Archive for April, 2017

Lucy claims Cheshire LGA crown

VICARS Cross, the home club of Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association’s captain Barbara Baird, provided a splendid stage both on and off the course for the County Championship.

The star of the opening day was home player Poppy Finlay who began with a course record of 68 in the opening qualifying round followed by a 72 that saw her in the top position with three trophies secured before the matchplay round began.

Poppy won the Millennium Trophy for the best Intermediate score over 18 holes, the Doris Brown Trophy as the leading qualifier and the Intermediate Championship with her 140 total in the 36-hole qualifier.

Next day Poppy cruised through the first two round of matchplay to meet club colleague Karen Griffiths in the semi-final and she booked her final slot with two-up score.

In the other half of the draw defending champion Lucy Jamieson (Heswall) showed her intent of retaining the title with a 2-1 win over national senior ladies star Cath Rawthore of Sale.

There was little to choose between Poppy and Lucy in an absorbing and top quality final that swung both ways before Lucy established a vital two-hole lead on the 17th hole and a solid par on the 18th was enough to see her retain the title.

In the subsidiary contest for the Sir Williams Bailey Cup for players going out in the first match-play round there was another close contest between Lauren Jones (Mellor and Townscliffe) and Cathy Day (Crewe) that went to the 19th with Cathy unfortunately hitting a tree with her approach to the green and going into a water hazard allowing Lauren to take the honours.

The Cheshire team to compete in the Northern Championships was also announced and will be led by England star Gemma Clews (Delamere Forest) and she will be joined by Lucy Jamieson, Poppy Finlay, Lauren Drake, Freya Johnson, Laura Jones, Lauren Jones and Megan Sumner backed by the reserves Amy Toft, Rachel and Victoria Turner and Karen Griffiths.


Archer cruises to Alliance title

PHIL Archer showcased his talent when he racked up a stunning nine-under-par to win the Manchester Alliance at Swinton Park and clinch the Order of Merit title.

The ex-European Tour ace’s score equated to 45 stableford points as he finished five clear of Tony Stevens (Davenport) and Graham Cox (Lymm).

And the Birchwood player also cruised to victory in the pro-am with his partner Phil Lockett, of Poulton Park, Cox and Don Milligan (Cheadle) edging out Stevens and Charles Herbert (Styal) on a 44 points countback.

Rob Batchelor (Stand) was leading assistant with 35 points and the am-am produced another win for Marcus Corfield (Swinton Park) and Dave Smith Ellesmere) on 43 points, one better than Denton duo’s Jim Cox and Anthony Walsh and Neil Anderson (Ellesmere) and Lee Warren (Northenden).

Bolton Old Links to host PGA North Region Championship

BOLTON Old Links will host the PGA North Region Championship inaugurated nearly 100 years ago in an era when it was one of only eight events on the professional calendar.

It’s the first time the course will feature the flagship tournament won by an impressive list of celebrated players including the legendary George Gadd, who prevailed in 1924 at Wilmslow then at Formby in 1926, then competed in the first “unofficial” Ryder Cup match at Wentworth.

Six of his brothers joined the professional ranks and the eldest, Charles, claimed the title at his home club Brancepeth Castle in 1930. That was hailed as the most courageous achievement in the history of the competition because he was hampered by a severe leg wound received in the Great War.

PGA North secretary Jonathan Paine said: “Bolton OBOLTON GC  1.jpgld Links is a great venue and one of the best in the area which has catered for many prestigious events over the years.

“We are actively seeking sponsorship which we hope will appeal to companies or individuals who are interested in becoming involved in one of the most iconic championships in the north.

“It’s also a great way to promote business in the region and being attached to the PGA, the oldest golf association in the world, should be beneficial to all concerned.”

“The tournament on July 26-27 will be preceded by a pro-am on July 24 which is expected to attract a healthy number of teams.”

The event originally went under the banner Northern Professional Championship but was renamed in 1946 after the cessation of the Second World War.

Scotland’s Johnnie Fallon won the title three times in six years from 1950 and a young Andrew Chandler had his name engraved on the trophy in 1984, followed a year later by fellow European Tour player Andrew Murray.

Peter Cowen, one of the world’s top coaches, won in 1992 in the decade Pleasington’s Ged Furey twice took the honours.

Lancastrians Phil Archer and Paul Eales, who both graduated to the upper echelons of the tour, won in the early part of 2000.

Crosland Heath’s Robert Booth is expected to defend the title he lifted last year when the championship was held at Cumbria club Carus Green.



Express delivery as England Golf partners British Speedgolf

ENGLAND Golf is partnering British Speedgolf to promote the fast and fun version of the game as part of its Golf Express campaign.

The partnership supports the aims of both organisations to get more people playing golf by attracting them with shorter, quicker formats of the game.

Golf Express is England Golf’s national campaign to encourage busy people to play more often by promoting 9-hole golf and other short formats.

Speedgolf also sets out to appeal to people who love golf but can’t find the time to play with work and family commitments – and who enjoy running and having fun.

It offers a faster, more athletic version of golf, where a player can complete a full 18 holes in under 80 minutes, or 9 holes in under 40 minutes, by jogging between shots. The challenge is balancing the running pace with the ability to quickly and accurately play shots to get the lowest score possible.

A Speedgolf score combines the sum of shots with the time taken to run the golf course. Shooting a round of 90 in a time of 70 minutes and 21 seconds gives a Speedgolf score of 160:21.

Both Golf Express and British Speedgolf highlight the fitness benefits of the sport. A nine-hole round at walking pace can be fitted in to two hours and means players will walk two to three miles, take over 5000 steps and burn over 450 calories. Speedgolf also offers players the opportunity to have fun while improving their health and fitness.

British Speedgolf is planning to showcase its format during England Golf Week in August with an event on the Bracken course at Woodhall Spa.

Claire Hodgson, England Golf head of participation, said: “Golf Express and British Speedgolf are a perfect fit and this new partnership will help us to tell more people that golf is a fun and flexible game which really can fit into a busy lifestyle.”

Pam Painter, British Speedgolf co-founder, added: “Speedgolf adds an athletic dimension to golf that enhances the fitness benefits of the sport. It is also a lot of fun and is designed to fit into our hectic 21st century lifestyles.

“Speedgolf appeals to golfers of all abilities but is also attracting those from the running community, especially individuals who favour cross discipline sports.”

To learn more about Golf Express and to find 9-hole or other short format offers and a directory of facilities visit

To learn more about British Speedgolf visit



Sudden death kills Fleetwood’s hopes

LANCASHIRE’S Tommy Fleetwood was beaten by Bernd Wiesberger in a play-off in the Shenzhen International – his fourth European Tour title – on a dramatic final day at Genzon Golf Club.

The Austrian entered the final round with a three-shot lead and eight ahead of Fleetwood who fired a stunning 63 to set the clubhouse target and share top spot at 16-under.

Wiesberger made excellent par saves on the 12th and 17th and nearly hit the pin with his approach to the last but was forced to settle for a par and a trip back up the 18th with Fleetwood for a play-off.

He went on to put his approach to five feet and roll in the putt for a birdie and victory on debut at the tournament.

The 31-year-old has not missed a cut since the 2016 US PGA Championship, producing seven top five finishes in that time, and his first victory in a play-off after losing the previous three times.

Fleetwood, a winner already this season, said: “I’ve played well all week and I was really disappointed, it was stressing me out that I couldn’t really get anything in the hole.”

“Today, just a few putts went in and I kept it going all the way through and it was a good time to shoot a 63.

“As a goal I wanted to be one under for every three holes, that was 66 and if I beat that I thought I’ll have had a good day and a good week.”


It’s a first for Gathurst’s Metcalfe

TOM Metcalfe is the second aspiring professional in PGA North to chalk up a maiden victory this month.

The 24-year-old from Wigan club Gathurst followed in the spikemarks of Dean Wood’s Robert Henderson, who made his breakthrough at Lancaster two weeks ago.

Metcalfe has registered a few top five finishes in his burgeoning career so it was no surprise when he posted a bogey-free three-under-par 68 at Carlisle, prevailing by a stroke in the PGA North Assistants’ Championship NE/NW.

His racked up birdies on the fifth, ninth and 11th holes and felt he should have had more.

“I struck the ball solidly but missed some fairly easy putts,” he reflected. “But it was the first time I’d seen the course and it was a pleasure to play it.”

Penrith assistant Tim Dykes and Oliver Smith, from Ashton-on-Mersey, tied second a shot off the pace.

Close encounter and Lancs lads retain crown


LANCASHIRE’S golfing young guns secured a dramatic victory in defence of their Four Counties title.

The annual competition pits the boys team from the Red Rose county against their counterparts from Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, and Shropshire and Herefordshire.

Lancashire’s new-look team –  only Harvey Talarczyk from Royal Lytham & St Annes had played in the winning line-up in 2016 – again came out on top after a close-fought battle at Shifnal Golf Club.

After losing two of the top three matches in the opening round against Shropshire & Herefordshire, Lancashire fought back strongly to run out 5-2 winners.

But it was a much closer affair against Cheshire, with Luke Bartram from Rossendale securing a vital point for Lancashire in a 3 ½-3 ½ draw.

In the final match, Bartram was one down after 14 holes but birdied the next three – helped by magnificent approach shots under pressure at both 16 and 17 – to grab a 2&1 win.

Lancashire again had to battle for the honours against Nottinghamshire, and while they took the opening three matches they were pegged back to 3-3 leaving Ben Harvey (West Lancs) needing to pull off the match-winning point – which he did in style, with a great tee shot to five feet at the par three 17th and a successful conversion of the birdie chance.

With Cheshire only halving their encounter with S&H, Lancashire were champions once more.

Southport and Ainsdale’s James Holland led the way for Lancashire, winning all three of his matches, while Harvey Talarczyk was unbeaten with two wins and a half.

Lancashire Junior Chairman Neil Dalton said: “The boys came together as a team and played some outstanding golf, especially at a time when it was required in the matches against Cheshire and Nottinghamshire.

“A special mention must go to James Holland after winning all of his matches and Harvey Talarczyk, who was not well during the tournament but still won two of his matches and halved the other.

“I am immensely proud of the way boys conducted themselves throughout and their achievement in retaining the title against strong opposition.”

LANCASHIRE: Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale), Harvey Talarczyk (Royal Lytham & St Annes), Grady Rogerson (Royal Lytham & St Annes), Ben Harvey (West Lancashire), Luke Bartram (Rossendale), James Holland (Southport & Ainsdale), Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside), Nathaniel Bellamy (West Lancashire) Reserve: George Holland (Southport & Ainsdale)


TOP SHOTS:  (from left , back row) Luke Bartram, Ben Harvey, Harvey Tarlaczyk, Oliver Ravenscroft, Greg Holmes, Nat Bellamy, Grady Rogerson . (Front) Dr Steven Reid (president), James Holland, Neil Dalton (junior chairman)

Meanwhile, the strength in depth of the Lancashire team helped them secure a 9½-2½win against a talented team representing the Bolton Golf Association. The match was much closer than the scoreline suggests, with Lancashire’s resilience often pulling them through on the back nine.

FIXTURES: May 10 Collinge Trophy (at Wilpshire GC); May 11 Lancashire Seniors v Shropshire and Herefordshire Seniors (at Whitefield GC); May 13 Lancashire v Northumberland (at Bolton Old Links); May 14 Lancashire Boys Championship (at Nelson GC); May 15 Lancashire Seniors v Cumbria Seniors (at Carlisle GC); May 24 Collinge Trophy (at Accrington)








Top award for Cheshire’s Ruth Whitehead

CHESHIRE’S  Ruth Whitehead, who has played a prominent role in unifying men’s and women’s golf, has been recognised for her outstanding contribution to the amateur game with England Golf’s Gerald Micklem Award.

She is the first woman to receive the award which was presented by England Golf’s outgoing president, Marian Rae, at the organisation’s annual meeting.

Ruth was a key figure in national women’s golf for many years and was closely involved with the merger of the English Golf Union and the English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) which created England Golf.

She has been a member at Delamere Forest Golf Club for almost 40 years, becoming its first woman director and is now is its first female chairman.

Alongside Ruth’s club and national roles she has been a staunch supporter of her county, both as a player and an official, most recently as president in 2015-16.

Ruth’s motivation has always been her pleasure in the game and she said of her award: “I’m overwhelmed, this is absolutely unbelievable. I have had such fun and enjoyment from golf, I’ve worked with wonderful people and made lovely friends. You don’t think of getting honours, you do it because you love the game.”

Ruth started golf as a 14-year-old at Sandbach and, during a membership which spanned 45 years, she was ladies’ captain in the club’s golden jubilee celebrations. She was also a member at Sandiway for more than 35 years and has been ladies’ captain at Royal St David’s, Harlech.

Ruth’s active involvement with county, regional and national golf flourished when she retired as deputy head teacher of a large, successful comprehensive school in Nantwich.

After joining the executive of the former English Ladies’ Golf Association she helped to modernise the organisation and transform it into EWGA. Ruth was the first chairman of the new operational board, looking after the association’s golfing activities.

She was always hands-on, as busy on the course as in the committee room. Ruth ran many championships – with a particular soft spot for the English U13 and U15 girls – and officiated as an R&A-qualified referee.

As a player, Ruth held a single figure handicap for more than 40 years and still plays off 11. She was a Cheshire county player and was county senior champion in 1999. She has been county captain, senior captain and the captain of the Northern vets.

In-form Gemma heading for more glory

DELAMERE Forest star Gemma Clews and  Annabell Fuller, from Roehampton, and will represent England in the Nations Cup at next week’s Helen Holm Scottish Women’s Open Strokeplay Championship.

The team trophy is awarded to the pair with the best aggregate score over all three rounds  from April 21-23. The first 36 holes are played at Troon Portland and the final round over the Old Course, Royal Troon.

Both players are in great form. Fourteen-year-old Fuller  was third individually in the women’s European Nations Cup last month and runner-up in the Harder Hall women’s invitational in Florida in January. She’s this week representing England in the French U21 women’s championship. Last year, the girl international won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and had six second places.

Clews, 22, has won two top scratch events this season, with a combined score of 20-under par. She claimed the Delamere Comboy Scratch on her home course for the fourth time, before following up with last weekend’s victory in the Hampshire Rose at North Hants. Last season she helped England win the women’s Home Internationals and was third on the England Golf Women’s Order of Merit.

The team reserve is Lancashire’s Sophie Lamb, 19, (Clitheroe) who is the British strokeplay champion.

Hamerton top of the shots at Marriott Worsley Park

ANOTHER full Manchester Alliance field enjoy a great day at Marriott Worsley Park as they produced a string of impressive scores.

Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold) was the star pro of the day as he led in the individual pro section with 40 points, two points clear of Craig Corrigan (Chilli Dip Academy), order-of-merit  leader Phil Archer (Birchwood) and Jamie Howarth (Davenport) who was top assistant pro.

Hamerton made his a double as his club colleague Steve Hamlett helped him to 45 points to top the pro-am ahead of Phil Archer and Anton Johnson (Mere) 44 and Graham Cox (Lymm) and amateur merit leader Vinny Doyle (Leigh).

The familiar names of Marcus Corfield (Swinton Park) and Dave Smith (Ellesmere) were the top dogs in the am-am with 44 points, denying sponsor Bob Bardsley (Denton) and partner Steve Hamer (North Manchester) by one and Stamford duo Paul Traynor and Brian Thomas who posted 42.