Yaseen and Gracie rise to the Up to Scratch Challenge

YASEEN MOHAMMED and Gracie Thompson are this year's winners in Leeds Golf Centre's Up to Scratch Challenge.

Finalists in the open age and junior categories of the Up to Scratch Challenge.
Finalists in the open age and junior categories of the Up to Scratch Challenge.

More than 700 beginners from across the region applied to try their hand – or rather both hands – at golf for the first time, at Wike Ridge.

Over seven weeks those selected were given golf lessons.

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In the penultimate stage of the Challenge, the players then competed with one another across three holes. The players with the lowest scores progressed to the knockout stages.

Here Gracie won the inaugural Junior Up to Scratch Challenge, which launched this year as part of Leeds Golf Centre’s initiative to encourage players of all abilities and ages to enjoy the sport.

In the last stage of the three-hole knockout, Gracie shot 13 to win by three from joint runners-up Connie Craven and Fred Miller.

Gracie won a year’s academy membership, which gives her access to the par-3 course and discounted rates for practice and tuition.

Yaseen beat Nathan Young in the open age category semi-final and defeated Brian Underhill in the final by taking just nine shots for the three holes.

His prize is a year’s free full membership to Wike Ridge GC.

Yaseen said: “I’m so thrilled to have won the Up to Scratch Challenge. I have loved every minute of the experience and I will definitely continue to play.

“The instruction we received was top quality. I would definitely recommend taking part in the Up to Scratch Challenge – it’s completely changed my perception of the sport and I love having a new skill.”

Joe Feather, professional instructor at Leeds Golf Centre, said: “I am really proud of all the players, not only for improving so much over the last six weeks, but also for the sportsmanship all of them have shown.

“All the instructors were really impressed with the skill shown on the day and it really showed that the Challenge has achieved what it set out to do.

“Not only did everyone demonstrate a competent and consistent golf swing, the upbeat atmosphere that has been present throughout the seven weeks shone through in the final challenge. The challenge has got each and every participant enjoying the sport, and that’s the overwhelming success of it.”