Lily Buckley (17), who has been playing golf since the age of seven and competing in local contests since she earned her handicap at 12, was recently chosen to be the club’s junior golf captain after she was nominated by fellow club members.
The JCG student – currently balancing golf and A-level-studies – admits she takes great pride in the honour and believes her achievement could act as inspiration for others.
‘There are some really talented girls that I play with at the club but there are not a lot of girls my age playing golf on the Island,’ she said. ‘If there was more of us I think it would help to raise our standard massively.’
Buckley, a member of the Hampshire performance squad, who usually meet once a month to train, is aiming to reduce her handicap of six in 2021 while pushing for Island Games qualification – aided by an easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
‘Some of the top ladies at the club have given me really positive feedback and think if I can keep improving I could have what it takes to make the Island Games in 2023,’ she explained.
‘That has given me the motivation I need to push on in the next year or two and try to achieve that goal.
‘Getting to go away and play with girls my age and level [in Hampshire] really helps my game but unfortunately due to coronavirus a lot of the sessions this year have been cancelled. There have not been any contests this year due to coronavirus but I am still trying to get out and play as often as possible. It has been hard as I am having to prioritise my studying and the days are short and often wet and cold, which sometimes prevents you from playing.’
And Buckley will now have organisational duties to complete, too.
‘In previous years captains have helped organise teams to play against other clubs,’ she said.
‘I want to use my captaincy to try and act as a role model for others as I think it is really important to have someone to look up to in your sport.’