Archive for May, 2018

Foster steps up to the mark

LANCASHIRE legend  Trevor Foster has marked himself out as a man to watch when the English senior men’s championship gets under way next week.

He heads to Sherwood Forest and Coxmoor Golf Clubs in Nottinghamshire with his first major senior title tucked under his belt.

The Accrington man won the Irish seniors’ championship with a fighting final round of two-under 70 at a very windy Concra Wood. “When I woke up it was blowing a gale and that’s just what I wanted. It was quite a long course and the greens were quite fast but I manged to handle it all right so I was happy,” he said.

Foster came from four shots back to snatch the title, finishing two clear of another Englishman, Littlehampton’s Steve Graham  “To win was massive,” said Foster.

It was a fine result, especially as he was three-over par after two holes of his first round. He contrived to turn in a two-over par score and improved by two shots in each of the remaining rounds.It gave him his third win in four starts – and he was runner up in the other event – making him very much a man in form with the Englishseniors’ due to start next Wednesday, June 6.

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But Foster (pictured) insisted: “I’m still the same old Trevor Foster who can have a bad day like anyone else. This game can bring you down to reality.”

In any case, his motivation is not the titles, but putting in the performances that will earn him a place in the England senior team. “That’s my big goal, to play for England,” he said. “There can’t be anything finer than to walk on the tee representing your country.”

There’s also the small matter of a little teasing from his daughter, Nikki. Both of them have held plus-three handicaps, both have played their respective Open Championships… but Nikki has played for England.

Next week Foster will be one of 288 players who set off in pursuit of the title. The field includes many of the internationals he’d like to join, including the defending champion, Doug Cameron, (Henley, BB&O).

Fellow Lancashire players include Ian Crowther (Royal Lytham & St Annes) who last year won both the Welsh and Italian senior titles, and Bryan Hughes (Hesketh) the British senior champion.

Local interest will focus on the three Sherwood Forest players – Christopher Powell, Clive Graham and David Brown – and the two Coxmoor competitors, Derek McJannet and Trevor Ryan.

All competitors will all play one round on each course before the field is cut to the leading 80 players and ties. They return for the deciding third round at Sherwood Forest on June 8.

 

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R&A Launch first women’s charter

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SPEAKERS: from left,  Chyloe Kurdas (Golf Australia), Hazel Irvine (BBC), Sarah Stirk (Sky Sports), Nick Pink (England Golf), Liz Dimmock (Moving Ahead) and Martin Slumbers (The R&A). Getty Images.

THE R&A has unveiled a new Women in Golf Charter as part of the organisation’s drive to increase the number of women and girls participating in golf and to encourage more opportunities for women to work within the golf industry.

The charter aims to inspire an industry-wide commitment to developing a more inclusive culture within golf around the world and to enable more women and girls to flourish and maximise their potential at all levels of the sport.

Adoption of the charter will also require national federations and other golf bodies to build on current initiatives and develop new projects that will focus on encouraging more women and girls to play golf and stay within the sport as members of clubs, while also empowering women to enjoy successful careers working within the golf industry.

The Women in Golf Charter specifically aims to:  

  • Strengthen the focus on gender balance and provide a united position for the golf industry
  • Commit national federations and organisations to support measures targeted at increasing participation of women, girls and families in golf
  • Call on signatories to take positive action to support the recruitment, retention and progression of women working at all levels of the sport
  • Set individual targets for national federations for participation and membership and annual reporting of progress
  • Develop an inclusive environment for women and girls within golf

Martin Slumbers, R&A chief executive, outlined its plans to work in collaboration with its affiliated organisations, partners and the wider golf industry to achieve these goals at a launch event at The View from The Shard, one of London’s most iconic venues.

Hosted by sports broadcaster Hazel Irvine, the event also featured presentations and panel discussions with guest speakers including Nick Pink, chief executive of England Golf, Sky Sports’ Golf presenter Sarah Stirk, Chyloe Kurdas, National Female Participation Manager at Golf Australia, and Liz Dimmock, Founder of Moving Ahead.

The event was attended by representatives of golf organisations worldwide who have pledged their support as signatories of the charter, including the European Tour, the Ladies’ European Tour, the European Golf Association, the Professional Golfers’ Association, the European Disability Golf Association, Golf Australia, Golf Canada, the Golfing Union of Ireland, England Golf, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and Scottish Golf.

Slumbers said: “We are asking the golf industry to recognise the real importance of increasing the number of women and girls playing golf and empowering more women to enjoy successful careers at all levels of the sport.

“The Charter is a strong statement of intent from the golf industry that it has to change and a commitment on behalf of all of us to take measures designed to achieve positive change for women, girls and families. This is crucial to growing participation in the sport in the years ahead.

“We ask our affiliates and partners around the world to pledge their support and commitment to achieving this vision and to help us ensure that we have a thriving sport in 50 years’ time that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren can enjoy.

“The R&A plans to increase our overall investment in women’s, girls’ and mixed golf to £80 million over the next 10 years, a clear indication of our determination to develop the game in this area.”

Tracey Crouch MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “We are committed to creating an environment where women and girls can succeed at every level of sport.

“Interest in women’s sports is at an all-time high, with increased global interest and record attendances. I welcome The R&A’s strong commitment to encourage more women into golf and nurture future generations of talent.”

Liz Dimmock said: “The case for a more balanced and inclusive culture for golf is clear and a real cultural shift is required within the sport to create a more equitable participation base that reflects the demands of current and future generations.

“Women are also under-represented at every level of the governance and business of the sport and this needs to be proactively addressed. The Women in Golf Charter is a signal to the industry that change is required, which can be achieved with a strong, positive vision for golf.”

The Women in Golf Charter is another positive development for the sport following The R&A’s successful merger with the Ladies’ Golf Union last year. In 2018, the organisation also launched the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship which was staged at Sentosa, Singapore in February while the new Girls Under 16 Open Championship was played at Fulford last month.

The R&A also provided an initial three-year funding package of £375,000 to its affiliates in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to support the appointment of new development managers to work on increasing participation by women and girls.

 

 

Search for the Perfect Swing

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FROM LEFT: Dr Rob Neal, CEO of Golf BioDynamics, Steve Otto, the R&A’s Director of Equipment Standards and Chief Technology Officer, Dr Alastair Cochran, author of The Search for the Perfect Swing, Dr Sasho MacKenzie, professor at St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia,  and Prof  Eric Wallace, Professor of Biomechanics and Sports Technology at Ulster Uni.  Image courtesy of The PGA. 

THE author of what many have described as the “The Bible” for golf coaches returned to The PGA for a special event to mark the 50 years since the publication of “The Search for the Perfect Swing.”

Dr Alastair Cochran’s book remains one of the seminal pieces of work that has applied scientific methods to study the game of golf. It continues to be referenced today by scientists, educators and practitioners across the world of golf.

Cochran was the guest of honour at PGA headquarters inside The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, on May 21 and his book’s popularity was demonstrated with almost 100 people attending the sold out event inside the PGA National Training Academy.

“It’s been a life-changing thing for me,” said Cochran. I’ve always been an academic and a research physicist but this book as got me all round the world.

“I personally didn’t anticipate the sort of impact the book would have on golf. There’s a great cult following who think it’s the best thing since sliced bread. It was fun to do and it got a few other people starting to think about things like that.

“When I finished doing some work for The PGA on their manuals three to four years ago, I thought that was it. But meeting these guys got me excited about golf again and what they’re doing.”

A select group of world-leading experts who are involved in researching various elements of the game were also in attendance.

They included Dr Rob Neal, CEO of Golf BioDynamics, the R&A’s Director of Equipment Standards and Chief Technology Officer, Professor Steve Otto, and Professor Eric Wallace, Professor of Biomechanics and Sports Technology at Ulster University.

Dr Sasho MacKenzie, Professor at St. Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada, also flew in especially for the event.

David Colclough, Head of Coaching & Sports Science at The PGA, added: “It was a great honour to recognise the considerable contribution that Alastair has made to the development of the game of golf through his original work with ‘The Search for the Perfect Swing.

“We were also delighted to get such a wonderful line-up of speakers, who so neatly related the most current research findings to Alistair’s work from 1968.

“I think it showed what an essential read the book still is for anyone serious about understanding the science behind the game.”

 

Kenwright bowls them over

HAYDOCK Park’s Ian Kenwright, who won the Lancashire County Championship in 2015, proved he still had the winning touch when he claimed the Southport & Ainsdale Bowl.

But it was a close call as he posted scores of 75 and 71 to prevail on countback from three chasing players.

Among them was Hillside’s Oliver Ravenscroft who leapfrogged to the top of the in the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit fixture table, 20 points ahead of Bury’s Ciaran Doherty and Curtis Clarkin, from Nelson.

And it was double delight for Ravenscroft who won the Lancashire Links Trophy.

LEADING SCORES: 146 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 75 71, Greg McIlroy (Southport & Ainsdale) 74 72, Mark Hyde (Southport & Ainsdale) 73 73, Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside) 73 73; 147 Anthony Stirling (Formby) 73 74, Matthew Nuttall (Royal Birkdale) 73 74; 148 Calum Scott (Nairn) 76 72, Graeme Booth (Formby Hall) 76 72, Jack Shelley (Formby) 76 72, Reece Cranfield (Wigan) 73 75, David Peel (Stockport) 70 78; 149 David Higginbotham (Southport & Ainsdale) 74 75.

ORDER OF MERIT: 230pts Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside); 210 Ciaran Doherty (Bury), Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 165 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park); 150 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Matt Collinge (Greenmount); 140 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool); 135 Mark Hyde (Southport & Ainsdale); 125 Richie Blundell (Hillside), Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale); 120 Jack Brooks (Mere).

Lancashire Links Trophy: 288 Oliver Ravenscroft (Southport & Ainsdale)); 290 Matthew Nuttall (Royal Birkdale); 293 Mark Hyde (Southport & Ainsdale).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ravenscroft is top of the shots  

THERE was no change at the top of the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit following the Formby Hare with joint pace setters Ciaran Doherty, from Bury, and Nelson’s Curtis Clarkin 40 points ahead of the chasing pack.

Hillside’s Oliver Ravenscroft moved into third spot as he posted rounds of 72 and 70, edging out Royal Birkdale’s Matthew Nuttall by a stroke.

But there could be some changes in the pecking order after the Southport & Ainsdale Bowl after a double-header weekend.

 LEADING SCORES: 142 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside) 72 70; 143 Matthew Nuttall (Royal Birkdale) 72 71; 145 Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale) 69 76; 147 Mark Hide (Southport & Ainsdale) 70 77; 148 Richie Blundell (Hillside) 74 74, Callum Swift (Kings Hill) 72 76; 149 Callum Scott (Nairn) 75 74, Reece Cranfield (Wigan) 72 77; 150 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale) 76 74, Thomas Winn (Morecambe) 76 74, Anthony Stirling (Formby) 74 76; 151 Michael Sumner (Formby) 80 71.

 ORDER OF MERIT: 210pts Ciaran Doherty (Bury), Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 170 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside); 150 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Matt Collinge (Greenmount); 140 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool); 125 Richie Blundell (Hillside), Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale); 120 Jack Brooks (Mere); 105 Chris Chilton (Stockport); 100 Jonathan Little (Heswall) Bryan Hughes (Hesketh).

Please note that Clitheroe Golf Club has withdrawn from the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit

 

 

King crowned Silversea Senior PGA champion

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JOHN King, the long-serving head professional at Lindrick Golf Club, muscled in on the anticipated duel between Mark Ridley and John Gould to win the Silversea Senior PGA Championship at Foxhills.

Six and five strokes adrift of Ridley and Gould respectively at the start of the final round, King kept his game together while they faltered.

Ridley, who is attached to South Moor Golf Club, Co Durham, was unable to replicate the form that had seen him lead the tournament at the end of the first and second rounds and posted a four-over-par total of 77 to finish on two-under-par. One-over after 12, his round was effectively derailed by bogeys at 14, 16 and 17.

Meanwhile, Gould, who had drawn level with Ridley courtesy of a birdie at the par five fifth, never recovered from the plague of bogeys, including a double, that followed over four of the next five holes.

A birdie at the par-five 12th provided brief respite before two more bogeys resulted in a five-over-par round of 78 and him ceding third place to Mossock Hall’s David Shacklady.

King, by contrast, unaware of the implosions behind him, made flawless progress round the Bernard Hunt course and, courtesy of a birdie at the par-four 13th, carded a one-under-par round of 72 to finish on two-under.

All of which meant a sudden death play-off with Ridley to determine the destiny of the Bernard Hunt trophy and £6,000 winner’s cheque put up by Silversea, the luxury cruise line specialists sponsoring the tournament for the third successive year.

It took place on the par-four 18th and while King had the momentum, Ridley had ‘previous’ on the double green that serves the final holes on both the Longcross and Bernard Hunt courses at the Surrey resort.

He had signed off on days one and two with a 40-foot chip for a birdie and an even longer putt for an eagle but this time his Midas touch with either putter or wedge deserted him.

Not least on the third negotiation of the hole when he three-putted for a bogey and King claimed victory with a par.

King, who has been head pro at the 1957 Ryder Cup venue for 20 years and was an assistant there before moving to nearby Worksop where he coached a youthful Lee Westwood, described his round as one of the best he has played.

But he admitted that, given the deficit he had to make up on Ridley and Gould, his initial target was finishing in the top 15 and earning a place in the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship at the London Club in August.

“I was playing with a good buddy, Rob Ellis,” he explained, “and we were realistically looking at making sure we finished in the top 15.

“But you never know at this game. It was a little bit of surprise to catch them but obviously I’m delighted. I’ve had to work that hard for a victory before on occasions but this was one of the best rounds I’ve played tee to green.

King was also fulsome in his praise for Foxhills and added: “I’ve been coming here for a few years now and it’s been fabulous. The best it’s been. We’ve had bad weather in the past but this year it’s been perfect.

“Both courses are in great condition and, as usual, all the staff have been excellent.”

 

Leading scores

 

1              John King (Lindrick Golf Club)                                     216 (-2)                 £6,000

2              Mark Ridley (South Moor Golf Club)        216 (-2)                 £4,500

3              David Shacklady (Mossock Hall)                 217 (-1)                 £3,400

4              John Gould (John Gould International)  218 (L)                   £2,550

5              Paul Streeter (Lincoln Golf Centre)                          219 (+1)                                £2,100

 

A full list of scores can be found at:

 

https://pgagbi.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/pgagbi18/event/pgagbi18329/contest/9/leaderboard.htm

Fleetwood lines up with Guardiola at Wentworth

PEP Guardiola, manager of record-breaking English Premier League champions Manchester City, will tee up alongside Europe’s No 1 golfer Tommy Fleetwood in the Celebrity Pro-Am at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on May 23.

The stylish Spaniard, whose Man City side became the first team in Premier League history to reach 100 points in a season, played in the pro-am at last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation and he will now make his debut in the traditional curtain-raiser for the BMW PGA Championship – the first of eight Rolex Series events on the European Tour in 2018.

Guardiola will be joined by a familiar face in Race to Dubai champion Fleetwood, the Lancashire star with whom he was playing golf when he found out that City had clinched the title courtesy of rivals Manchester United losing to West Brom last month. The pair will also be joined by former Southampton star Matt Le Tissier and ex-Manchester United and Manchester City goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

The Celebrity Pro-Am over Wentworth’s famous West Course, as stars of sport, TV and music join some of the biggest names in golf. Other footballers already confirmed include the Premier League’s record goal scorer Alan Shearer, Man United duo Paul Scholes and Teddy Sheringham, and former Liverpool stars Robbie Fowler and Jamie Redknapp. Tickets to see them are available to buy here.

Guardiola, 47, plays off a handicap of 14 and is looking forward to taking on the famous West Course, where players such as Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Rory McIlroy have all triumphed over the years.

“I’ve heard some great things about the BMW PGA Championship and I’m looking forward to testing myself in the Pro-Am,” said Guardiola. “After winning the Premier League, it will be a nice way to finish a great season.

“I know there are quite a few sports stars and former footballers in the field, so I think it will be very competitive and hopefully my golf will live up to the event.”