DURHAM City Golf Club has welcomed three young men with autism into golf as part of its pledge to be an inclusive club.

The club is working with the North-East Autism Society, based at Chester-le-Street, County Durham, and three new players – Steve, Lewis and Mark – have been taking golf lessons over the last few weeks.

The successful venture has been part-funded by England Golf after Durham City signed up to its Inclusive Club Pledge. As a result, the club will receive support to improve the experience of disabled people, bring inclusive thinking into the planning of further activities and build further links within their community.

Steve, Lewis and Mark have all been encouraged by Head Professional Tom Cranfield to develop their skills on the practice area, putting green and out on the course.

Tom, who is coaching disabled adults for the first time, said: “These sessions have been not only enjoyable but very rewarding personally and as a coach I have also learned such a lot.”

There’s a clear rapport between coach and students with lots of “high fives” exchanged during the sessions and some wonderful moments, such as Steve’s huge hug for Tom to show how much he enjoyed playing on the course.

Clubs which would like to sign up to the pledge, and show their commitment to including disabled people and making golf a game for all, should contact inclusiveclub@englandgolf.org

BEDALE, Richmond and Catterick Golf Clubs are celebrating the success of this year’s Dales Golf Festival.

This year was the Festival’s third year and saw the biggest entry yet. Competitors came from all parts of the country for the opportunity to play Bedale, Richmond and Catterick courses over three days.

As well as individual prizes for each day there were overall prizes for the three categories of Men, Ladies and Mixed teams of two.

Brian de la Haye from Catterick said: “We have been thrilled with the response this year with well over one hundred golfers participating each day. To have achieved this in only our third year shows how attractive it is to so many to come to this wonderful part of the country to enjoy golf over three great courses”.

Mike Mayman from Bedale added: “So many competitors have said they will definitely be back next year and we are starting to take bookings already!”

Steve Willis of Richmond said: “Everyone benefits from this event from the players, to the clubs and the local economy. A lot of visitors make it an excuse to have a longer stay in the area.”