Storm named Golf Foundation ambassador

EUROPEAN Tour favourite Graeme Storm has been announced as a new ambassador for national charity the Golf Foundation.

Graeme has given up many hours of his time this year to inspire children in schools through his passion for golf. He is seen as following in the footsteps of the charity’s Co-Founder Sir Henry Cotton, who started the Golf Foundation by taking golf into schools in the early 1950s.

Through its ‘Golf for All’ ethos, the Golf Foundation encourages young people from all backgrounds and of all abilities to enjoy the benefits of golf, helping to grow participation from schools into golf clubs while offering youngsters valuable life skills through the charity’s programmes.

Graeme Storm now joins Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Felicity Johnson as key Ambassadors for the Foundation, all appointed in 2018. All have already contributed greatly to the charity this year.

When not competing on the European Tour, Graeme Storm still lives in Hartlepool in the North East of England, where he was born and raised. The 40 year-old is a highly popular figure in the area and apart from supporting his own local charities, last year Graeme contacted the Golf Foundation wanting to help create more young golfers in his region.

He has given his expertise to local schools and has been leading enthusiastic class coaching sessions alongside the teachers in PE, with a dynamic ‘Tri-Golf’ theme, the successful Golf Foundation easy-to-play format which now brings golf to nearly 3,000 schools and 300,000 children each year.

Tri-Golf is a key strand of the Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots school-to-club programme which offers a first golf experience to 500,000 boys and girls each year, aiming to create 15,000 extra regular club golfers per year and 5,000 extra junior members per year by 2019.

Graeme was the special guest yesterday (November 15) at the Hartlepool School Games Tri-Golf Festival and was only too happy to offer coaching, encouragement and to play alongside 100 boys and girls from 10 schools in the area. While Graeme’s attitude is refreshing and modern, his approach very much echoes the philosophy of Golf Foundation Co-Founder Sir Henry Cotton, who is believed to be the first professional golfer to offer a concentrated focus on supporting golf in schools.

Graeme has inspired youngsters in 14 primary schools so far, armed with a big new bag of Golf Foundation Tri-Golf kit, already providing an early playing experience to an estimated 420 youngsters. Graeme in turn has been encouraged by teachers to talk to the kids about his experience as a European Tour player and offer his own insights into the positive ‘Skills for Life’ lessons that golf can offer – which is a central tenet of the Golf Foundation’s Golf for All model that supports young people whatever their ability level and circumstances.

Meanwhile, liaising with Foundation Regional Development Officer Ian Harvey, Graeme’s connection with the area’s golf clubs has also helped to link enthusiastic children from schools to local PGA Professionals for continued coaching.

Independently, the European Tour player has for some time helped to mentor a number of highly promising young amateur players while providing competitive opportunities for many young golfers in the region through the Graeme Storm Junior Open and The Mini Storm Trophy. Graeme and wife Sara have also been keen supporters of local children’s charity The Finlay Cooper Fund.

Golf Foundation Chief Executive Brendon Pyle said: “Our team has been delighted to see such a high-profile golfer prepared to roll up their sleeves and support his community. The nature of Graeme’s enthusiastic approach reminds us all of our Founder Sir Henry Cotton’s methods, so it is great that Graeme is following in the footsteps of Sir Henry in this way. We are quite sure that Graeme will be a brilliant Ambassador; he deserves great credit.”

Graeme Storm said: “My collaboration with the Golf Foundation has been a continuation of my passion to grow the game of golf in the North East and beyond. Tri-Golf is a fantastic introduction to golf, engaging children in a fun and inclusive activity which they may not have been able to access unless through school. Although golf is seen as an individual sport, Tri-Golf can be delivered in a team capacity encouraging children of all abilities to take part. I very much hope that I have helped and continue to help to raise awareness of this great game and have encouraged schools to include this sport in their curriculum or as part of an after-school club.”

Golf Foundation RDO Ian Harvey added: “For young golfers in the North East, this new partnership will help Graeme’s work as we’ll be able to support him with more resources, while we can work together to direct discretionary funding to support schools and golf clubs for maximum impact. The net result will be very exciting for children and families new to golf in the area.” 
(Picture courtesy of Andrew Bryson)



Cox leads the way at Warrington

alliwarringtonpro.jpgTOP OF THE SHOTS: Graham Cox. Anton Johnson, Russ Johnson

LYMM assistant Graham Cox racked up 41 points in the Manchester Alliance at Warrington to finish one ahead of Poulton Park’s Phil Archer and Chorley’s Andy Palmer.

Cox was also in the mix in the pro-am, posting 43 points partnering home host club player Russ Johnson.

But the card play-off went in favour of Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham) and Steve Moores (Stamford) and Archer and his Leigh partner Mark Pasquill.

The top assistant pro prize was taken by Jamie Howarth (Davenport) with 39 points.

Meanwhile, Stamford have been dominating the am-am in recent weeks and their tried and trusted duo of Dan Fox and Steve Finan did the business again with 43 points taking them clear of John Aikenhead (Ashton-on-Mersey) and John Russell (Sale) 42 and Mike Jones and Archie Palmer (Davenport) 41.



Tommy bids to ‘gun down’ pal Molinari

TOMMY  Fleetwood is relishing the opportunity to chase down his friend and Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari at the top of the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, as the European Tour season reaches an exciting climax at this week’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

He entered the final event of the 2017 campaign in the lead and managed to hang on to be crowned European Tour Number One for the first time, but his role is reversed this time around at  the eighth and final Rolex Series event of the season, as he sits in second place behind the 2018 Open Champion from Italy.

A victory for Fleetwood, paired with Molinari finishing outside the top five, would be enough for the 27 year old to become just the second player to win the Race to Dubai in successive seasons – following Rory McIlroy in 2014 and 2015.

Fleetwood said: It’s different for me this year. The biggest difference is it’s not in my hands. It’s just great to have that excitement surrounding the event again, it really is. You’ve come this far and to have a chance, as little as it is – and it’s not a big chance and it’s not in my hands at all – but you know it’s there and you’re teeing off on Thursday with a chance at winning the biggest prize of the year.

“It was a lot closer last year. I had never experienced anything like that playing for a year-long event. I was nervous Thursday, then it changed for Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday again. I think it showed last year, I kind of stumbled over the line but got over the line.

“Hopefully, come the back nine on Sunday this year, I have a chance and I end up having a great week and I’m playing well, and I can give Frank something to think about. But just knowing that you have a chance and you’re in a tournament to win it – I am chasing and there’s a lot of freedom in that.”

Howarth’s in seventh heaven at Haydock Park


CENTRE PIECE: From left, Chorley duo Andy Bibby and Mark Bradley, Manchester Alliance president John Dowd and Davenport’s Jamie Howarth

MANCHESTER Alliance players dodged the showers at Haydock Park where Davenport assistant Jamie Howarth topped the table with an impressive seven-under-par haul of 43 points.

Lymm’s Graham Cox was one adrift as Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham) and Phil Archer (Poulton Park) picked up valuable Order of Merit points as they posted 40 apiece.

Meanwhile, Chorley professional Mark Bradley and clubmate Andy Bibby won the pro-am with 47 points. Sale pair Tony Stiles and Tony Lowe topped the am-am with 45.

Turkey treat, and Rose, for Myerscough students

A GROUP of Myerscough College golf students and staff flew out to Turkey last week to work at a major PGA European Tour event.

The party spent the week providing assistance at the Turkish Airlines Open, at the Regnum Carya Resort in Belek, Antalya. The group performed carry-board scoring for the players during the four rounds of the tournament, which is one of the major events on the PGA European Tour.

It’s the fifth year that Myerscough have worked at the event, and another unique opportunity that students are offered as part of their course enrichment, gaining invaluable experience working and rubbing shoulders with a host of

TURKISH JUSTIN ROSE WITH ANDREW COLEMAN.jpg stars from the golfing world.

Laura Marsh, lecturer in Golf Studies & Programme Leader, said: ‘’All of the players were wonderful this week with our students. It’s great to see that our work experience opportunities enable the students to meet and work alongside their heroes.

‘’I’ve been involved in volunteering at European Tour events for more than 17 years with Myerscough and it has to be said that the organisers of this tournament certainly know how to look after their volunteers. We’ve had great hospitality and it’s been a great week.’

One Myerscough learner, 19-year-old Andrew Coleman (above), a Level 3 BTEC Diploma Golf Studies student, got to work with his idol, eventual tournament winner and world number one, England’s Justin Rose. Andrew said: ’I would like to give a huge thank you to Justin Rose for looking after me at the Turkish Airlines Open.

‘’We had a good afternoon which was great and I got to see him become world number one and play the best golf I have ever seen. He is definitely my favourite golfer!’’


Higgins is up for the cup again!

DAVID Higgins admits the PGA Cup holds a special place in his heart after being named as Cameron Clark’s second vice-captain for the match against America in Texas next year.

Irishman Higgins (pictured) was one of the standout performers as Great Britain & Ireland comfortably beat the United States at Foxhills Club & Resort in September 2017.

The 45-year-old claimed three-and-half points on his PGA Cup debut as Albert MacKenzie’s side secured back-to-back victories over their American counterparts.

Higgins will join up with fellow former European Tour player Rob Coles as vice-captain to Clark as Great Britain and Ireland bid to make history by winning three co

David Higgins 2.jpgnsecutive matches in the competition at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas, from September 27-29.

“Playing in the 2017 PGA Cup was a special week so to know I’m going to be involved again is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Higgins, winner of the 2016 PGA Professional Championship.

“The whole experience at Foxhills was fantastic. I was delighted to make the

team and I was excited about it but I didn’t realise what an honour it is to play for your country.

“It will be a different feeling being there as vice-captain but I think I’ll enjoy it just as much. If it’s anything like Foxhills it’s going to be one hell of a week. If Cameron, Rob (Coles) and I can re-produce something like that again we’ll have done a fantastic job.”

Asked what qualities captain Clark had identified in himself, Higgins continued: “I feel I can help the team whether I’m playing or in a vice-captain role.

“Cameron is the boss and they’ll be times when it might feel lonely, when thing

s aren’t going his way. It’s up to Rob and I to be there for him, to support him and to figure out ways to get things back on track because it’s a tough job.

“It’s up to Cameron, Rob and myself now to figure out how we’re going to win in America. Obviously we don’t know the team yet but we have to figure out a way of getting the lads comfortable so they can bring their best game that week.”

Commenting on Higgins’ appointment, Clark said: “David epitomised what the PGA Cup is all about with his performances and attitude at Foxhills.

“The passion he showed at the event and how competitive he was demonstrated how much David wanted the win and that was one of the main reasons I selected him as my vice-captain.

“David is a very calm and calculated individual. He thinks about things long and hard and he’ll then provide his rational view. That’s what I really like about

him. We’ll have the vocal influence from Rob and that calming influence from Dave.

“From a playing perspective I can’t have two better guys out there looking at the course with me and going through that type of detail. It was a pretty simple decision for me to come up with these two names.”

Robert Maxfield, chief executive of The PGA, added: “I am delighted with Cameron’s selection to name David as one of his vice-captains.

“All ten team members played their part in Great Britain & Ireland’s victory at Foxhills back in 2017, but David’s passion and love for this event was there for all to see. He was a calming influence throughout the week both on and off the course.

“Whether it be as a vice-captain or a player, I am confident David will flourish once again in Texas next year and he will have another important role to play in 2019.”