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Monday, 20 October 2014

Westwood quest at Close House

THE Lee Westwoods of the future have the opportunity to develop their skills under a new scholarship at Close House Hotel.

The world number eight golfer, who is the hotel’s attached tour professional, has put his name to the Lee Westwood Scholarship at the Heddon-on-the-Wall resort in a bid to unearth the region’s next big thing in the sport.

One boy and one girl, aged between 12 and 16, from the North-East will benefit from the one-year scholarship, which comes with many perks at the luxury resort.

Included is junior membership, a monthly lesson with a PGA professional, and complimentary use of the state-of-the-art facilities.

But perhaps the biggest draw of the scholarship is the opportunity to meet Westwood himself on a visit to Tynedale.

The scheme is being managed by Close House golf operations manager Jonathan Greenwood, a PGA professional himself.

He said: “There are a lot of juniors out there with a lot of potential and we are trying to find, perhaps not the next Lee Westwood, but somebody who can go on to be a really good golfer but may not have the access to the right type of facilities.

“I was a junior golfer not that long ago and the costs with lessons, golf balls etc isn’t achievable for everybody so hopefully we can give a boy and a girl the chance to develop.”

The scholarship at Close House, which also boasts European Tour golfer Chris Paisley, of Mickley Square, as a tour pro, is an extension to the hard work put in at the resort to include younger members.

Greenwood said: “We already have a good youth section here. We did the Lee Westwood Golf School for three days which 50 children attended, and the scholarship is an addition to what is already a great junior programme.

“There is only one position in the scholarship, but all the other junior work is for everybody.”

Applications for the scholarship closes on Monday, March 11, with applicants then assessed in a 20 minute session on either March 16 and 17.

The numbers will then be whittled down to just six boys and six girls, and they will be invited back on March 23 for a more intense assessment day. From there, the beneficiary of the scholarship will be chosen.

For application forms, contact Jonathan Greenwood on (01661) 852953 or email: jonathan.greenwood@closehouse.co.uk.

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