Georgia Mitchison has only been playing golf for 18 months – but the Beedles Lake player is now a champion.

The 16-year-old teamed up with partner Sue Young and shot 46 points to win the Ping women’s fourball betterball title.

The overjoyed pair triumphed by two points at Gainsborough and Mitchison, who already has a 22 handicap, said: “It’s brilliant. I love golf. The course was in tip top condition and the greens were fantastic.”

Young added: “This is the top of the tree, it’s something special. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

“We came without expectations and we have had a wonderful time.

“We’ve enjoyed the tournament and the company and that’s what makes it count.”

They took the top prize from an entry of over 16,500 players from a record 890 clubs which staged qualifying rounds in the competition, run by England Golf.

The top 50 pairs qualified for the Grand Final.

The runners up were their playing partners, Justine Sayer and Catherine O’Connor, from Hill Barn, in Sussex, who scored 44 points.

Third place went to Deborah Spry and Karen Hughes, of Leeds Golf Centre, with 43 points.

Reaching out

Dave Fanning, marketing director for Ping Europe, said: “This is the 11th year of a very special tournament which reaches out to golfers of all levels.

“It’s not about elite golf, it’s about enjoyment and playing the game and that’s what we need to grow.”

The winners and runners-up echoed him – for their fourball turned into a great advertisement for women’s golf, with all the players urging others to get involved.

O’Connor is another newcomer to the game and in a three-month spell this season had her handicap cut by 10 shots to 26.

“I love golf and so many women should take it up. I hit my 40s and that was it, I’m off – and what a great sport it is,” she said.

Her playing partner, Justine Sayer, started after hanging up her hockey sticks, while Young turned to it from ballroom dancing.

Georgia gave up football to concentrate on golf.

“It’s an all-round game,” added Young. “It’s sociable and friendly and anyone can do it.”