Archive for April, 2018

Clarkin is top of the shots

CURTIS Clarkin swept to the top of the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit when he won the Penwortham Rose Bowl with rounds if 70 and 69 for a one-over-par total.

The Nelson player moved 50 points ahead Huyton & Prescot stalwart John Carroll who prevailed in the curtain-raising Crosby Challenge Plate earlier in the month.

Clarkin produced a mixed bag of birdies and bogeys in the morning before handing in a flawless card in the afternoon.


LEADING SCORES: 139 Curtis Clarkin (Nelson) 70 69; 140 Jack Brooks (Mere) 71 69; 144 Chris Chilton (Stockport) 77 67, Ciaran Doherty (Bury) 72 72; 146 Sean Comisky (Hesketh) 74 72, Harry Lord (Rossendale) 72 74, Graham Booth (Formby Hall) 71 75; 147 John Shuttleworth (Penwortham) 72 75; 148 Daryl Callister (Mount Murray) 74 74; 149 Leigh Clayton (Fleetwood) 77 72, Grady Rogerson (Royal Lytham) 74 75, Alex Webb (Preston) 74 75.

ORDER OF MERIT: 195pts Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 150 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot); 105 Chris Chilton (Stockport); 100 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool), Jack Brooks (Mere); 75 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale); 60 Aiden Hoosen (Manchester), Ciaran Doherty (Bury); 50 Mark Duncalf (S&A), Sean Comisky (Hesketh); 45 Harry Lord (Rossendale); 40 Jack Cornes (Lymm).


Issued by David Birtill.Tel: 01254 831844; Fax 08715032443; Mob: 07850539110;

Web: Twitter: (@DavidBirtill)

A member of the Association of Golf Writers & NUJ life member.



Clitheroe ace Sophie in Curtis Cup team

Sophie Lamb (4).jpgIT was hardly a surprise when Clitheroe’s Sophie Lamb was selected for the Great Britain and Ireland team to face the United States in the 40th Curtis Cup match at New York’s Quaker Ridge on June 8-10.

For her place was almost assured when she won the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur player at the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns.

The 20-year-old was also runner-up in the Irish Women’s Open Championship in the same year and represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 2017 Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe.

And In 2016, Sophie won the Ladies British Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship.

GB&I will defend the historic trophy after securing an 11.5-8.5 win over the United States at Dun Laoghaire in Ireland two years ago.

An eight-player team and one non-travelling reserve have been selected for this year’s match with five players from England featuring alongside two Irishwomen and one Scot.

The GB&I team includes 16-year-old Lily May Humphreys who won the 2018 Helen Holm Championship at Royal Troon last week to add to the Girls British Open Amateur Championship and English Women’s Amateur Championship titles she won last year.

Olivia Mehaffey and Alice Hewson will make their second appearances for GB&I in the Curtis Cup after featuring in the winning side at Dun Laoghaire in 2016.

Elaine Farquharson-Black, who will captain GB&I in the Curtis Cup for the second time, said: “There have been a number of players throughout Great Britain and Ireland who have been in impressive form recently and it was a difficult decision to select only eight.

“The players selected will now have a wonderful opportunity to perform on the international stage in one of the world’s most prestigious events and I’m sure that they will give their very best as we attempt to retain the trophy against a talented team from the United States.”

TEAM: India Clyburn (21, Woodhall Spa); Lily May Humphreys (16, Stoke-by-Nayland); Annabell Fuller (15, Roehampton); Sophie Lamb (20, Clitheroe);  Paula Grant (24, Lisburn); Shannon McWilliam (18, Aboyne, Scotland); Alice Hewson (20, Berkhamsted);    Olivia Mehaffey (20, Royal County Down Ladies).


Archer on target to keep Alliance crown

PHIL Archer took a giant step to retaining his Manchester Alliance Order-of-Merit crown in the penultimate event of the campaign when he racked up 36 points at Crewe.

But the Poulton Park professional had to settle for a share of the spoils after a four-way tie between  Paul Grannell (Vale Royal Abbey), Olly Smith (Ashton-on-Mersey) and Alistair Waddell (Styal).

There was a similar outcome in the pro-am with a four-way tie on 41 points with the verdict going to Stamford’s Mark Smith and Martin Dwyer who denied  Ben Thompson and Keith Caddick (Hazel Grove), Archer with Hazel Grove’s Roy Campion and Chilli Dip’s Craig Corrigan and Chris Ireland (Lymm).

The am-am honours went to Malkins Bank duo Ian Farthing and Steve King whose 39-point haul took them four clear of Lee Warren (Northenden)  and Dave Hemingway (Chorley) who won a count-back from Chorlton’s Don Milligan and Mike Fenton.

Parry leads the way at Northenden

SERIAL winner Steve Parry topped the leaderboard at Northenden in the third of 11 events in the PGA North Players’ Series open to professionals throughout the entire region.

The Hart Common ace (pictured) racked up four birdies, erring once with a bogey at the fifth, as he posted a three-under-par 69.

Steve Parry.PNG

A double-bogey on the penultimate hole prevented the unattached Oliver Pantoja from leapfrogging Parry and had to settle for second spot with a 70 matched by Mossock Hall’s David Shacklady.

Next stop is Blackburn Golf Club on May 14.

LEADING SCORES: 69 Steve Parry (Hart Common); 70 OlIver Pantoja (unatt), David Shacklady (Mossock Hall); 71 Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham), Lee Rooke (Royal St David’s), Timothy Dykes (Penrith), Daniel Bradbury (Bolton Old Links); 72 Simon Edwards (unatt), Matthew Tottey (North Wales).

England Golf goes extra mile for Macmillan Cancer Support


ENGLAND Golf  is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support’s Longest Day Golf Challenge to help raise the profile of the fundraising event among its 665,000 members and 1,900 clubs.

The challenge sees teams of four take on 72 holes – covering over 20 miles of course in one day – to fund raise for Macmillan. Players are encouraged to ask friends and family for sponsorship to help the charity support the growing number of people living with cancer.

After registering to take part in the Longest Day Golf Challenge participants can compete to win a three-night break to the final at golf challenge at Boavista Golf Resort, Portugal. The prize includes flights and accommodation and will be awarded to the four eligible teams who raise the most sponsorship money for Macmillan by 3 September 20181.

England Golf is urging all golfers to get involved and its staff will be tackling the dawn-to-dusk challenge at Woodhall Spa Golf Club, Lincolnshire.

Nick Pink, England Golf chief executive, commented: “We are thrilled to support Macmillan’s Longest Day Golf Challenge and to encourage more golfing heroes to set out on 14 hours of non-stop golf and help to change the lives of people affected by cancer.”

Kirsty Hobbs, fundraising marketing manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “England Golf is helping us take our Longest Day Golf fundraising challenge to more clubs and players in the UK than ever before, which is really exciting. We’re hugely grateful to everyone that will be getting involved and helping us support the growing number of people living with cancer.”

In 2017, more than 3,400 teams took part and raised £1.7 million. This vital money has helped Macmillan to provide emotional, financial, medical and practical support to people living with cancer across the UK.

How to get involved:


  • Register your club by emailing
  • Once registered, your club is listed as a venue at
  • Reserve a day on or close to the longest day, 21 June 2018, and let your members and other golfers know you’re hosting the challenge on your course.
  • Plan to open when the sun rises, and consider waiving green fees and make refreshments available.


  • Once you have a team of four select a captain and register at
  • Plan your challenge for or close to the longest day, 21 June 2018, to maximise daylight hours.
  • Play at your own club or any golf club around the UK. Use the Macmillan websiteto find Longest Day Golf Challenge friendly clubs nearest to you.
  • Spread the word at your club and encourage other members to support you with sponsorship and fundraising events.
XThe prize includes return economy flights from London to Faro, and three nights’ accommodation and meals courtesy of Boavista Golf Resort. Date restrictions apply. Over 18s only. Four persons per team only. Full Competition Terms and Conditions apply. Promoted by Macmillan Cancer Support (registered charity in England & Wales, (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).

Lymm lasses in the driving seat


TEE TIME: Gillian Brown, Diana Broady, Carol Roberts and Jessica Taylor-Booth

LYMM Golf Club  is celebrating a year of firsts which has put women in the driving seat. For the first time in its 111-year-history members have elected women to serve as club president, chair of council and junior captain.

And the membership has also voted to give their respective captains.

Diana Broady will serve as the president for 12 months. A retired physiotherapist at Warrington Hospital, she is an active member of more than 30 years, a former captain and keen all round sportswoman, having played tennis and squash alongside golf.

She commented: “Lymm Ladies are a very active force and support the club well, both on the playing and social side. I look forward to a great year and to serving all of the members to the best of my ability.”

Carol Roberts has stepped from the 2017 lady captain’s role straight into chair of council for the three years. She recently retired as the managing director of a national financial services business and was handed a Life Time Achievement Award for services to the leasing industry and was previously the European CEO of the Year.

She will use her experience to face a different set of challenges as she supports the continual modernisation of golf at club level.

Jessica Taylor-Booth,  17, is the first girl to become junior captain, having come through Lymm’s active junior programme. She has taken part in Cheshire County girls coaching and is a club ambassador for the Girls Golf Rocks programme. At the recent combined Captain’s drive-in, a  Jessica smashed a superb 200 yard drive in very unforgiving, wet conditions to mark a historic year for the club.

Gillian Brown is the ladies’ captain and for the first time and will hold equal status with captain Alan Dagger.

Lymm has a long tradition of encouraging women and girls to take up golf. It has more than 110 female members and there is a very popular Silver Rabbits group, which welcomes new women golfers and supports their development and progress on to the course.

Lymm has worked successfully with England Golf to run Girls Golf Rocks at the club and will be throwing open a welcome to local girls for a free Girls Golf Rocks taster session on Saturday  at 2pm.

Alison Lysons, England Golf Club support officer, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Lymm  to help their continued development of golf for women and girls and it’s exciting to see these four taking on such important roles at the club.”


Feeney Trophy winners in groove at Hazel Grove

THE Manchester Alliance endured a record nine postponements in its winter programme so it was a big relief that the Leo Feeney Trophy at went ahead Hazel Grove this week.

The trophy, awarded to the best pair by a club, was won by Pike Fold pro-am duo Grant Hamerton and Ged Muldowney who posted 45 points after a card play-off with Stand’s Rob Batchelor and Keith Dingley.

They finished in second place in the pro-am section behind Andy Palmer (Chorley) and Keith Ashton (Bolton) who had a best-of-the-day 47 points,

Palmer also shared the top individual pro spot with Mark Hancock (Stand) on 40 points, one more than Craig Corrigan, Phil Archer (Poulton Park) and Grant Hamerton.

Steve Hamer, from Titleist ,was the event sponsor and he won the am-am top prize partnering home star Andrew Hill to 45 points to lead in from Lee Warren (Northenden) and David Hemingway (Chorley) 44 and John Aikenhead (Ashton-on-Mersey) and Mark Gauchi (Chorlton) 42.


SkyTrak helps BBC 5 Live to recreate Masters drama


SkyTrak made its BBC Radio 5 Live debut  as the Breakfast Show used it to recreate the drama of this year’s Masters.

BBC Sport oresenter Chris Latchem and tour golfer Andrew Murray used SkyTrak running E6 Golf in a head-to-head match broadcast live on the station’s breakfast show, which averages over two million listeners each week.

Viewers of the 5 Live webcam service also watched the duo live as they played on the morning after Patrick Reed’s victory in the Masters.

SkyCaddie’s UK & European general manager, James Holmes, set up The Belfry to be used as a substitute golf course as the pair attempted to repeat crucial shots hit by Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed at Augusta.

The SkyTrak segment featured several times during a typically busy morning’s show, with Latchem eventually beating Murray 2-1 in a rapid-fire ‘nearest the pin’ contest.

“Our thanks to the BBC for putting their faith in SkyTrak for Monday morning’s live broadcast” said Holmes, who travelled to the BBC’s MediaCityUK studios in Salford to oversee the feature. “It went without a hitch, and hopefully the 5 Live audience found it a fun way to start the week.”

Since its UK launch in September 2015, SkyTrak has gained thousands of fans worldwide for its combination of professional launch monitor accuracy, and its versatility as an entertainment unit when used as a golf simulator.

See for all details.

Carroll calls the tune at West Lancs

JOHN Carroll, a double Lancashire County champion, proved he could still compete with the best when he won the opening fixture in the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit series with rounds of 68 and 71 in the Crosby Challenge Plate at West Lancs.

The Huyton & Prescot stalwart (pictured) started with four birdies in the first nine holes and added another for good measure on the home stretch, erring only once with a bogey at the short 17th.John Carroll (2).jpg

Plus three ranked Carroll picked up three birdies in the second round marred by two dropped shots.

Royal Liverpool’s Steven Capper, last year’s winner, was runner-up four off the pace.

LEADING SCORES: 139 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) 68 71; 143 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool) 71 72; 145 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale) 75 70; 146 Aiden Hooson (Manchester) 74 72, Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale) 74 72, Curtis Clarkin (Nelson) 71 75; 147 Jack Cornes (Lymm) 76 71, Chris Chilton (Stockport) 74 73, Kevin Moore (Douglas) 72 75; 148 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside) 75 73, George Young (Clitheroe) 75 73, Gary Blades (Burnley) 74 74.

ORDER OF MERIT: 50pts John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot); 100 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool); 75 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale); 60 Aiden Hooson (Manchester); 50 Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale); 45 Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 40 Jack Cornes (Lymm); 30 Chris Chilton (Stockport); 25 Kevin Moore (Douglas); 20 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside); 15 George Young (Clitheroe); 10 Gary Blades (Burnley).


Carus Green Golf Academy receives PGA accreditation


CARUS Green Golf Club’s golf academy has cemented its place as one of the UK’s finest facilities after receiving PGA accreditation.

The newly named “PGA Golf Academy, Carus Green, Cumbria” is launched officially tomorrow  and joins an elite group of PGA branded golf properties around the world.

Carus Green lines up alongside an illustrious group of properties benefiting from the close association with The PGA including The Belfry, Gleneagles and Formby Hall in the UK, together with international facilities in China (Bayhood No.9 and Mission Hills), Cyprus (Aphrodite Hills), Czech Republic (The Oaks), Ireland (University of Limerick), Kenya (Vipingo Ridge), Russia (PGA National), Spain (PGA Catalunya), Thailand (Laguna Phuket) and Turkey (Antalya Golf Club).

The announcement is a huge boost for the 50-strong team at Carus Green and the county’s golfers, with PGA accreditation demonstrating its attainment of the very highest standards in terms of exceptional facilities, teaching and training.

With nine PGA Professionals, an 18-bay top specification driving range, two bespoke Flightscope fitting rooms, an indoor putting lab, chipping and putting green, outdoor all-weather short game practice area and state of the art GC2 golf simulator, Carus Green is renowned as one of the North of England’s premium golfing venues.

It was also the setting for the 2017 Trilby Tour Championship of Cumbria and will host this event once again this year.

Guy Moran , the PGA’s head of property and development, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Golf Academy at Carus Green as a PGA-accredited facility and look forward to a successful and long lasting relationship together.

“Carus Green joins a select band of PGA branded golf academies worldwide that are leading the way with expert PGA instruction, outstanding facilities and use of the very latest equipment and technology.

“The PGA brand represents honesty, integrity, innovation and leadership and we are delighted Carus Green shares those values and vision.”

Carus Green’s owner, Graham Curtin, added: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been endorsed by The PGA as an accredited golf academy and are delighted we have reached the extremely high level of standards required to bear The PGA name.

“The value and global recognition of the PGA brand is huge and will really put Carus Green – and the county of Cumbria – on the map, as a centre of golfing excellence.

“Our continuing success and this incredible endorsement is resultant of many years of hard work; we could not have had a more positive start to the season.”