Archive for November 7th, 2018

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.”

Lea signs up as Lancashire county coach

LANCASHIRE has a proven track record of producing top amateur golfers. But there’s no sign of the county, which oversees 140 clubs, resting on its laurels with the appointment of Craig Lea’s as its coaching director.

Lea (pictured) has been head PGA Advanced Golf Professional and Coach at Myerscough College and the University of Central Lancashire in Preston for the last 12 years and

Craig Lea - Image.jpgis the author of a number of coaching guides, which have been published in 30 countries worldwide.

Phil Harvey, the county secretary, said: “Lancashire has been very successful over the past decade at the elite level and our county coaching programmes have expanded greatly in the past five years.

“We feel it’s the right time to bring in a new role as director of coaching to help knit all the elements of our programme together and also to keep us at the leading edge of player performance and continuing to develop winning teams at all age groups.”

Lancashire has an enviable track record having won eight national titles in the past 12 years at seniors, men and boys level while more than 200 players are involved in county coaching programmes, from the age of 12.

Tommy Fleetwood is one of the notable players to have come through the Lancashire ranks.

Harvey added: “The existing county coaches will continue to be involved and will work closely with Craig to build on our existing work and develop a new coaching and mentoring environment which we hope will continue Lancashire’s history of success at the highest levels.

“Craig will bring drive and attention to finer golfing details to the role, creating an understanding of how a player works in the heat of a battle and how to get the best out of them.”

Reflecting on his body of work so far, Lea, who has seen the Myerscough side finish as national champions in six out of the last nine years, said: “The programme which I have installed has evolved with a huge emphasis surrounding scoring and performance-based coaching to stand up under pressure.

“Obviously I don’t want to give away too many secrets but basically this revolves around implementing technical improvements into a game-based environment to take into tournament play. Creating players to deal with one shot situations under pressure rather than just focusing on swinging the golf club.

“Everything I work towards in coaching has measureable results for each individual player, which creates a clear action plan of improvement.”

Lea has worked with a number of players who have gone on to join the professional ranks, with Chris Hanson and Tom Murray, who are on the European and Challenge Tour at the moment, coming through the Myerscough coaching programme, as well as Paul Kinnear, a former England amateur international who qualified for the Open in 2015.

UCLAN, too, has enjoyed its share of team success, while former Lancashire county player Louis Tomlinson (Haydock Park) was selected for the 2014 European Palmer Cup to play the USA, with teammates including Jon Rahm and Paul Dunne with Bryson Dechambeau in the opposition ranks.

Louis has since received a full scholarship to Arkansas, USA, and is based in Florida playing the US amateur schedule.