EIGHTY young children, representing eight schools, took part in the annual Wokingham and District Schools' tri-golf festival hosted by Sand Martins GC.

The boys and girls were set eight different putting and chipping in tests, each lasting for five minutes, and the standard produced some "amazing" scores remarked organiser Symon O'Keefe, the Sand Martins professional.

The winning school, Shinfield St Mary's, amassed one of the highest scores ever for the event, 1,117 points, while runners-up Nine Mile Ride were not too far behind with 1,090.

They will both be given the opportunity to represent Wokingham at the Berkshire Schools Games at Bisham in June.

The top two finished well clear of Hawkedon, who collected the bronze medals with a total score of 629, closely followed by Coombes with 622 and Emmbrook with 612. Then came Robert Piggott on 585, Winnersh 584 and Hatch Ride 507.

O'Keefe commented: "It was a fantastic day. All the children seemed to be really enjoying themselves and it looks as if we might have a few golfers for the future. It would be lovely to see them back here at the club one day."

He was assisted on the day by Alan Leason, the coordinator for children's golf, and fellow members of the Finchampstead Road club.

The presentation of medals to the first three teams were made by Cllr John Kaiser, the Mayor of Wokingham Borough, and Barbara Paxton, the ladies' captain at Sand Martins.

"It has been a very enjoyable day," said the Mayor. "The children looked very enthusiastic as they were trying out something different."

Sand Martins are holding a five-week course commencing on Sunday, June 2 (3pm-4pm) offering a complete introduction to golf for youngsters. The total cost is £40.