Archive for December, 2018

GB & Ire Squad selected for Vagliano Trophy

AN initial Great Britain and Ireland squad of 19 players has been selected by the R&A in preparation for the Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe at Royal St George’s from June 28-29.

The biennial encounter will be played on the Kent coast from and GB&I will be aiming to win the match for the first time since 2005 when they defeated the Continent of Europe 13-11 at Golf de Chantilly.

Elaine Ratcliffe, from Sandbach, who will lead the team for the first time as captain of GB&I, said: “We have selected a talented group of players and they all now have a chance to make their case to be included in the team to play the Continent of Europe.

“We will be monitoring their results closely over the coming months as well as the performances of other players who still have time to play their way into our plans ahead of selecting the eight golfers to play at Royal St George’s.”

Seven golfers who represented GB&I in the Curtis Cup against the United States of America earlier this year feature in the squad, including India Clyburn, Annabell Fuller, Alice Hewson, Lily May Humphreys, Paula Grant, Olivia Mehaffey and Shannon McWilliam.

Hannah Darling, Chloe Goadby, Connie Jaffrey and Hannah McCook join McWilliam in making up a contingent of five players from Scotland included in the group.

Lianna Bailey, Hollie Muse, Isobel Wardle and Caitlin Whitehead from England have also been selected as well as Beth Coulter, Annabel Wilson and Lauren Walsh of Ireland.

Wales’ Ffion Tynan, who won the Scottish Girls Amateur Championship earlier this year, is also included.

The GB&I squad:

Lianna Bailey (21, Kirby Muxloe, England) Hannah McCook (25, Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland)
India Clyburn (22, Woodhall Spa, England) Shannon McWilliam (18, Aboyne, Scotland)
Beth Coulter, (14, Kirkistown Castle, Ireland) Olivia Mehaffey (21, Royal County Down Ladies, Ireland)
Hannah Darling (15, Broomieknowe, Scotland) Hollie Muse (19, West Lancashire, England)
Annabell Fuller (16, Roehampton, England) Ffion Tynan (15, Minchinhampton, Wales)
Chloe Goadby (21, St Regulus, Scotland) Lauren Walsh (18, Castlewarden, Ireland)
Paula Grant (25, Lisburn, Ireland) Isobel Wardle (19, Prestbury, England)
Alice Hewson (21, Berkhamsted, England) Caitlin Whitehead (16, Carus Green, England)
Lily May Humphreys (16, Stoke by Nayland, England) Annabel Wilson (17, Lurgan, Ireland)
Connie Jaffrey (22, Troon Ladies, Scotland)

The GB&I team will comprise the two highest ranked golfers in the World Amateur Golf Ranking on May 29 and six players chosen by The R&A Women’s Selection Committee.

Six players will be selected on June 3 following the St Rule Trophy and two players selected on June 17 following the Women’s Amateur Championship at Royal County Down.

The GB&I team for the Junior Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe will be announced on June 3.



Colour Path Golf puts children on right path


CLASS ACT:  The Golf Foundation has teamed up with Colour Path Golf to offer PGA pros a dynamic new coaching system to  encourage more youngsters

COLOUE Path Golf has become the Junior Golf Passport Delivery Partner of the Golf Foundation. The coaching system, which has been developed by PGA professionals John Glenn and Kevin Merry, will support and promote the Foundation’s Junior Golf Passport; the official learning programme for England and Wales as endorsed by the PGA.

The initiative supports young people who have first experienced the sport in Golf Foundation school and community programmes to take the next step to learning golf under the guidance of the PGA professional at a golf club venue.

Used by 300 golf clubs and 450 PGA professionals, the Passport, and the relationship the Foundation enjoys with the PGA, is a key element of the charity’s HSBC Golf Roots programme which encourages young people to Start, Learn and Stay in golf.

Colour Path Golf is an innovative coaching system that is proving to be a popular new way to learn all aspects of the game. Using plastic shapes in the four primary colours, coaches can map out the correct swing path on the ground for every type of golf shot.

This visual way of learning has great success rates, is incredibly easy to follow and brings consistency to junior coaching programmes. With its fun games and drills Colour Path Golf is particularly successful when coaching young players and beginners.

Martin Crowder, head of development for the Golf Foundation, said: “The Junior Golf Passport is a successful learning programme in its own right, fully endorsed by the PGA. We are always looking at new ways to inspire both youngsters and the coaches who are involved in the programme and we believe Colour Path Golf is a great example of fresh thinking that will have a positive impact on everyone involved in the Passport programme.

“The Golf Foundation has recognised the growing interest for Colour Path Golf’s coaching philosophy amongst PGA coaches and that its colourful and fun delivery has been a real hit with many young people. With their own PGA professional expertise, the team at Colour Path Golf has a fantastic attitude and a clear passion for helping youngsters to reach their potential. We feel working with this team offers a natural additional option for all users of the Junior Golf Passport which they will enjoy as they help the next generation into the game.”

John Glenn, a PGA Class AA teaching professional and co-Founder of Colour Path Golf, said: “We are delighted to be in partnership with the Golf Foundation. It’s very early days for us as a business but their endorsement of our coaching system shows that there is a real desire to simplify the game and to make it easy to learn.

Our dedication to growing the game is what has led us to develop the Colour Path Golf system. I am confident that our products, combined with the Golf Foundation’s commitment to bringing golf to more youngsters through its Junior Golf Passport programme, can have a really positive impact on the game.”

Through the partnership, the Golf Foundation will promote the resources of Colour Path Golf through its Junior Golf Passport platform ( and the Colour Path Golf team will also work to increase awareness of the Passport system by providing training kits and education to all the Golf Foundation’s regional officers.

Furthermore, all sales of Colour Path Golf training products to PGA pros who are registered on the Passport scheme will bring an extra benefit to the charity, as John explains: “As part of our commitment to growing the game we will be making a donation, for every Colour Path Golf product bought by PGA professionals registered on the Passport scheme, to the Golf Foundation to continue the incredible work they do for Junior Golf Development.”

Meanwhile, the Golf Foundation is carrying out a redesign to create a new look for the Junior Golf Passport combined with exciting fresh content to appeal to juniors as they learn the game. Additional skills-testing has also been added to further support the work of coaches and this new-look Passport is expected to launch in February.

PGA professionals registered for the Junior Golf Passport can find out how to access favourable pricing terms with Colour Path Golf by talking directly to the Golf Foundation on 01992 449830, or email

See more on Colour Path Golf at,uk and for media enquiries email and +44(0)1782 664856.


Fleetwood gives youngsters Christmas treat!


IN THE PICTURE: Tommy Fleetwood in the midst of a crowd of youngsters and, below, gives insights to his techniques

A SELECTION of age group Lancashire junior golfers were treated to a once in a life experience when home grown golfing superstar Tommy Fleetwood returned to his roots and back in the team room where he discussed what it takes to become one of the world’s best golfers, writes Aaron Benson.

The 2008 Lancashire county champion Tommy (pictured centre, winner of the 2017 Race to Dubai European Order of Merit, Ryder Cup hero and world number 9, came through the age group ranks of the Red Rose county in his early golfing career and was keen to take the chance to share his experience with the latest generation of county juniors.

Tommy answered a wide range of questions and also gave unique insights into IMG_1097.JPGtopics including his swing technique, practise secrets, organisational skills and routine for his weekly tournament preparations.

He said: “To be able to talk about my career so far with the youngsters has been a great experience. I hope they have learned so much and benefited from me speaking to them about the game.

“It’s been great to see some old faces who are part of the county and they’ve all helped me so much in becoming who I am today’.

The clinic was held at Formby Hall Golf Resort where Fleetwood is a past member and occasionally plays with his dad Pete when on a break from both the PGA and European tours.

Leading Lancashire coaches Gareth Benson and Ian Lee hosted the event alongside Fleetwood, and they, too, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Benson said: “Tommy is a role model for all junior golfers and we hope they’ll take a great deal away from this experience and benefit from his advice.”

Lee added: “For Tommy to take time out of his busy schedule to come and speak with the team has been fantastic. We are so lucky to have him associated with the county.”

Tommy rounded off the presentation by highlighting “the key points of having a desire and will to succeed both as a team and individually is paramount.

“We all need world class planning, preparation and organisation. I hope the lads have taken this on board and it’s been a pleasure to speak to them. After all, Lancashire is my county and I always want them to win!”


Lancashire’s pledge to grow golf

GOLF enthusiasts in Lancashire are being urged to make a pledge for 2019 – and help grow the sport. A new campaign aimed at players, administrators, ambassadors, volunteers and coaches intends to promote good news stories and the benefits of becoming actively involved in golf – while attracting and keeping newcomers at the county’s 140 clubs.

The Pledge4Golf initiative has been developed by Lancashire’s England Golf development officers – who work with the Lancashire Golf Union, the Lancashire Ladies County Golf Association, the Professional Golfers Association and the Golf Foundation – to encourage those already involved in the sport to think about how they can help protect its future, whether that be at a club, driving range or pay and play facilities.

“It doesn’t matter whether the pledge is big or small, it’s an acknowledgement that that person or group of people want to positively influence further development within the sport, which will be an example to other counties and clubs nationwide,” saHelen Searle.jpgid Helen Searle (pictured), one of two club support officers in Lancashire for England Golf alongside Adam McAlister.

“Anything that makes the sport more appealing to new players, or introduces a new generation of potential golfers, is a positive that can only help all of our clubs secure a sustainable future in the long-term.

“Everybody knows the challenges facing golf around issues like cost, the time taken to enjoy a round, and misconceptions about the sport, but equally there are so many benefits to be had from the exercise and fresh air of playing to the great social life to be enjoyed.

“Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities, and during 2019 the golf development group will be working in areas attracting women and girls, increasing inclusivity and highlighting equality.

“The more people who pledge to make a difference in 2019, the more the sport as a whole will be able to grow and develop – and that can only by good news for all our clubs.”

Helen has pledged to continue to drive women and girls’ engagement from the grassroots up and to support the exciting arrival of the Girls Golf Rocks campaign to the county.

Adam has pledged to help get five new clubs signed up to SafeGolf in 2019, which offers a clear signal to potential members and players that a club has the correct child safeguarding policies in place and is a welcoming environment in which to enjoy the sport.

Anyone wanting to get involved can send their pledge to Adam or Helen Searle

Or use Twitter, with the hashtag #Pledge4Golf – and don’t forget to tag in @playgolfinlancs

Helen added: “Hopefully we can spread the word among the Lancashire golfing community, generate a lot of new ventures – and share in each other’s successes throughout 2019.”

BIGGA is better thanks to Balmers GM

BGM Outside Showroom 3 cropped.jpg

THE British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association has announced that Balmers GM has become an Education Supporter.

It has been established in the turf machinery industry since 1979. Nearly 40 years later and the company has depots in Burnley and Wakefield, serving the West and South Yorkshire areas.

Balmers GM will support the members of the association and the wider greenkeeping industry and provide a number of educational opportunities across the north of England through the BIGGA framework.

In addition to John Deere’s full line of professional and domestic turf equipment, Balmers GM supplies and services machinery from other manufacturers, including Etesia, GreenMech, Scag, Stihl, Weidenmann and GKB.

Employing approximately 50 people across all departments, providing new and used equipment sales, service, parts and commercial hire to a wide range of customers including golf and sports clubs, local authorities, contractors, the leisure industry, equestrian centres and smallholders.

In addition, Balmers GM maintains one of the country’s largest stocks of used commercial machinery, delivering to both national and international customers.

Lauren Frazer, BIGGA business development manager, said: “Balmers GM has a fantastic reputation across the north of England. The growing number of companies signing up to support BIGGA shows how respected our members are in the wider industry.

“BIGGA members are leading the way when it comes to innovation, technology and embracing new ideas out on the golf course and it is brilliant that Balmers GM and our other Education Supporters are keen to be a part of that success.”

Today BIGGA has around 5,900 greenkeepers and turf professionals as members.



Molinari wins Golf Writers’ trophy

2018 - Francesco Molinari voted AGW Golfer of the Year.jpg

FRANCESCO Molinari has become the first Italian to win the prestigious Golf Writers Trophy, the leading award given by the Association of Golf Writers.

The 36 year old from Turin was the overwhelming choice in a poll of AGW members after a year of stunning success.  Molinari won his first major with victory in the 2018 Open Championship at Carnoustie before becoming the first European player to win all five matches during his team’s Ryder Cup triumph over the United States.

Molinari also won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and romped to an eight shot win at the Quicken Loans National in July to secure his first win on the PGA Tour.  He comfortably won the European Tour’s season-long Race to Dubai to succeed Ryder Cup partner Tommy Fleetwood as Europe’s number one player.

“I am very honoured to be the first Italian to be named AGW golfer of the year,” said Molinari. “It has been an incredible year for me and to hear I have received this lovely accolade in what is the 80th anniversary year of the AGW is very special for me.

“I appreciate all the support the media has given me, both this year and throughout my career, and I look forward to seeing my AGW friends out on the road in the new year.”

Molinari succeeds 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia in receiving the Golf Writers Trophy.   Other previous winners include Henrik Stenson (2016) and Rory McIlroy (2014 and 15).

“Francesco had the year of his golfing dreams,” said AGW Chairman Iain Carter.  “Throughout the summer period he was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of European golf.

“His unflappable display at Carnoustie came on a course where he hadnever previously enjoyed much success.  But he completed his first major victory in the company of Tiger Woods, withstanding an emotional charge from the former world number one.  Molinari emerged at the top of a leaderboard packed with stellar names including Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy.

“Then came a simply stunning display at the Ryder Cup where he formed such a vital partnership with Tommy Fleetwood.  Their point in the opening four balls ensured Europe were not whitewashed on the first morning.

“It was entirely fitting that it was Frankie who secured the winning point with his singles success over Phil Mickelson.

“He was the obvious choice for this award and for the golfing media it has been a joy to cover his successes this year.  Aside from being a genuinely world class talent, Frankie is always a friendly, courteous figure who always seems to find time to engage with reporters.”


The Golf Writers Trophy is awarded each year to the person or persons, born or resident in Europe who, in the opinion of a majority of the AGW members, shall have made the most outstanding contribution to golf during the preceding twelve months.

Members are asked to nominate in order of preference three choices for the award.  Other players who figured prominently in the voting included Ricoh Women’s British Open winner Georgia Hall, Justin Rose after his rise to the top of the men’s world rankings and Tommy Fleetwood for winning four matches out of four in his Ryder Cup partnership with Molinari.


* Francesco will be presented with the AGW Golf Writers Trophy at the 2019 AGW annual dinner at Royal Portrush.


R&A backs Golf Foundation’s next generation

A Mother and Daughter enjoy a GolfSixes event run by the Golf Foundation.jpg

THE R&A has committed to provide £2m to the Golf Foundation over the next four years to support its drive to inspire more young people to play golf and to encourage them to stay within the sport to boost membership.

The Golf Foundation will give over two million young people the chance to try golf for the first time using its Tri-Golf and Street Golf participation initiatives, which take adapted versions of the sport to young people at schools, sports centres, parks and multi-use games facilities in Great Britain and Ireland.

Around 180,000 youngsters will also be introduced to coaching through the Golf Foundation’s HBSC Golf Roots Centres, a large network of junior friendly golf clubs that provide taster sessions in local schools and coaching delivered by PGA Professionals.

Activities including the GolfSixes League and Girls Golf Rocks will focus on retaining younger golfers in the sport by giving them access to fun, competitive golf more regularly and establish a pathway for over 15,000 juniors to become members of clubs.

The Girls Golf Rocks programme, jointly run with England Golf, also forms part of the Golf Foundation’s commitment to supporting The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter and will deliver more coaching opportunities for girls as well as mentoring by existing volunteers who work in junior golf.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development and Amateur Events at The R&A, said, “We are very supportive of grassroots initiatives that aim to grow the sport by inspiring more youngsters into playing golf and encouraging them to go on to become members of golf clubs.

“The Golf Foundation has a proven track record of delivering innovative participation programmes together with our affiliates in Great Britain and Ireland and we are excited by its ambitions to grow participation in junior golf over the next four years and beyond.”

Stephen Lewis, Chairman of the Golf Foundation, said, “Working alongside our partners, the Golf Foundation is reaching increasing numbers of young people and our strategic objective of helping more young people to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in golf is designed to help protect the future of the sport.

“The R&A’s continued support is fantastic – from GolfSixes League through to The Open – it is an outstanding commitment. They are backing this charity to ensure golf is fresh and exciting for the next generation.”

The R&A SwingZone, which offers thousands of young people the opportunity to come and try golf for free in the Spectator Village during The Open each year, will also continue to be run in partnership with the Golf Foundation.

Over 4,500 individuals enjoyed attending The R&A SwingZone during The 147th Open at Carnoustie earlier this year and were joined by 1999 Champion Golfer Paul Lawrie and HSBC Golf Roots ambassadors Tim Henman and Brian O’Driscoll.