Junior Golf Programme
“Junior golf in Cayman is going from strength to strength.
The CIGA junior programme is designed to provide an opportunity for children ages 7 through 18 to develop their golf skills, competition skills, and relationships with their peers.
Explore this page to see all the exciting opportunities we have planned.”
Robin Jarvis, Joel Dobson, James Walton & Lana Jarvis – Junior Golf Committee
Our junior programme has built on the success of last year and I would like to take this opportunity to thank James Walton (also CIGA’s VP) and Siobhan Ribbins once again for all the time they have put in. They are both stepping down from the CIGA board this year. For 2017 we will be forming a Junior Sub Committee, with one/two members also sitting on and reporting to the main board. James and Siobhan will work with the new committee during the transition. My thanks to all the parents who have volunteered to be part of this and I look forward to what their energy, ideas and enthusiasm bring to junior golf over the course of the next year.
My thanks again also go to Brad de Schiffert and the NSGC team for their considerable ongoing efforts with the juniors. Brad and the team continue to run numerous junior sessions each week with around 70 kids participating as well as Spring and Summer Camps. Going forward, Brad will continue to focus his efforts on the younger juniors channelling much of his own boundless energy and enthusiasm into the programme and ensuring that the feeder system up to the next stage is well stocked with potential. In addition, we are delighted to welcome Tim Dwyer from RCGC into the junior initiative. He will be working actively with some of the older juniors and the National Team Squad. Both Brad and Tim will be part of the Junior SubCommittee where I’m sure their contributions will be invaluable in driving the programme forward to new heights in terms of both numbers and achievements.
An introductory programme taking golf to pupils at the Sir John A Cumber School in West Bay was run in April/May in which the NSGC team devoted approximately 200 man hours to this effort and over 100 kids were exposed to the game for the first time. The second phase of this initiative commenced in early November with selected pupils being transported to the club for continued instruction, all bedecked in TRAC Automotive’s ‘Rickie’ shirts.
I was delighted to be able to meet with Alison White, R&A Assistant Director of Golf Development over the summer. It has again committed to provide us with more junior golf equipment when we need it and indicated an increase in our grant for 2017 for which we are most grateful. Alison made a point of saying how pleased the R&A was to see the progress being made in our junior programme and especially to see a Cayman entrant in the Junior Open. This was held in July at Kilmarnock Barassie, Scotland, in the week of The Open - Joe Purton represented Cayman well and was unlucky to miss the final round cut on the number.
CIGA sent a team of 6 golfers to the CAJGC at Barbados Golf Club in July where all the golfers performed well. Aaron Jarvis and Justin Hastings placed first and second respectively in the boys 11-13 category. The margin between Aaron and Justin and third place was significant and while Aaron moves up an age group, we have high hopes that Justin will be able to retain the Bob Slatter trophy for Cayman in Trinidad and Tobago in 2017. We were also delighted to send Holly McLean as the first girl team member in some years. She performed extremely well and we are already seeing this success drive the interest and standard of girls’ golf generally and we hope to send more girls to the CAJGC in 2017.
Andrew Jarvis, in his last year of Junior golf, again qualified to represent the men’s team for the CAGC in Bahamas in July and represented Cayman in the prestigious World Amateur Team Championships in Mexico in September. After a strong showing in the Men’s Amateur Championships in August it is evident that our junior golfers will play a more significant role on the men’s team in the foreseeable future.
The CI Junior Championships were held in October at North Sound Golf Club in the 3rd year sponsorship agreement with HighWater. Over 30 juniors participated and the standard of golf was high with Holly McClean and Andrew Jarvis taking the main championships. The Champion junior golfers received support from HighWater to play in an overseas golf tournament to develop their competitive experience.
The success of the Digicel Junior golf series in 2016 played a significant part in providing the opportunity to play regular competitive golf on-island and we have seen this flow through to an extremely successful overseas season for our junior golfers. Tournament wins in Florida for Aaron Jarvis and Justin and Andy Hastings is a sign of the level of golf that is being played on island. The continued commitment from Digicel to support the series in 2017 will allow us to develop further our juniors’ competition experience. The smooth running of all these on-island tournaments have only been possible with significant support from NSGC and CIGA members and parents.
We have twelve of our young golfers travelling to Doral in December for one of the biggest events on the US juniors’ calendar, the Publix Junior Golf Classic and are excited to see how they perform.
It is important to remember where we have come from – it was July 2013, only 3 ½ years ago, that we hosted the Caribbean Amateur Junior Golf Championships. This marked the ‘re-birth’ of our junior program and much has been achieved in a short period of time.
2016 was again a good year for our juniors and we look forward to an even more successful 2017!