst native and has competed at two US Opens.
And who may be that next O’Malley?
Well it’s still too early to call but there’s plenty of junior talent going around in Bathurst including Ben Mackey, Cameron Jackson, Ben McCrossin and Casey Thompson.
It’s a sign that shows golf in Bathurst is going strong according to Barrett.
“Golf is very healthy in Bathurst at the moment,” he said.
“While it may not be as strong overall in the Central West, we try to assist clubs in any way possible and see golf grow.”