A FAMOUS Whitchurch golf course says it is to make 2024 a year for junior golfers with free memberships to celebrate recent success.

Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa, close to the A49 in Whitchurch, is celebrating a bumper year for junior golfers as it invests in its youth engagement program, offering free memberships for 2024.

The move to give free memberships comes from data from the guardians of golf, The Royal and Ancient (R&A), which showed how free memberships for under-18s has boosted participation in the sport.


At Hill Valley, one success story includes junior captain Lauren Crump as the 13-year-old reduced her handicap to +3, won the R&A U14s Championship and finished fourth in the R&A U16s Championship, the highest place finish for an English female.

She then went on to win the Shropshire and Herefordshire Ladies Championship, breaking the course record at The Wrekin Golf Club.

Lauren reached the last eight in the English Under 18s Championships and performed amazingly in the Ladies British Open qualifying round at the Buckinghamshire Golf Club narrowly missing out on qualifying. Lauren also broke the Ladies course record at Hill Valley with a gross 67, 6 under par.

Rob Ashbrook is head professional at the club said the success of the youngster programme is clear to all.

He said: “I’m proud of what we’ve built and as a Shropshire and Herefordshire county coach, it’s great to see our club leading the way in junior golf.

“We’ve seen amazing results from our juniors including Charlie Boys being selected for the Midland England Regional boys squad and Lauren selected again for the Midland Ladies squad.

“It’s great we can offer free memberships to break down barriers for the sport.

“I look forward to working closely with our younger players and encouraging more kids to pick up a club through our school’s outreach this year, all to enable this sport to flourish.”

Hill Valley currently has 30 junior members with a further 40 academy junior members who receive regular coaching on the pathway to full membership.

Lauren’s sister Lucy has also had a great year, and now has her sights on the Hill Valley record.

She won the Shropshire and Herefordshire Handicap Championships and represented the county in the U14s, U16s and U18s age groups. 

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In the boys junior competitions, both Marcus Wildblood and Will Aston-Stott represented the county in their various age groups.

Charlie Boys won both the Spring Cup and the Shropshire and Herefordshire Boys Championships and even received an England regional Squad call up in October.

For more information, please visit www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/hill-valley