Emily Fearns-Nicol, Tom Parker-Thompson, Sam Johnson and Cameron Walker represented Caldy in the annual exchange programme in Sweden from Sunday 5th August to 12th August.
Participating clubs from England are Royal Liverpool, Royal Birkdale and Caldy with Falsterbo, Flommens and Ljunghusen representing the Swedes.
Each club is represented by 4 juniors and they play competitive golf over the week with the winners receiving the Pinnington Pot. The competition was varied over the six days with a scramble, greensomes, fourball better balls and finishing with singles on the final day.
The exchange originated in 2002 by Royal Liverpool member Joe Pinnington who was living in Sweden at the time. The original three clubs were Hoylake, Birkdale and Formby. Caldy became involved in 2014 when Formby decided they could no longer be involved and we are now their permanent replacement.
The courses played were all of high quality with different challenges on each. Flommens in English means little pools. I can advise the pools were far from little and with the constant off shore wind causing problems it was a challenging course. . Ljunghusen means houses of heather which was an appropriate description. Falsterbo is a typical links course and extremely difficult. The first visit to Falsterbo was somewhat spoilt by an invasion of mosquitoes who went for the English in a big way. They didn’t seem to bother the Swedes!!
The English players adapted brilliantly to the varied conditions and the Caldy juniors all played well and contributed a large number of points to the English total. The final result was 28-14 for England which was their first victory for us in 4 years.
The overall trip was a resounding success. The Swedish courses were all good quality, the hospitality was simply superb and everywhere we went the people were friendly and helpful. The youngsters all played good golf and their behaviour was impeccable. Junior golf in the area we visited is thriving. Ljunghusen has 300 juniors with 200 at Flommens. This is remarkable compared to the numbers of junior golfers that clubs in this country have. The Swedes invest large sums of money into junior golf with the budget at Ljunghusen a quite staggering at £150000 p.a. The area is a major holiday resort which obviously helps and golf is very much a family affair. I feel we in the UK could learn a lot from their approach.
The adult leads for the Caldy team were Ray and Wendy Simm. A huge thank you goes to Mark Shields for his impeccable organisation of the trip.
We all look forward to the return of the Swedish clubs to the UK in 2019.