The BCCS National Junior Golf Knockout 2023

Well what a weekend that was! The 2023 BCCS National Junior Golf Knockout was completed on the weekend of 30 September and 1 October with some amazing junior golfers playing some amazing golf, always in a wonderful spirit! Birdies and eagles were the norm on the weekend when the hotly contested finals got underway on Sunday. But first of all, there was the nerve-shredding semi-finals to complete on Saturday afternoon!

The four teams who had beaten every team they had been matched against since the first round in April and won their way through to finals weekend were:


Chelmsford Golf Club (Essex), represented by Daisy Litterbury, Lily Hawes, Megan Dawson and Caitlin Abercromby

Runners up:

Ashton under Lyne Golf Club (Manchester), represented by Danile Lyle, Isabella Moses, Rory Penning and Jacob Midgeley

Third place:

Ashby Decoy Golf Club (Scunthorpe), represented by Emelia Roach, Jenna Dixon, Connor Miller and Jacob Qualter

Fourth place:

Saltford Golf Club (Bristol), represented by Ava Hirons, Megan Wilde, Abigail Whittock and Amber Thorpe

That’s eleven girls out of 16 players in total, including two all-girls teams! More girls in the finals than boys!! An amazing achievement girls and long may it continue.

So Saturday afternoon saw Ashby Decoy take on Chelmsford in Match 1, while Saltford took on Ashton under Lyne in Match 2.

Match 1 was very close throughout with only ever 1 hole in it in either match, but towards the end Ashby Decoy “A” moved into a 2 hole lead after 18. If you thought Match “A” was close, then Match “B” was even closer, with Chelmsford holing a snaking downhiller on 18 to take the “B” match by 2 up. Aggregate score - all square. So the two lowest handicap players from both sides contested a sudden death play-off with Chelmsford holing a birdie putt on the second extra hole to seal their place in the final. Phew!

Match 2 between Saltford Girls and Ashton under Lyne was equally close with the first match, Match “A”, going to Saltford 1 up. But Ashton were nerveless under pressure coming down the stretch in Match “B” and managed a 2 up result. Aggregate score - 1 up to Ashton under Lyne overall. Phew again!

Straight off the course, quick change and on to the Gala Dinner, hosted by BCCS. There was a great atmosphere from the 40 players and spectators, family and supporters, and as Ian Restall remarked, the unique adapted pairs better ball format was the winner, with just 1 hole covering both teams over 36 holes of very competitive golf!

And so on to Sunday, where in the consolation Match, Saltford Girls were pitted against Ashby Decoy. The final was between Ashton under Lyne and Chelmsford.

In the first match Ashby Decoy played their hearts out, having been so close to the final on Saturday afternoon, and proved to be too strong, on the day, for Saltford Girls.

The final between Ashton under Lyne and Chelmsford, as expected, was extremely close. After 9 holes, there was nothing to choose between the two clubs. On the back 9 it remained nip and tuck all the way, until Chelmsford pulled ahead on 17 and held on through 18 for a 1 up lead. And if we thought the first match was close, the second was even closer with very little to choose between the two teams as the back 9 progressed. Ashton under Lyne were trailing by 1 with two holes to play but managed to birdie 17 to reach the 18th tee all square. A win on 18 for Ashton would have meant a play-off but try as hard as they might, they couldn’t find a putt when they needed one and so could only halve the hole, which meant Chelmsford winning the final by 1 up over the two matches. Phew again again!

So over the course of the two days, with 36 holes played, Chelmsford were all square after 18 on Saturday and 1 up overall on Sunday! Just one hole separated them after all that very competitive golf! So Chelmsford are the National Junior Golf knockout Champions! Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it!

No wonder Ian Restall remarked, in his presentation speech, that if the format was the winner on Saturday, then 16 absolutely fantastic junior golfers were undoubtedly the winners on Sunday!

Well done to you all!

Everyone present, competitors and spectators alike, commented on the excellent standard of golf on display, but just as importantly the spirit in which all the games were played. In this BCCS National Junior Golf Knockout format all the matches are played over 18 holes, with every hole counting to the eventual result. This meant that as one two-person team were never completely sure how the other two-person team were doing, and knowing that an aggregate score can change in the blink of an eye, the teams were focused and played their hearts out right to the very end. This made it great for the spectators, although we’re sure that the heartbeats of the Junior Organisers have only just returned to normal! It was that close, as befits a finals weekend of a national golf competition.

Plans are well advanced for next year’s tournament with the finals scheduled to be held on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 September 2024. Now there’s a date for your diary!

Tournament Manager: Ian Restall