GOLF: Teenager Jones lands spot at Gecko Tour event after Centurion success

Ben Jones

Ben Jones

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Teenager Ben Jones has landed a place in a Gecko Tour event over the winter after winning the inaugural Golfing4Life Media Invitational at the excellent Centurion Club in Hertfordshire.

In a stellar amateur field that included English champion Dan Brown and British Women’s champion Sophie Lamb, the Brampton Heath member took the honours in a play-off.

After shooting a magnificent five-under-par round, the England Boys international got the better of Danny Daniels (Essendon) and Toby Briggs (Dunston Hall) with a birdie on the 18th hole.

James Byers, who is the founder of Golfing4Life, which is a charity that looks to develop the talents and skills of potential sporting greats, says Jones was a worthy winner.

He said: “Ben is obviously a really talented golfer, but he’s also a very rounded individual - the kind of person who this charity is trying to help. So we are delighted to offer him this opportunity to compete with the professionals in a Gecko Tour event.”

Jones’s prize for winning is a ‘free membership to The Gecko Tour’, include one free tournament entry to an event on the Costa Del Sol, with complimentary flight and accommodation.

County coaching

Northamptonshire’s leading golfers are being given the opportunity to take part in a strength and conditioning coaching programme over the winter months by Northamptonshire Golf Ltd.

As the county look to build on a successful year, particularly at junior and senior level, the first session involves 37 male and female players of all ages at Whittlebury Park GC on Sunday.

With a dozen of the county men’s first team squad attending, former Silverstone GC assistant pro Matt Parker and his team of sports specialists at Prevail Conditioning will offer advice and guidance in a bid to maximise performance.

NGL Director of Player Development Mike Gilbrook said: “Preparations are set to begin this weekend on building on Northamptonshire’s success last season.

“As well as giving the top county golfers the chance to use the latest advances in strength and conditions, some of the next generation of players, like Max Faulkner, Luis Witherall and Joseph Quinn, can gain from this experience.

“The county coaches will be joined by other local pros James Whittemore, Adam Chamberlain and Richard Cartwright, who will help run a set of skills tests throughout the day for all the players.”

NGL

Northamptonshire Golf Ltd have hailed their first full year as the organising body for golf in this county as a huge success.

After the men’s and ladies organisations became the first county in England to merge in February last year, the newly-formed NGL has undergone a collection of changes over the last 18 months.

Despite some understandable apprehension about how the new set up would operate, County president Roger Butler says the transition has been smooth.

Butler said: “Considering the other counties are watching how our merger has worked, with a view to them following our plan, there has been some pressure for us to get it right.

“I’m pleased to say we have got it right.

“The final accounts won’t be completed until next month, but we are on course to break even, which is a major achievement considering some of the unbudgeted expenses we have incurred.

“For example, a number of our county teams have reached regional or national finals, which is fantastic, but it does bring additional costs. It just shows that Northamptonshire Golf Ltd is being successful both on and off the golf course.”

Oundle

Oundle is looking forward to hosting more major Northamptonshire tournaments and matches after adding its name to the list of venues for the 2017 season.

The club, which proudly hosted the Men’s County Championships in 2007 and 2015, held the Vets Ladies Spring Meeting and Midland Seniors Autumn Cup last

season.

Despite being one of the oldest clubs in Northants, after forming in 1893, there had been rumours about financial problems, something club president Dave Foley was keen to dismiss.

He confirmed: “Oundle Golf Club has been in existence for 123 years and we can assure you that Oundle will remain in business or the next 123 years.”