GOLF in our area has taken a hit in recent times, with dwindling club memberships and people leaving the sport.

However, I think we are currently seeing the beginning of a golf boom in Furness and every club seems to be seeing the rewards.

Memberships are now on the increase, competition entries have seen an upturn and importantly the number of junior golfers is definitely on the up.

This week saw the finals of the Furness Schools Tri-Golf competition. For those of you not familiar with tri-golf, it is a game-based version of golf using plastic clubs and sponge balls which I take into the primary schools.

The children use putters and chippers to get balls through and over and hit cones to score points, and it is an enjoyable first experience of the game for them.

This year I took the game to more than 1,000 primary school-children and it culminated in the area finals at Hoops on Tuesday.

With six teams qualifying for each age group category we had 120 children taking part in the finals where Victoria Academy year 3/4 team and also their year 5/6 team came out victorious and now progress to the Cumbria School Games Finals at Carlisle on July 12. Well done to everyone who played, to those who qualified for the finals and especially to Victoria Academy and Mrs Stanway and Mr Rutherford for winning.

Talking of winners, congratulations must also go to Ulverston’s Rus Henry (pictured below) who won the Evening Mail at Furness last weekend. A great score of 64 saw Rus head the field and claim the Festival of Britain Trophy and the title Evening Mail Champion Golfer of the Year.

A special mention must also go to Rus’s brother Kev who got the biggest cheer of the night as he turned up for the presentation in the nick of time to listen to Rus’s speech....he’d already missed the rest!

Jon Clarke also deserves a mention as his two-under gross 69 claimed the scratch prize in the worst of the weather.

Looking forward, we have lots to play in. It’s the BMW Open at Barrow this weekend and club competitions at all the other local clubs. Good luck to everyone playing and hope you score low.