LUCY JAMIESON heads into 2013 as part of a select squad of promising young golfers.
The 12 year-old from Heswall has been chosen for England Golf’s special coaching programme – just one of less than 100 girls from around the country to have made it through the selection process.
The West Kirby Grammar School pupil has been benefiting from the intensive winter training schedule on offer as part of the North West Birdies year one squad, which has just six members.
The programme includes regular sessions with Lancashire-based coach Jane Forrest at Formby Hall Golf Academy to improve the technical side while physio Kathryn Oddy offers guidance on the right regime of exercises, tailor-made to fit Lucy’s present physique and future growth.
“We have been very impressed by the help and support Lucy has received so far,” says mum Barbara.
“Her short game has shown the most improvement while she has a daily schedule of exercises which she has to report back on each week.
“They have been designed just for Lucy and the level of detail is very impressive.
“Lucy receives a video of her swing after each session by email with suggestions of where it needs tweaking. Jane also liaises with her regular coach to ensure there is no conflicting advice.”
And Lucy believes the sessions are helping her plan her future development far more easily.
“The coaching this winter has made my practise more structured and more frequent,” she added.
Lucy, whose regular coach is the renowned Alan Thompson at Heswall, comes from an impressive sporting pedigree.
Mum Barbara plays off one and is a former Yorkshire county player while dad Paul, who plays off four, played rugby union for Ulster.
Her grandad Frank Lowson opened the batting for both Yorkshire and England, partnering Len Hutton at the top of the order for both county and country.
Not that it is inevitable the sporting genes are passed on through the generations.
“Our eldest daughter Charlotte is less interested in sport, while Sophie, who is 15, plays golf off 19 but does not have the same level of interest as Lucy,” adds mum.
“Lucy loves all sports and played tennis for Cheshire when she was ten. But her main focus now is her golf and hockey.
“Both her dad and I are keen golfers so we obviously introduced her to the sport and she joined Heswall, where we are also members, at the age of ten and showed she had a real natural flair for golf.”
Lucy admits she has been bitten by the golfing bug.
“I enjoy golf because of the skill that it involves,” she says.
“I like being in the fresh air and it's great to play on different courses around the country.
“Golf is a great game for girls to play as you don't have to be fast or strong, but instead have skill and determination.”
The past 12 months has seen her handicap tumble from 24 to just 14 and Lucy hopes to keep up her rate of progress by getting down to low single figures inside the next two years.
But with Lucy only celebrating her 13th birthday in April, the family are resisting the temptation to push her too quickly and this year’s schedule will include as many relevant age group competitions as possible.
“To be honest Lucy just loves playing and the ladies at Heswall all enjoy playing with her in the competitions,” adds Barbara. “She is very chatty and isn’t fazed by being one of only a few girls playing. She is the sort to make new friends.”
The English Girls U13 championship in Devon and the northern girls equivalent, being held at Haydock Park, are on the calendar along with the Golf Society of Great Britain’s Young Masters series plus any continuing commitments with Cheshire Girls.
“Lucy is very keen to carry on learning,” says Barbara. “She is very good at taking on board the advice she is being given, absorbing the information and then putting it into practice.”
Looking further ahead, Lucy adds: “I would like to do my A levels at West Kirby GS and then hopefully go on a golfing scholarship to an American university.”
Georgia Ball (Huyton & Prescot) and Freya Johnson (Royal Liverpool) are also part of the North West Birdies year one squad after successfully coming through last year’s trials.