The Rock Junior Golf Festival will take place this Sunday, 24th August in the grounds of the prestigious Matfen Hall in Northumberland.

Returning for its seventh year and open to children from five to sixteen from across the North East, the festival is aimed at giving kids an opportunity to try golf, improve their skills or play in a professional tournament, as well as being a great day out for all of the family in beautiful surroundings.

More than 300 children can take part in golf lessons which will be running from 9.30am until 4.30pm. In the afternoon Matfen will also play host to the region’s budding Tiger Woods’, as more than 30 teams of three golf-savvy kids play in a four-ball competition with the region’s top professionals, where they will compete for the much-coveted Rock Junior Pro Am Trophy.

Proving that you’re never too young to hit the course, even the under 5’s can have a go with Tri-golf lessons on offer for youngsters under the watchful eye of the Golf Foundation’s development officer, John Wood. Golf clubs and balls will be provided on the day – so it’s time to take some tips from the top and tee off!

The festival culminates with a three-day event for the PGA North Region’s best, including local top professional, Kenneth Ferrie – a former European Champion who is playing on the United States Tour this season. The Rock 54 Hole Professional Tournament takes place from Bank Holiday Monday 25th until Wednesday 27th August with more than 140 professionals in the field participating. With spectators welcome this is the perfect opportunity for junior festival participants to return to the course, support the professional players and see their coaches in action!

Northern Rock’s Director of Advertising, Brand & Sponsorship, Dave Henderson, explains why the organisation is keen to get local families involved: “Northern Rock is committed to all levels of sport and our name is synonymous with the North East. The Junior Pro Am Golf Tournament realises a number of our aims in giving kids a chance to do something different – it knocks down the widely held perception that golf is for the privileged few and also gives everyone an excuse to have some fun. So, get in quick and grab a free place to take part in something which is open to all – even if you have never tried golf before.”

Matfen Hall is often frequented by both professional and amateur golfers, and, renowned for its 27-hole golf course, is rated as one of the finest in the North East. Matfen Hall is delighted to see The Rock return for its seventh consecutive year after a successful run of events held there previously.

Ashington born Ferrie, who defeated both his coach and Matfen’s Club Head professional John Harrison in a play-off for the title in 2005, said: “The Rock is a great opportunity for kids to have fun, get tuition from some of the region’s top players and see some of the country’s leading golfers in action. Golf offers so many health benefits to people of all ages, and I think it’s great that it’s becoming recognised more and more as a popular sport amongst young people. I can’t wait to take part again in this year’s competition, both in the Professional Tournament and alongside the region’s budding golf stars.”

The Rock will see the return of a number of other well known faces from the world of golf, including retired champion Paul Eales, whose confirmed presence at the festival always ensures an impressive turn out from faithful golf followers. With The Ryder Cup hitting full swing just a few weeks after the event, the Northern Rock Golf Festival is the perfect opportunity to fit in a few rounds before the North East experiences full-blown golf fever!

For further information on taking part in both the Junior Golf Festival and Pro-Am contact PGA North Region on Tel: 01204 496137.

Kit will be provided if required and catering facilities will be available at Matfen Hall throughout the duration of the festival. Spectators are also welcome to bring along their own picnic and refreshments.

For further information about Northern Rock’s sports and community relations programme, visit www.northernrock.co.uk.