Dorset County Golf Union

How do I get into a County Squad?

Competing at County level allows you to play with and against the best golfers in the area, and the opportunity to represent Dorset when playing against other counties. However, the path for getting recognized by the Dorset County Golf Union (DGCU) to be selected for a Squad may not be obvious.

There is no magic behind selection. The DCGU Junior Squads are selected on gross performance and recent form. Handicaps are purely an indicator, so having a handicap lower than others does not offer any guarantee for Squad selection. Getting a low handicap by only ever playing at your own club will unfortunately not prove your experience or ability to quickly adapt to other types of courses. If you aren’t out there playing in events that will get you noticed, its very hard for you to be selected because we cannot see your performance in rounds where your peers are also playing.

Participation in a County Squad also requires some dedication. You may be asked to play in matches all over the county as well as matches in other counties. Often, we expect these matches to take precedence over your club monthly competitions or other club matches. Your priorities as a player should be in this order: Country, County, Club. Be sure that you are ready for that kind of commitment.

Here are a few pointers for making sure you are on the radar for possible selection.

Under 14’s Squad

The Under 14’s Squad is the first rung of the ladder. It is the youngest squad that is operated by the DCGU, and training sessions are run through the winter period, with inter-county matches played during the summer for those lucky enough to be selected for the 6 person team.

Some of the paths for getting noticed for the Under 14’s Squad are:

  • Involvement in the County Partnership Academies – The County Academies are a great feeding system for the Under 14’s Squad. The Coaches who run the Academies are in close contact with the DCGU, and supply a list of candidates for consideration when Squad selection time comes.
  • Peter Alliss Trophy – Participation in the Peter Alliss Trophy is a sure way of seeing how you compete against your peers. Although the qualifying rounds are Stableford, this competition is watched closely for emerging young talent.
  • Henderson Trophy – If you have progressed enough to be below a 12 handicap, you can play in the Henderson Trophy. Any Under 14’s who are playing in this competition will be watched closely for consideration.
  • Age Groups Championships – The Age Groups Champs are an opportunity to play against other boys your age (based on year of birth, not school year). It is a Stableford for Under 12’s and Stroke Play for U13’s and U14’s. Again, this is a very clear indication of how you compare against your peers.
  • OOM Club Junior Opens – Each year, a number of Club Junior Opens are chosen to make up the DCGU Junior Order Of Merit. Scores from these competitions are watched the DCGU. Currently, a top 6 finishing position in the OOM will automatically grant you a Squad place. The Order Of Merit can be seen on the Junior section of the DCGU web site.
  • Cyril Nash Trophy – This competition is played once a year, and is a good place to get noticed.
  • County Boys Foursomes – This is a great competition to hook up with a friend and test your golf in a Foursomes format.

Under 16’s Squad

The newly formed Under 16’s Squad is the second rung of the ladder. Involvement in the Under 14’s Squad is not a guarantee for moving straight into the Under 16’s Squad. As an indication, members of the Under 16’s Squad will usually be mid to low single-figure handicaps. Again, training sessions are run through the winter period, with inter-county matches played during the summer for those lucky enough to be selected for the 8 person team.

Some of the paths for getting noticed for the Under 16’s Squad are:

  • Involvement in the County Partnership Academies – The County Academies are a feeder system for the Under 16’s Squad, but boys need to be playing actively in County Competitions as well.
  • Henderson Trophy – If you have progressed enough to be below a 12 handicap, you can play in the Henderson Trophy. Any Under 14’s who are playing in this competition will be watched closely for consideration.
  • Age Groups Championships – The Age Groups Champs are an opportunity to play against other boys your age (based on year of birth, not school year). It is Stroke Play for U15’s and U16’s. Again, this is a very clear indication of how you compare against your peers.
  • Boys County Championships – The County Champs is the main junior championship event of the year, and a good performance in this will certainly get you noticed.
  • OOM Club Junior Opens – Each year, a number of Club Junior Opens are chosen to make up the DCGU Junior Order Of Merit. Scores from these competitions are watched the DCGU. Currently, a Top 6 finishing position in the OOM will automatically grant you a Squad place. The Order Of Merit can be seen on the Junior section of the DCGU web site.
  • Cyril Nash Trophy – This competition is played once a year, and is a good place to get noticed.
  • County Boys Foursomes – This is a great competition to hook up with a friend and test your golf in a Foursomes format.

Under 18’s Squad

The Under 18’s Squad usually consists of the best junior players in Dorset. Involvement in the Under 16’s Squad is not a guarantee for moving straight into the Under 18’s Squad. As an indication, members of the Under 18’s Squad will usually be low single-figure handicaps. Again, training sessions are run through the winter period, with inter-county matches played during the summer for those lucky enough to be selected for the 8 person team.

Some of the paths for getting noticed for the Under 18’s Squad are:

  • Henderson Trophy – If you have progressed enough to be below a 12 handicap, you can play in the Henderson Trophy. Any Under 14’s who are playing in this competition will be watched closely for consideration.
  • Boys County Championships – The County Champs is the main junior championship event of the year, and a good performance in this will certainly get you noticed.
  • OOM Club Junior Opens – Each year, a number of Club Junior Opens are chosen to make up the DCGU Junior Order Of Merit. Scores from these competitions are watched the DCGU. Currently, a Top 6 finishing position in the OOM will automatically grant you a Squad place. The Order Of Merit can be seen on the Junior section of the DCGU web site.
  • County Boys Foursomes – This is a great competition to hook up with a friend and test your golf in a Foursomes format.
  • County Mens Championships – Older boys with low handicap are more than ready to play in the County Men’s Championships.
  • County Mens Strokeplay Championships – Scratch and Handicap

So, there is ample opportunity to get noticed by County for consideration to be selected into one of the Squads. In short, if we don't see you playing, it’s hard for us to know about you and how you compare to others, so get seen and get involved.

SW Coaching Squads

Each year England Golf seeks talented youngsters from across the country to form 30 regional coaching squads for training over the winter months.  Irrespective of wether you are in a County Squad individuals can apply directly for one of these squads follow the link below for full detail and application form.

http://www.englandgolf.org/page.aspx?sitesectionid=859&sitesectiontitle=How+do+I+get+on+the+Womens+England+Team%3f&preview=1






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