RGS golfers proud to represent Yorkshire

Two rising young RGS golfers are proud to represent Yorkshire in the sport. Read about William Hixon and Beatrice Pickles-Mercer, below

PROMISING young golfer William Hixon was delighted to represent Yorkshire at the Northern Region Boys Championship finals.

The honour comes as the Ripon Grammar School sixth former prepares to head to the United States in August for the next stage of his career.

The 18-year-old has been awarded a $100,000 athletic scholarship at Bluefield State University in West Virginia.

His US coach, Samuel Berry (pictured with William), came to meet him at Pannal Golf Club in June, where he explained in-depth his plans for the golf programme he’s developing at the university.

William, who captains Harrogate and District Union of Golf Clubs and has a handicap of 0.8, was pursued by several American universities.

The teenager, who has been selected for Yorkshire U16s three times and won the Harrogate and District junior championships two years' running, came 12th out of 37 entrants at the Northern regional finals, despite missing out on the practice round as he was competing in the Yorkshire Boys Championships the day before.

William chose to attend Bluefield State University, where annual fees are nearly $30,000, after beating off stiff competition from more than 1,000 applicants to win one of just ten coveted scholarships on a prestigious golfing programme headed up by British coach Berry.

In addition to the outstanding training and practice facilities, William was attracted by the exciting sporting schedule, which includes regional and national championships and tournaments in Hawaii, Florida and San Francisco.

Coach Berry says: “William is not only an exceptional student, but also an outstanding golfer. He has raw talent and the sky is the limit for this young man.

“My goal with William is to prepare him for a career in professional golf after his four years with me. William has all the attributes to play golf at the highest of levels.”

William is looking forward to receiving his own autographed golf bag when he arrives in the States

RISING golf star Beatrice Pickles-Mercer is another member of the RGS golf team representing her county.

With her handicap of 12.3 fast going down, sixth former Beatrice, from Easingwold, is playing golf every night and doing strength training in a bid to improve further.

As the Junior Captain of Easingwold Golf Club last year, Beatrice, 16, also received the RGS Sports Award prize for female golfer of the year.

Playing since the age of seven, she was previously awarded the Millennium Putter trophy at Easingwold Golf Club and says her Yorkshire selection is the highlight of her golfing career to date.

She first took up the sport when her family lived in France after watching golf on TV sparked her interest.

Once they moved back to England, she joined her local club and began playing for the RGS golf team.

The Year 12 student, who plans to study medicine at university and enjoys choir and dance, now wants to get her handicap to single figures and aims to play for Yorkshire.

She would encourage other students to take up the sport: “It’s a social sport because you meet and learn things about lots of new people. Also, golf clubs tend to be very close communities.”

She says you need patience and resilience to succeed: “And also the right mindset whereby you can move on from a bad shot.

“The main enjoyment I get from golf is that you can see and tell when your game is improving and what you need to improve on through many things like handicaps, so you can make the changes you need to improve."