Everything for the team, or?

This weekend saw the top counties in England come together in the County Finals. The normally very difficult to beat Yorkshire were not there this year, as they failed to qualify. Instead Lancashire and Leicestershire & Rutland went head to head on the last day at Hollinwell. In the end, Lancashire proved the strongest team and could return home with the trophy.

County Champions - Lancashire

County Champions - Lancashire

For as long as any golfer in England can remember County golf and the County Championships have been the backbone of English Amateur Golf. There are now several signs suggesting that this is starting to change and with the competitive programme of individual amateur golf, both nationally and internationally, being as congested as it is many counties are reporting difficulties attracting their players to the county fixtures, especially the league matches. What consequences could this have?

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if county golf was to disappear then very shortly after that we would also see the death of elite golf, as we know it in England. Golf is an individual sport at the World Class end but in order to get there players need a lot of support and help. What we are seeing more and more of around the world are the individuals finding their own way with very strong backing of parents and a ‘micro system’ surrounding them with help and support. Those players will probably make it to realise their potential even without the collective system. The players without the money and the right connections who have not got the people with time on their hands to support them however will have absolutely no chance.  And as those players are still the vast majority of the players in the game we better find a very quick solution to how we can not just keep, but increase the interest of both counties and clubs in trying to develop good players. Is the answer to try and go back to where we were? Most probably not. Is there another answer out there somewhere? For sure! Let us just dig deep in our collective minds to try and find it! 

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