Archive for August 16th, 2018

Cheshire’s Fisher is England’s champion captain

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CHESHIRE’S Bill Fisher is England’s champion golf captain – winning the title in a national final at Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire.
He scored 39 stableford points on the Blue course to win the final of the England Golf Captains’ Series by two and commented: “I’m delighted, it’s huge achievement in a very competitive field.”
The final was played as part of England Golf Week and Bill’s closest rivals were Ian Gwinnell (Brocton Hall, Staffordshire), George Grant (Leaside, Middlesex) and Ken Sargent (Haydock Park, Lancashire), who all scored 37 pts.
The players all qualified through the series of tournaments held for members of the England Golf Captains’ programme, which is open to county, club and lady captains as well as vice captains and past captains.
Bill was the 2017 captain at Alderley Edge Golf Club, where he has been a member for 32 years and where he enjoys the competitive golf. “At our club the golf is competitive, everyone is trying to win, but not at any cost,” he said.
Last year he was the first winner of the inaugural Cheshire nine-hole county championship, which was held at Alderley Edge, and he’s looking forward to defending that title next week.
He took great pleasure in his year as captain, remarking “The people made it fantastic.” He’s also enthusiastic about his membership of the captains’ programme. “It’s about meeting people who have been through a shared experience,” he commented.
England Golf Week is a five-day festival of handicap golf, featuring a host of finals of team and individual events.

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PGA to partner One Golf Network

THE Professional Golfers’ Association has announced a strategic partnership with One Golf Network in a new golf club marketing, golfer loyalty programme and tee time distribution company.

The main aim of the company – now known as PGA One Golf Network – is to better connect and engage with golfers.

This summer will see the launch of two core products; GoPlayGolf.co.uk, a golf marketing and tee time distribution website, providing golf clubs with more control when selling tee times, including setting their own pricing, and The Golfer Card, a data registration system for all UK golfers, with the focus on assisting clubs in collecting the data of the estimated 1.5 million independent golfers.

PGA One Golf Network was formally launched at the start of the year by Jane Carter, who has worked in the golf industry for more than 30 years, with more than a decade working directly with golf clubs. Work to date has been in the development of technology – a tee time booking system and a digital data collection model – and a pilot test in golf clubs.

Carter, director of PGA One Golf Network, is delighted to have such key industry support: “Having the investment and backing of the PGA is an enormous vote of confidence in the company. We couldn’t wish for a better partner. With more than 6000 Members working in golf clubs throughout Great Britain and Ireland, they are at the centre of driving participation.

“While The PGA Professional is at the heart of the relationship with golfers, independents and members, PGA One Golf Network will provide the tools and support to help them play an active part in promoting the golf club, their own services and the game.”

The PGA is giving its backing to the company which it sees as a key foundation in helping the industry take better control of its relationships with golfers. By supporting PGA One Golf Network, it underlines The PGA’s commitment to facilitate a change in the industry and support PGA Members who play such a key role.

Robert Maxfield, chief executive of The PGA, said : “By partnering in projects such as PGA One Golf Network, we can assist our Members and the wider industry grow the game. The PGA Professionals have a vital role to play in supporting their golf clubs in a commercially driven marketplace where discounted tee times are becoming too dominant.

“Jane has enormous industry knowledge through working closely with golf clubs and PGA Professionals for many years. Golf clubs face some major challenges in relation to managing tee times and we believe PGA One Golf Network provides the solution.”

As the green fee market is evolving, golfers are more and more found online and mobile, increasing the importance of online tee time marketing. GoPlayGolf.co.uk will offer clubs the opportunity to control their pricing structure and build relationships directly with the customer.There are no barter tee times and the key focus is on convenience and added value. Tee time booking technology can be provided or it will work seamlessly with existing tee time booking systems.

The Golfer Card has been developed to meet the long over-due challenge of building a database of independent golfers in the UK. It is a seamless, GDPR compliant, one-time mobile registration system and loyalty programme. Golf clubs will no longer have to continuously collect email addresses and manage marketing preferences as The Golfer Card manages all the data for them. It offers a simple software installation for each club, so golfers can sign in using their smartphones. PGA Professionals at the point of sale will be educated to use the system, designed to free their time to serve their customers.

Industry support for PGA One Golf Network is growing and includes Wales Golf, who have been working with Jane since the inception of the company. Richard Dixon, Chief Executive of Wales Golf, said: “We are delighted the PGA is now a partner in PGA One Golf Network. PGA Professionals have enormous influence in the marketplace. There can be no better ambassadors to help us in our goal of supporting golf clubs and growing the game.”

ENDS

Hogarth’s final flourish seals U16 title

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PRIZE GUY:  Kieran Hogarth receives the trophy from Lancashire president Michael Lay

KIERAN Hogarth conjured up a dramatic  ending  on his way to being crowned Lancashire U16 champion.

The Royal Lytham & St Annes player produced a birdie-birdie finish as he edge ahead of the field over 18 holes at Dean Wood Golf Club.

And it capped a fantastic fightback from the 15-year-old who had slumped to three-over-par after the first five holes.

Birdies at holes six, seven and nine got him back to level by the turn, before dropped shots at 12, 14 and 16 threatened to derail his hopes.

But Kieran’s final flourish to sign for a 72 turned the tables in dramatic fashion to ease out Southport and Ainsdale’s Matthew Jackman by a shot.

“I just tried to stay calm after the first few holes,” said Kieran. “I had played a practice round there, so I knew there would be opportunities to get shots back, particularly on the par fives.

“Even on the back nine, I felt I was still in with a chance. I knew that one over had won the championship in the past, so just wanted to get back to that mark.

“As a 15-year-old this is the big championship for my age group, so I definitely wanted to win it and now I have the chance to defend the title, too.”

Kieran, who lives in Kirkham, Is a member of the Lancashire Golf Union’s county squad under the guidance of Southport and Ainsdale pro and former European Tour player Jim Payne, having made his debut last year against Yorkshire – the county he has also played against this summer.

A pupil at Saint Bede’s Catholic High School in Lytham, Kieran first started playing golf at Myerscough College at the age of six after attending an open day. He continued with weekly lessons there until the age of 11.

“I received great coaching from the team there under John Barclay, who continues to be my coach, based at Lancaster Golf Performance Centre at Lancaster Golf Club,” added Kieran, who moved to Royal Lytham in 2014 after playing in a junior match for Myerscough at the Open venue.

Starting out with a handicap of 21, he played in competitions and inter-club events, with the coaching team under Ben Squires – and the support of junior organisers Alison Maguire and Dai Mistry – helping cut his handicap by more than half.

Kieran continued his development as part of the Lancashire County Academy programme while joining a second club – Fairhaven – to broaden his golfing experience.

Five handicapped Kieran rates his win at Dean Wood as the highlight of his blossoming career, although he is also part of the three-strong team representing Royal Lytham juniors in the English Junior Club Championships at Frilford Heath in Oxford.

Away from the golf course, he plays for both Kirkham Juniors Football Club and Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club.

He added: “I’m looking forward to continuing my progress with the county golf set-up and would love to play for England one day, but I already owe a debt of thanks to the people who have helped me along the way including John Barclay at Lancaster, all the coaches and organisers at Royal Lytham, Fairhaven and the Lancashire Golf Union.

“I would also like to thank a local organisation, the Richard J Wilson Sports Foundation, who helped to fund my new equipment for this season, which was a fantastic gesture and one which has really helped me.”

 

RESULTS:  72 Kieran Hogarth (Royal Lytham and St Annes); 73 Matthew Jackman (S&A); 74 Oliver Duck (S&A); Adam Mujahid (Nelson); 75 Andrew Haswell (Dean Wood),  Adam McLean (Formby), Thomas Watson (Hillside); 77  Elliot Tickle (Blackley), Thomas Ratcliffe (S&A), Kieran McCarthy (Dean Wood).