Northamptonshire Golf Ltd believe the selection of amateur golfer Ben Jones for the 2021 Walker Cup team further emphasises how local talent is being given the opportunity to realise their potential.
Jones will make county history later this month when he becomes the first golfer from Northamptonshire to play for GB and Ireland in the 99-year history of the biennial match against the USA.
Despite playing for one of the smallest golf counties in the country, the 21-year-old’s call-up has not surprised anyone at the NGL as he joins a long list of top golfers to enjoy success whilst coming through the Northamptonshire ranks in recent years.
County and England team-mate Callum Farr was in the provisional Walker Cup squad, while professionals Gary Boyd and Ryan Evans were both reserves in their amateur days, before going on to play on the European Tour.
The ladies game has been even more successful with Charley Hull and Meghan MacLaren both representing their countries at amateur level, before winning a series of international events as professionals.
NGL Secretary John Pearson admitted: “We are all delighted for Ben that he has been picked for the Walker Cup – it is a great honour personally and for the county. He has all our best wishes for success in Florida.
“With just 24 clubs, Northamptonshire is one of the very smallest golfing counties compared with someone like Yorkshire, who have almost 200, but our golfers consistently punch above their weight.
“In recent years, the Men’s, Seniors and Juniors teams have all won their prestigious Anglian League titles – with the Seniors and Juniors both adding Midland crowns and reaching the National County Finals.
“Charley Hull and Meghan MacLaren are now firmly established in the ladies professional ranks following distinguished amateur careers.
“The results achieved by the NGL development programme are the envy of many bigger, wealthier counties and we must give credit to the work of the County coaches, the dedication of the players and the organisational skills of the board in planning and funding the programme on a very tight budget.
“We are sure their successes will be an inspiration to the County’s many talented and aspiring youngsters. It will also assure Northamptonshire’s golfers that their affiliation fees are being well spent.”
Jones agreed: “To have Callum in the provisional Walker Cup squad just shows the strength in depth in Northamptonshire of the younger lads, and especially in my years.
“We all bonded together, practiced, trained and played with each other – and we had some good results. So it’s nice that everyone is playing such good golf.”