CONSETT have joined the growing list of North-East clubs setting up an academy course in an effort to attract juniors.

And they invited European Tour winner Graeme Storm – recently made a Durham County vice-president as a result of his efforts to promote junior golf – to officially open with a junior clinic and question and answer session.

The new blue tee course is a tribute to the foresight of club officials, especially junior organisers Mark Bonser and and Janet Turnbull.

They took on the job last year and after discussing what was needed to attract new juniors, decided a shortened academy course was the obvious first step.

“A long big course can seem very daunting for youngsters,” said Bonser, “and it can take out the fun element out of learning golf, so with generous sponsorship from local businesses we raised enough to set up a blue tee course with Tony McLure and his company TM Amenities, who has also helped us with the cost.”

Bonser also asked Storm is he would officially open the academy course and the club have also agreed to host one of Storm’s Mini-Tour events in the future and to help raise money for the Finlay Cooper Fund.

“We now plan to have a open day soon,” added Bonser, “and to invite any child and parent to come along and have a taster session and see what a fun environment a golf course can be.

“You never know we might find another Graeme Storm!”

Now in physiotherapy following his wrist operation, Storm congratulated Consett.

“It’s good to see the club providing facilities like this for young platers – it’s very much the way forward and more and more clubs in the North-East are going down that road.”

Consett have also added 13 more junior events into their fixture list this year and have plans for a Happy Gilmore tournament.

It’s an initiative that clearly works because Consett Juniors have just won the North West Durham League title and are in the semi-final of the knockout cup.

BEDALE’S Di Clark is one step closer to a round of a lifetime with a European Tour star after beating thousands of amateur golfers across England to make the final stage of the Bridgestone Chase Your Dream Trophy – and become England Golf’s Female Handicapper of the Year.

The Yorkshire golfer kept alive her dream of a place in the pro-am of the British Masters by qualifying from England Golf Week at Frilford Heath Golf – being one of just nine finalists to do so from a field of 60.

The competition, run by England Golf, began in the spring and a host of regional events have taken place.