Matfen Hall Juniors celebrate success at Wee Wonders finals at St Andrews

Young golfers from Matfen Hall Golf Club’s Junior Academy have a bit of a swing in step after competing at the prestigious Wee Wonders Finals 2018 in St Andrews.

And the club’s Zara Naughton, 12, is feeling particularly proud of herself, having won the 9-12 Girls section after coming back from three shots behind to shoot a blistering second round, which doubled as a new course record of 65 (3 under par).

An unprecedented five juniors from the Northumberland club qualified for the finals, which were played out on the Strathtyrum course at St Andrews over the weekend of August 24th and 25th.

Rachel Batey,10, Autumn Buchanan, seven, Harry Hedley, eight, 10-year-old Charlotte Naughton (Zara’s sister) and Zara had all progressed from the Regional Qualifier stage, through to the Regional Finals in their age groups, before making it to the grand final at the home of golf in Scotland.

PGA Professional JJ Vallely, who coaches the juniors at Matfen Hall, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to have five players from Matfen make it to the final. It’s pretty unheard of to have so many from one club and it’s testament to the dedication of the players and the amazing support of their parents that they all made it.

“Winning this tournament was one of Zara’s goals of the season and it’s nothing more than she deserves for all the hard work and dedication she has shown over a long period.

“I’ve worked with Zara for six years and she is a pleasure to coach, always looking to improve! She is also a member of the North of England Futures coaching programme… we are all very proud of her!”

Matfen Hall’s Golf Manager, Nicola Hawes added, “We were all absolutely delighted that so many of our brilliant Junior Academy members got to experience the finals and playing at St Andrews, and for Zara to win was the absolute icing on the cake.

“We’re incredibly proud of them all and are enjoying seeing all their hard work paying off.”
Matfen Hall Golf Club’s Junior Academy runs every Friday evening from 5pm to 6.15pm. For more information, contact JJ Vallely direct on 07899 090777 or email him at