Sky’s the limit for ‘hole-in-one’ StreetGolf star!For most golfers scoring a hole-in-one is like England beating Germany on penalties – a lifetime goal but highly unlikely!
Georgia Smith, aged 13, of Wood Green School in Witney, Oxfordshire, achieved this feat playing in the Golf Foundation’s second National StreetGolf Championship Final at the 3 Hammers Golf Complex, near Wolverhampton, on Wednesday (15th June).
Thanks to a partnership with Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S), Sport England and Get into Golf, young people from community golf programmes across 16 Premier League and Championship football clubs wore their favourite teams’ football strips to compete for the coveted title of National StreetGolf Champions.
During the afternoon’s play a loud cheer was heard across the fairways as Georgia scored her hole-in-one on the 45-yard 15th hole. A fantastic shot: ten yards further back than Gareth Bale was and a much smaller target to aim at. Thirty minutes later she was being interviewed on camera by Sky Sports News who were present at the event.
Georgia said: “It was really exciting and of course it is my first hole-in-one; it was a brilliant moment and to do it with my school friends there and our teacher [Helen Smith] was fantastic.”
Brendon Pyle, Chief Executive of the Golf Foundation, said: “All the adults watching – experienced golf people – recognised this as a very rare and special achievement which perhaps explains the timeless appeal of golf. You take up the game as a youngster and can enjoy golf for the rest of your life, but many of us will never experience a hole-in-one.
“Georgia’s first ‘ace’ showed why golf is a great sport for all young people and we are encouraging more and more boys and girls from all backgrounds to play the game in our golf clubs in support of our national partners. StreetGolf is one of our methods of engaging with young people who might otherwise miss golf as an option.”
While their heroes in the Wales national football team would lose in last-gasp agony to England this week, it was a team from Cardiff City (‘Cardiff Two’) who would snatch a last hole victory against English team Middlesbrough in the StreetGolf Final and be crowned Champions. Gareth Bale, who is a keen golfer himself and who recently backed the launch of quick golf format SPRINT6GOLF, would certainly approve of this victory for Wales.
Teams present were from football club projects: Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Cardiff City, Crystal Palace, Derby County, Everton, Hull City, Middlesbrough, Nottingham Forest, Southampton, Stoke City, and Sunderland.
All the finalists for the event had been introduced to golf through StreetGolf activities at a variety of local facilities including events at the actual football grounds of Crystal Palace and Derby County. Many had never picked up a golf club until recently and were now competing on the beautifully prepared par-3 course at 3 Hammers Golf Complex.
The Golf Foundation, the sport’s leading charity for young people, has developed StreetGolf as an exciting new strand of its HSBC Golf Roots programme which introduces youngsters to golf in their own community before providing the opportunity to play at the local golf club with help from the resident and junior-friendly PGA Professional Coach.
Golf Foundation Chairman Stephen Lewis presented the prizes and said: “This was an excellent event for the youngsters and well done to all the teams who played some great golf today. Working with Premier League 4 Sport and Sport England we’ve been able to reach children across many communities to try golf for the very first time and now, several months on, they are here playing in a national competition on a golf course.
“I’d like to thank all the staff at 3 Hammers for their support today, all the teachers who have helped their teams, the youngsters themselves and the Golf Foundation team for making it all happen today.”