Ringwood Golf Club has a wonderful history of junior development with a number of current members having started their golfing career as a junior at the club.  A number of those juniors have had a significant involvement and impact on the club which has been recognised with Life membership*.  Members who started out as Juniors still active in the club are: Geoff Wallis*, Grant Stack*, Nic Walton, Nathan Chua, Leigh Biggerstaff, Nick Plant, Darren Jewell, Dani Carter & Ken Jenkins.

In 2012, Laurie Shaw, a member of the club match committee at the time, proposed a motion to the RGC General committee to form a junior development group. This was a passion of  Laurie and his wife Wendy to get more juniors at the club.  

With the juniors development squad approved, the ball started rolling quickly.  The Maroondah Leisure Pro Shop manager, Heide was supportive of the program by providing a regular tee time for the juniors every second Sunday afternoon, lots of promotion was done to let everyone know that there was the opportunity for juniors to learn golf at the club was now available. A number of local schools were contacted to drive interest for the program utilising school sports days. Sean Buncle who was assisting Laurie with the program ran these school sessions as part of his Phys Ed teacher development program.

The first Sunday saw a number of kids come along eager to learn the game and there were a number of club members ready to greet them and help them start their golfing journey.  Among these were Steve Dykes, Donna Carter, Eric Yong, Julia Lim, Rob Shaw and of course Laurie displaying his trademark enthusiasm and passion for the juniors.

To help the kids develop their skills, a couple of members who had good skills in certain aspects of the game came along to teach the kids, Grant Stack focused on bunker play and Noel Proudley focused on putting. The club also utilised the Driving range in Bayswater on a regular basis to continue the juniors development under the guidance of the golf pro from the range.

To help ease the cost burden on the club, the Golf Clearance centre in Huntingdale donated a set of golf clubs that was the major prize in a raffle.  The money raised was used to provide funds for equipment and golf outings for the juniors.  With the initial funds in the bank, the club treasurer at the time worked his magic with the club budget to provide funds each year for the Junior Development program.

As part of the development program, golf trips were made to:

  • Kingston Heath Golf course to watch the Australian masters Pro am with the highlight being watching Tiger Woods and Shane Warne in the same group.  
  • Euroa Golf Club to play match play against the juniors from the area
  • Marysville Golf club  to play match play against the juniors from the area

All of these trips and the fortnightly sessions had a number of members and the parents of the kids supporting and assisting to make the trips successful. 

Once the kids had developed their skills which was a few years in, a junior pennant team was registered with the VGL and in the team’s second year, they reached the final and were runners up to Camberwell Golf Club, which was a great effort for such a young group both in years and golfing experience.

A focus of the program from the outset was encouraging everyone to join the program with a strong sense of diversity which had 3 enthusiastic girls in the program, Rachelle & Serena Yong as well as Sophie Cantwell (Lauries grand daughter) who unfortunately didn’t get bitten by the golfing bug and did not continue playing golf.  A number of the juniors did get bitten by the golfing bug and they had some significant achievements in club events.

Daryl Meehan Trophy

2013 – Sean Buncle & Chris Wilson

2015 – Nic Walton & Leigh Biggerstaff

Stableford Championship

2013 – Nathan Chau

2021 – Leigh Biggerstaff

D Grade Champion

2011 – Trent Goodey

2013 – Chris Wilson

Junior Champion

2011 – Trent Goodey 

2012 – Glen Van Blaricum 

2013, 2014 & 2015 – Daisiuke Nakajima 

2016, 2019 & 2020 – Nathan Chau 

2017 & 2018 – Nic Walton

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