18 Jul 2023

Foxhills lays foundation for six new stars

Foxhills Foundation Scholars

Six talented young golfers have become the latest scholars to be handed a potentially life-changing opportunity through the Foxhills Foundation.

A selection of Surrey’s brightest up-and-coming stars have claimed a coveted place on the esteemed scholarship programme that supports the next generation of junior golfers.

Matilde Santilli (aged 16), Johnny Summerfield (aged 15), James Parsons (aged 17), Guy Allen (aged 17), Josh Diton (aged 15) and Frankie Ashdown (aged 13) are the newest recruits and will follow in the footsteps of PGA Tour and European Tour stars Paul Casey and Anthony Wall, who both graduated from the scheme on their way to their stellar careers.

The Foxhills Foundation has established itself as one of the country’s top youth development programmes since it started in 1986, helping develop more than 300 golfers through expert coaching and support.

Youngsters aged 13 to 18 from the local community, who may not previously have had the opportunity, are picked through a careful selection progress and given a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make the most of their golfing potential with everything they need to gain a deep understanding of the game, both on and off the course.

Delivered by Foxhills’ PGA Professionals, the scholars will benefit from an honorary membership at the PGA Cup host venue, in addition to mentoring, specialist tuition and equipment support. Not only will they have access to weekly group and private lessons, but also range balls, clothing and the opportunity to represent the prestigious club in competitions.

Some of the new scholars have already achieved incredible success for their age group and are looking to the Foxhills Foundation to help them take the next step and reach their potential. Matilde Santilli, who has a handicap of +2 and has already represented England at under 16 level five times, has ambitions to play collegiate golf in the USA and then turn professional and play on the LET or LPGA Tour. James Parsons, who plays off scratch, also has ambitions to head over to the States on a college scholarship with dreams of making it on the PGA Tour while Frankie Ashdown, who currently plays off 25.8, is looking to get his handicap down to single figures in two years’ time and scratch in four years.

Sean Graham, Director of Golf, said: “We’re excited to announce our six newest scholars. There is some real potential and it’s genuinely exciting to think we could have seen a few future champions taking their first steps towards an elite career.

“The Foxhills Foundation is all about inclusivity and accessibility. We are lucky to be able to play an important role in our local community to help youngsters achieve their dreams. We want to give them, regardless of their background and circumstances, the tools they need to learn, develop, progress and excel in golf.

“A lot of hard work has gone into the youth development programme at Foxhills. We have children as young as three years old taking their first steps in the sport right through to those young adults who are actively pursuing a future career in the professional ranks. We are just enabling them to be the best golfers they can possibly be by making sure everything is in place to give them the best possible chance to succeed. It’s up to individual to grab it with both hands and make the most out of it.”

The scholars will have access to both highly-regarded 18-hole Championship golf courses at Foxhills, which are regular features in GB top 100 rankings and host professional tournaments, as well as the nine-hole par-three Manor Course, the covered and floodlit driving range with synthetic target greens, The Practice Den - a 3,500 square-metre floodlit practice facility featuring a bunker and large undulating green to work on chipping, pitching, putting and bunker play, as well as three further practice putting greens. These exceptional facilities will give the golfers everything they need to fine-tune their swing and work on all aspects of their game at any time, no matter the weather or time of year.

Paul Casey, who joined the Foundation at the age of 11 and has since gone on to make five appearances in the Ryder Cup and claim 21 professional victories, said: "Foxhills is where it started for me. I successfully tried for the Foxhills Foundation as a young man and the rest is history. I learnt so much in those early years playing the two great courses and receiving tuition from the excellent teaching staff."

Anthony Wall, who has played on the European Tour since 1998 and claimed the Alfred Dunhill Championship title in 2000, said: "My time spent at Foxhills within the Foundation gave me a great platform for my golfing career. The structure of the regular lessons and the sense of team feel and community was amazing! I always felt like I was part of something good at Foxhills."

The association with some of the world’s best golfers does not end there with Ryan Fox, Charley Hull, Olivia Cowan, David Howell and Shergo Al Kurdi all club ambassadors.

For further details on the foundation, please email sgraham@foxhills.co.uk