Ian keen to attract people to his sport

Ian Harvey, the new county development officer for golf in Northumberland.

Ian Harvey, the new county development officer for golf in Northumberland.

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IAN Harvey has a driving ambition – to get more people in Northumberland playing golf.

The 22-year-old is the new county development officer for the Northumberland Golf Partnership.

Ian, a member at Whickham Golf Club since he was 12, will be helping to spearhead the programme to provide opportunities for potential golfers of all ages and abilities to take up the sport.

He will be working with the Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs, the Northumberland Ladies County Golf Association, the Northumberland Junior Golfing Association and the Professional Golfers’ Association to deliver a wide range of projects across the county, which will open up golf to everyone from absolute beginners to those who want to get back into a sport they enjoyed in their younger days.

The six handicapper, who graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BSc Sports Coaching degree, has previously worked as School PE/Sport Co-ordinator for the Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick.

The former Whickham School and Sports College student said: “I am looking forward to sharing my passion and drive for golf. Hopefully, I can make a real difference in Northumberland and help increase the opportunities for more people to be involved in the sport.

“I feel so lucky to be able to do a job that I have a real passion for in an area that has so many great golf courses and clubs.”

Clubs across Northumberland are already backing a national Get into Golf campaign, which offers free taster sessions and discounted coaching, and Ian will be looking to build on its early success.

Get into Golf is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Partnerships that work to grow the game.

The opportunities include free or low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf and a great way to make new friends.

Discounted lessons can cost as little as £20 for a four-week course.

In Northumberland, the county partnership is supported by the Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs, the Northumberland Ladies County Golf Association, the Northumberland Junior Golfing Association and the Professional Golfers’ Association.

For more details of the activities available across the county, visit www.northumberlandcgp.co.uk

• Beginner courses for adults are taking place over the next few weeks, including two at the N1 Golf Centre near Morpeth.

They will be held on four consecutive Saturdays from July 20 (sessions from 11am to 12.30pm) and four consecutive Sundays from July 21 (sessions from 3pm to 4.30pm).

Matfen Hall Golf Club is also hosting the course on four consecutive Tuesdays between 6pm and 7pm from July 30.

The price for each one is £20. Equipment will be provided. For more information, telephone 01670 519090 or 01661 886400 respectively.

• A Ponteland Golf Club player went extremely close to winning the Northumberland County Championship, which was held at Tynemouth Golf Club.

Chris Petts came through qualifying and won three matchplay games to reach Saturday’s final.

The contest with Andrew Minnikin (The Northumberland) was all square after 36 holes, but Petts scored five on the first extra hole and his opponent played the hole in four strokes.