Chris Wood helps to grow the game of golf

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What a treat for the Gloucestershire Golf Union Under 18 squad to have the privilege of playing golf with existing and past European Tour professional golfers today at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club.

During the busy Christmas holiday period, Chris Wood, Stuart Little and others gave up their time to share their skills and experiences with budding young golfers.

Chris Wood said, "The experience of the Gloucestershire Golf Union (GGU) provided a stepping stone for me to becoming a professional golfer. It wasn't just the golfing experience that I relished, it was also the friendships I formed. In fact I'm still really good friends with some of the guys I played County golf with 10 years' ago.

It's great to see the coaching programmes in which the GGU is investing to support our talented young players. I was in this position 10 years' ago, and I'm sure the goal of the GGU is to produce more and more European Tour players in the future.

Outgoing Men's First Team Captain, Andy Rudge and Incoming Captain this year, Paul Garland, both said, "It's great to have witnessed amateur golfers who have come through the ranks of the GGU turn professional and come back and offer their time as well as their invaluable experience to our junior squad. It's not every day that you get the chance to play golf with a Ryder Cup player!"

Stuart Little, ex-European Tour player said, " In 2003, I was playing in the same winter get together with Chris Wood when he was in the GGU under 18 squad and it's great to see how well he's done; some-one of his stature magnanimously giving back to his grass roots is inspirational. It's also a great opportunity for our junior squad to see how good you need to be to make it in golf."

Gary Ward, manager of the Under 18 squad said, "What a hugely inspirational experience for our juniors today at Burnham & Berrow. The Christmas get-together underpins the ethos of the GGU where we bring together the sum of the past and the present to create an environment of learning for the future. I would like to thank Chris Wood, Stuart Little, Jamie Dick, Guiseppe Licata, Mitch Waite and Andy Rudge for their generosity to Gloucestershire Golf Union. Let's hope we can provide the stepping stones for more junior golfers to follow in their footsteps."

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