AN action plan has been launched to get more young people playing golf and joining clubs in County Durham.

The four-year blueprint has been drawn up by the Durham men’s union and women’s county association, working in partnership with England Golf, to offer more opportunities to youngsters.

Christine Mair, chair of the Durham Golf Development Group, said: “We’ve got some great successes, like club events and coaching, county competitions, the Northern Junior Golf Tour, the Order of Merit and Girls Golf Rocks.

“We’re also thrilled that 11 young people from Co Durham are currently studying at university in the USA on golf scholarships.

“So, we know there’s plenty of interest in golf.

“But we want to get more young people involved.

“This plan will help us to show them that golf is a great game and that golf clubs are a good place to be, where they can enjoy themselves with their friends.”

The aims include getting clubs to sign a junior pledge to develop the game; to have a junior action plan in place by 2022; and to offer short courses or forward tees.

It also wants to encourage clubs to put players forward for county coaching and to have 30 clubs playing in the Durham County League by 2022.

The plan also envisages 30 clubs achieving the SafeGolf accreditation by 2022, to show they offer a safe place for young golfers.

The county organisations will be providing six-monthly updates on progress.

ROCKLIFFE Hall’s team won two accolades at the 59club’s Excellence Awards.

The annual awards, this year held at The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, recognised some of the highest-profile and best-loved golf venues across the globe.

Ben Hunt, Rockliffe’s clubhouse manager, won the Food and Beverage Manager of the Year Award and the golf course also won the Gold Flag Resort Award for the third year running.

Davy Cuthbertson, Golf Course and Estate Director at Rockliffe Hall, said: “It’s fabulous that Ben has won this much deserved award. He’s an absolute asset to the Rockliffe Hall team and an exceptional front of house manager, popular with staff and guests.

“We’re also thrilled to have come home, again, with the Gold Flag Resort Award.’’

CATTERICK’S Augusta Par 3 challenge saw Dex Olney and Ian Doughty finish jointly with Andy Smith and Alex Ayres. The final points winner of the nine hole challenge was Doughty.

The Winter league final was a stroke competition and saw Jed Benson edged out Wayne Farrow for the overall title. Anthony Martin was third.

Catterick are welcoming bookings for a quiz and three course meal on Friday evening.