Myerscough students warm up in Portugal

A select group of Myerscough College golf students are beginning their preparation for the 2017 season at a warm weather training camp in Portugal over the next couple of weeks.

The 36-strong party have headed to the excellent facilities at the Vilamoura Resort for some intense training. The development camp plays a large part in the College’s winter provision, in preparation for a hectic year of competition both at home and abroad.RICK DANIELS.JPG

The travelling squad will have access to world class training facilities  and expert advice from a quality support team, including performance director, Rick Daniels (pictured) and technical coach, Craig Lea. The travelling squad will have access to world class training facilities at the renowned Oceanico Golf venues including the ‘Old Course’ and the ‘Victoria Course’, host venue for the PGA European Tour ‘Portuguese Masters’.

The itinerary will also provide an opportunity for agreeing playing and training schedules for the coming season along with goal setting and identification of individual targets focusing on the major events in the students’ calendars for 2017 season.

Daniels said: “The warm weather training camp will provide the students with an excellent opportunity to continue their training and preparation at first class facilities prior to the start of t
he season.”

“There will be a strong emphasis on the short game, as well as fitness, rules knowledge and psychological sessions during the week. We will also be setting targets for the coming season along with a planned schedule for e
ach player.”

The Algarve boasts more sunshine hours than California, making it one of the sunniest spots in Europe. The climate in the Algarve region of Portugal is mild, with little rainfall and plenty of sun throughout the year, making it an ideal year-round destination.

The present crop of Myerscough College golfers have three sides who com
pete in the British Universities & Colleges Sport Northern Leagues under the banner of UCLan, with teams playing in the BUCS Premier Division and Division 1A. The students also successfully play on the Collegiate & Prospects Golf Tours.

 

Nine-hole golf in a winter wonderland!

WINTER may be with us but that’s no excuse for not finding time to get out on the golf course.

And a new campaign aimed at promoting a shorter version of the sport highlights the perfect way to enjoy fresh air and exercise without falling foul of the British weather.

Golf Express – which showcases 9-hole golf to inspire busy people to play more often – has been rolled out by England Golf.

The nationwide launch follows a successful eight-month trial in Staffordshire when more than 4,600 9-hole rounds were played.Clubs across Cheshire are backing Golf Express throughout the winter.Alderley Edge Golf Club, for example, is offering nine holes of golf every evening for just £10, while Golf Express is available each day at Styal GC for £9.Hartford GC is offering 9-hole golf each weekday after 2pm for £10 and at the weekends.

The first nine holes at Pryor Hayes GC can be played after 3pm for £12 throughout the week, while the Ardenne course at Portal GC is the venue for nine holes at a cost of £9. With a Golf Express Loyalty Card, the club is offering a sixth round free after playing five times.Poulton Park is a nine-hole course near Warrington, with Golf Express costing £11 during the week and £12 at the weekend.

The cost at High Legh Park GC is £9 across the week, with six holes on the short Academy course available for just £2. It is ideal for juniors and beginners and features larger, 15-inch cups on each green.

Macclesfield GC is offering 10 for £10 on a Sunday afternoon, while Woodside GC has a nine-hole par three course measuring nearly 1,000 yards, with a longest hole of 130 yards. Green fees are £6.50 in the week and £7.50 at the weekends. Playing nine holes on the longer course costs £11.85.Hazel Grove GC, near Stockport, offers nine holes for £12

Sean Hammill, England Golf County Development Officer in east Cheshire, said: “The winters don’t offer ideal golfing weather, but Golf Express means it is just as easy to play a shorter format of the game so those taking part can still enjoy its many health and social benefits – without being exposed to the elements for too long!”

Alison Lysons, CDO for west Cheshire, said: “Time constraints are a common reason why people don’t play golf, but Golf Express is designed to break down that barrier and help people to fit the game into today’s busy lifestyles.”

Olympic golfer Justin Rose, an England Golf ambassador, often plays nine holes in practice and describes Golf Express as: “A great way to play all the game in half the time.”

Murray pays tribute to John Jacobs

ANDREW Murray was among the golfing fraternity to pay tribute to legend John Jacobs OBE, described as the father of the modern day game, who died this morning.

The Cheshire-based former European Tour winner, who regularly visited Jacobs at his Hampshire home, said: “I’d known him for 40 years and I saw him a few times recently and he was clearly not well.

“He touched everybody, not just tour players. When I took my sons Tom and Matt to meet him a few years ago they both connected with him. They were incredible impressed with his people skills. His knowledge of the game was passed on to everybody in the game from greats to ordinary folk.”GettyImages-463940990 (1).jpg

Murray, who regularly took Didsbury pro Peter Barber with him to see Jacobs, added: “He always had time for everybody and he never charged me one penny for a lesson. And he always paid for lunch!

 “I was very fortunate to know his so well and I am still very close to his family. I saw him for the last visit just before Christmas. He’s left me with some wonderful memories. He was 25 years ahead of his time.”

Jacobs’ legacy is that of a true sporting visionary – a player, a teacher, an
innovator, all born out of a passion for golf that consumed his life. To
this day, his influence can be felt in every aspect of the sport and across the globe.

From beginners picking up a club for the very first time to the stars of the European and US PGA tours, few golfers have not been touched by Jacobs’ genius and his overwhelming desire to ensure everyone loved the game and had as much fun playing it as he did.

A tour player of note who competed in the 1955 Ryder Cup in California, Jacobs would later captain the side twice – most fittingly in 1979 when European players competed for the very first time.

However, it was on the practice ground and in the game’s corridors of power where Jacobs had the biggest impact with his innovative thinking.

As a coach he transformed the fundamentals of how you teach t
he game with his revolutionary philosophies based on ball flight, club face alignment and swing path.

Through coaching schools, best-selling books, videos and television series his methods were known in the UK, across America and around the world.

Everyone, from the best to the worst could understand his teaching.

“Make it do-able,” he insisted. “Keep it simple.”

A PGA Master Professional, he wrote the PGA’s first training manual and decades later his principles are still at the core of every professional’s education.

For more than 20 years he was also the driving force behind the development of the European Tour, fighting to expand the season of events beyond Britain.

Within a matter of months of taking control he had increased events and doubled the prize money on offer.

In doing so, he laid the foundations for one of the most successful organisations in sport.

Jacobs, who lived in Lyndhurst, was also the visionary behind the growth of driving ranges, realising their value for both professionals and students who wanted learn and improve day or night, all year round.

            “Golf can be an expensive sport,” he reasoned. “Golf ranges wer
e an inexpensive way to get more people playing the game and enjoying it.”

All from the mind of one man – who loved golf. But home for Jacobs was the practice ground – particularly his golf schools where every day there were new faces, new challenges and different people to help, improve and make happy.

Jacobs was a friendly face for pros on tour, who would queue up f
or his advice, and, thanks to his books, videos, clinics and television appearances, he was a household name on both sides of the Atlantic.

All of which is a long way from his early years growing up at Lindrick Golf Club in Yorkshire where his father was the professional and understanding the swing was simply to “stop myself hooking into the gorse on the left”.

From everyday people to princes and kings, from beginners to tour players – Jacobs taught everyone. He touched lives, changed golf, innovated teaching, made the European Tour thrive – but most importantly he ensured people of all ages and all abilities enjoyed swinging a club.

“Playing golf is simple – it’s two turns and a swish.”

PGA Chief Executive Sandy Jones paid this tribute: “John Jacobs will be fondly remembered by those of us who were privileged to know him. Quite simply he was a legend of the game and his name will sit at the top table with all the golfing greats.”

Dr Kyle Phillpots, The PGA’s Executive Director – Education and Global Development, added: “John’s legacy to golf is well documented.  In addition to his accomplishments as a player, coach and administrator,  he is the person who made the European Tour happen and he is widely acknowledged  as the father of modern golf coaching.

“When I started at The PGA, although not a golfer, I had certainly heard of Jo
hn Jacobs and he lived up to his reputation in terms of not only his knowledge and huge understanding of the golf swing, but also his strength of character.

“However, more than that he was a real gentleman.  He was very kind to me and was always a great source of support to me and the Training Academy.

“The other thing that stands out is hi
s love of life – he took pleasure from so many things, whether it was golf, playing it, coaching it or talking about it.  He enjoyed fishing and also the simple pleasures of eating and drinking fine wine and just being with people.

“I will miss him and his great stories about his amazing life in golf.”

 

 

Paine takes the reins at PGA North

JONATHANJ Paine 2.JPG Paine, who has been installed as PGA North regional secretary, reckons he’s embraced every job since arriving at the Bolton headquarters in 2009 including van driver and office and tournament administrator.

 “This is the role I’ve always wanted,” he said. “I have certainly got the drive to succeed and I believe we could become the strongest region because we have a big membership and a fantastic array of courses.”

Paine (pictured), and long-serving tournament director Andrew Chadwick, have already discussed various initiatives including making members more aware of what’s on offer from the Association.

            “We are determined to build up the region to the level it used to be with a full order of merit series supported by sponsors,” said Paine.

“We already have some irons in the fire. It would be great if we could get the Manchester Open back on the schedule this summer and gain financial support for all our main tournaments including the Leeds Cup. We are also working to entice some of our former sponsors back on board. My role is to get out there and meet people.”

Paine, 30, who lives in Bolton, is father of Oliver, 3, and Joshua, nine months, and husband to Stephanie.

 

Longridge makes its mark

LONGRIDGE has been handed the national Golf Mark award by England Golf.The Preston club won the official seal of approval for successfully working to develop the game by attracting new members,  encouraging existing ones to play more and offering coaching and playing opportunities for all.

The award highlights the work of PGA professional Stephen Taylor as part of England Golf’s Get into golf scheme with nearly 40 people attending taster sessions, with five of these going on to become club members. Marketing chairman Roger Stamp said: “It was great to end the year on such a positive note as the club maintained its proLomgridge.jpggressive development with the award of GolfMark.

“The club worked hard to meet all the criteria required – such as recruitment and retention of members; management and sustainability; coaching and competitions; safeguarding – to be recognised as an outstanding club.”

PRIZE GUYS: From leff: Adam McAlister (Lancs Golf development officer), Stephen Taylor (PGA professional) and Roger Stamp (marketing chairman)

Lancs ace Louisa joins Texas Raiders

MANCHESTER’S Louisa Brunt has linked up with Texas Tech women’s coach JoJo Robertson after being invited to join the US college golf season.

The England international, a member of Royal Birkdale, will add depth to a Lady Raider program that ranks among the top-35 teams nationally despite not boasting a single senior on its roster. Louisa has been playing in the Harder Hall Women’s Invitational tournament at Sebring in Florida..

Robertson said:”We are very excited to welcome Louisa into our program aBrunt.jpgnd look forward to having her join us next fall,” Not only is she a great player who will bring a ton of experience but she will be a great team-mate and add so much to our team. We are so proud that she is a Red Raider.”

Louisa is one of the top overseas players in the 2017 class as she stands in the top 100 of the European rankings. She has played in several of the top international tournaments, highlighted by her selection to represent England in the European Girls Team
Championships.

She  represented England in the 2014 Scottish Under-16 Girls’ Championships as well as the U-16 match against Switzerland. She tied for ninth last year in the English Women’s Open and 13th in the English Girls’ Open Amateur Championships.

Louisa is the lone signee for the Lady Raiders. They resume their 2016-17 slate next month for the Lady Puerto Rico Classic.

 

 

Rock on! Girls’ golf is a smash hit

Woodside2.jpg

England Golf Regional Manager Gareth Shaw grabs a selfie of the Girls Golf Rocks celebration event at Woodside GC, involving players from Prestbury, Lymm and Eaton golf clubs.

A SPECIAL event has been held to celebrate the success of the drive to encourage more girls to take up golf in Cheshire.

Thanks to the national Girls Golf Rocks campaign, a number of clubs in the county have seen an increase in their ranks.

Launched earlier this year, in a joint programme between England Golf and the Golf Foundation, ladies county associations and sports partnerships, the aim is to attract more beginners to have fun, learn a new sport, get active and play alongside friends – with no pressure.

Girl golfers from county squads act as ambassadors, sharing their enjoyment and encouraging other girls, aged five to 18.

The Cheshire celebration event, held at Woodside Golf Club, near Holmes Chapel, brought together players from three centres involved in the Girls Golf Rocks programme – Prestbury Golf Club, Lymm Golf Club and Eaton Golf Club.

More than 30 girls between the ages of seven and 15 took part, supported by ambassadors from the Cheshire County Girls Squad, who acted as team leaders.

The girls were divided into teams of four to take on nine fun-based, quickfire skills challenges.

This included fruit salad – which involves knocking a piece of fruit off a stick with a golf shot – and Tower Tumble, knocking down a tower of baskets with a golf shot.

The event was hosted by England Golf – represented by regional officer Gareth Shaw and Cheshire county development officers Sean Hammill and Alison Lysons. Also present were Barbara Baird, from the Cheshire County Ladies Association, and Roger Sowcroft, from the Cheshire Golf Development Group.

Sean Hammill, Cheshire CDO, said the event proved very popular.

“The feedback from the girls and their parents was extremely positive and they are all clearly enjoying their golf having taken advantage of the Girls Golf Rocks campaign to give the sport a go,” he said.

“The facilities and hospitality from Woodside on the day was fantastic and greatly appreciated. The girls will now continue with their coaching at the respective centres, where they will be given the chance to move on and enjoy the benefits of being a club member, too.”

Lauren Spray, the England Golf Women & Girls’ participation manager, said: “Girls Golf Rocks sets out to focus on the fun, social and friendship aspects of golf rather than just the playing and coaching side and we’ve seen some brilliant success stories.”

Get into golf is a national campaign run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.

To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

You can follow Get into golf on Twitter twitter.com/getintogolf or on Facebook at facebook.com/Getintogolf

For more details on the work of the Cheshire GDG visit http://www.cheshiregolfpartnership.com