Sunday afternoon saw the very first Junior Inter Club Competition against Poulton Golf Club, where 28 juniors from Staining Lodge Junior Academy took on their counterparts from Poulton GC in a friendly Inter Club fixture. The concept behind the competition was to give some of the juniors at Staining Lodge their first first taste of matchplay golf and indeed some of the juniors had only ever played a couple of holes on the golf course before so this was a great opportunity to play a full 9 hole competition. Poulton GC very kindly waived all green fees and their hospitality was second to none as parents and committee members manned the free barbecue for 3 hours keeping the spirits high of the juniors and parents alike. 

The Inter Club Competition had junior members of 5 years old up to 18 years old playing with the youngest juniors playing a 3 hole short course, with other younger juniors playing a 9 hole short course and the remaining juniors playing either a 9 hole or 18 hole matchplay game from the yellow or white tees.

Unfortunately an hour into the competition the Great British Summertime turned into a monsoon rain shower and the majority of the juniors came off the course having only played a couple of holes, these matches were voided but throughout the matches there was a great show of team spirit, effort, en devour  and sportsmanship. Staining Lodge Junior Matt Whittle got the biggest cheer of the day after a jubilant crowd of 70-80 spectators cheered his opening drive down the 1st hole as it fortuitously bounced on the bridge and over the dyke some 180 yards down the fairway.   

Out of the 28 matches only 2 of the matches were completed, Harry Lord Moulding was defeated 4 & 2 by Poulton's Elite Squad member Nathan Feeney, in a close game where 14 year old Nathan got the better of his older counterpart in a close game that finished on the 16th green. However the climax of washed out day at Poulton GC came with the finish of the other Elite match, where Staining's 10 year old Sam Yates took on Poulton's 13 year old Josh Hammett. After coming off the course drenched after 7 holes the pair dried themselves down and continued their tight match until its nail biting finish with Sam winning the 18 hole to take the match to All Square after 18 holes. After a quick discussion with parents and Junior Organisers it was decided the pair would continue their match in Sudden Death and go down the 1st hole once more, with Harry and Nathan supporting the pair by offering to caddy for their team mates. After holing clutch putts at the 19th and 20th hole Josh finally lost the 21st hole giving Sam Yates a victory which meant fittingly the first Inter Club Competition between the 2 clubs had finished in a very sporting 1-1 draw.

Plans are now in place for a return fixture at Staining Lodge in early August with the hope of better weather but the same level of fun, camaraderie and sportsmanship between all of our young golfers from both Clubs.