First Sapphire City Inter-School Golf Championship kicks off

Matthew Felton, Aidan Sparke and Darcy Walsh were the first to have their names engraved on the inaugural Sapphire City Inter-School Golf Championship trophy last Friday. 

The Macintyre High School trio had the lowest scores on the day, and won $500 for their school’s sports program. 

The competition was an attempt to kick start the sport in a younger local demographic, and offered all the participants a free nine month membership. It was a joint effort by Macintyre High teacher Peter Burgess and Gerard Wilkinson of Jack Newton Junior Golf. 

“It was a win win for the club and for the students, to give them the opportunity of something a little bit different,” Burgess said.

“The school golf opportunities really only cater for the elite golfer, so the idea was to try and provide an opportunity for your average joe to come out and enjoy the game of golf and have a bit of fun.”

Armidale pro golfer Andrew Walker came along to give the burgeoning sports stars a few tips and tricks.

“It looks like from the scores they had, they must have learnt something!” Wilkinson said.

He said the pro workshop and three person ambrose event made for a “wonderful experience for the kids”.

“All the students from the three high schools involved, Holy Trinity, Bundarra and Macintyre, did a great job and had great attitudes and respect as they should,” Burgess said.

“They were lucky enough to have lots of volunteers from the golf club who went out there and did a great job with the kids too - encouraging them and giving them a bit of help as they progressed around the six hole competition.”

The students each paid $5 to take part, with the final $150 donated to Inverell Golf Club for their junior activities. Burgess and Wilkinson hope to make the junior competition annual, and hope to see local primary schools as well as Inverell High School and Ashford Central School join in.