As with all sports, golf has suffered this year at the hands of the pandemic. However, that has not stopped the school’s golf team from having a great season so far, and with the recent arrival of our new state-of-the-art golf simulator, boys have not missed out on vital practice.
Shortly before golf courses were forced to close earlier this month, Finlay Cummings (Upper Sixth), Louis Densham (Upper Sixth), Lawrence Jeffreys (Lower Sixth), Alex Robins (Lower Sixth), Freddie Tucker (Remove), and Jack Peters (Remove) all shone at the HMC Foursomes when they competed against schools such as Rossall, Whitgift and Tonbridge. After months of lockdown earlier in the year, it was wonderful to see them win first place, and going through to the next round – hopefully, to be played in December.
Additionally, we were thrilled to hear that Upper Sixth Former and golf scholar Finlay Cummings received an unconditional offer, with a conditional scholarship, at Harding University, Arkansas, USA, where he will receive collegiate coaching from golf coach Dustin Howell. Finlay hopes to take his golf to a professional level while also studying for a degree in Business, as well as enjoying university life on campus in a new country.
Finlay, who has been at Bedford School since he was seven years old, gained a golf scholarship as he entered the Upper School and is now captain of the school golf team. Master in Charge of Golf Keith Thomson said of him, “Finlay takes a mature approach to everything he does, whether that be organising his practice times or balancing the time he puts into the gym and golf against his academics. Finlay is selfless when it comes to the team; his leadership is integral to the environment that we are trying to foster, and he is a great role model for the younger boys.”
Finlay praised the introduction of the school’s new golf simulator, which has enabled him and his teammates to continue to practise golf while the course has been closed. He said, “It’s an excellent piece of kit. I get two practice sessions a week on it, on top of the two sessions I have on it with my coach, Holly Reddick.”
The simulator, which was kindly funded by the Bedford School Trust, enables boys to practise their driving skills from a choice of over 60 courses, both existing and fictional. It calculates all sorts of data so that boys can see how well they hit. Additionally, the coach can also control the weather, in particular the wind, to help teach how different techniques can help in different conditions.
Since the simulator arrived, even more boys, including Prep School boys, who perhaps would not have the chance to play golf otherwise, have been introduced to the sport. Holly explained, “The simulator gives us the ability to track and measure the boys’ progress, which really builds their confidence for when they’re out on the course. It’s an outstanding facility to have, particularly so now the courses are closed, and 99% of golfers are not playing at all.”
Holly is now hoping to secure funds to purchase a putting mat to enable a more rounded golfing experience.