amateur golf

June 7, 2012

Lancashire are six hits again

LANCASHIRE reached their fourth English County Championship finals in five years when they won the northern qualifier, the Big Six, by an emphatic 17 strokes at Northumberland club Ponteland.

They trailed Cumbria by four strokes after the first round before stepping up a gear in the

WINNING SMILES: The Lancashire team that won the Northern Counties men’s qualifier at Ponteland. Back, from left, John Carroll, Jon Hurst, Sean Towndrow, Steve McGlynn. Front: Paul Kinnear, Bill Bromilow (capt), Paul Howard, Mark Young

next to leave the remaining six teams trailing in their wake.

“It was a fantastic performance,” said an elated captain Bill Bromilow. “Our six players were 12-under-par in the afternoon and they performed superbly.

“Yorkshire had all their big guns on show, including three internationals, but they were no match for us.”

Bromilow was forced to withdraw Pleasington’s Jon Hurst, who injured his wrist during the practice round, and replaced him with 2010 county champion Sean Towndrow from Southport & Ainsdale.

Lancashire also claimed two of the three individual awards.

Southport & Ainsdale’s Paul Howard returned the best 36-hole score with 68 and 69, seven-under-par all told, and newly-crowned Mark Young, from Longridge carded the top second round of 67.

That was matched in the morning by Tom Harris who dedicated his achievement to Isle of Man team-mate and Manx champion Davy Jones who died in a motor-cycling accident last week.

Bromilow, who completes his five-year term as captain at the end of the season, added: “We’ve won the English title twice in our last three finals so I’d be delighted if we pull it off again.”

The finals are at Beau Desert on September 28-30.

RESULT: 855 – Lancashire; 872 – Yorkshire, Cumbria; 880 – Northumberland; 886 – Cheshire; 887 – Durham; 913 – Isle of Man.

LANCS SCORES: 137 – Paul Howard (S&A) 68 69; 140 – Mark Young (Longridge) 73 67, John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) 70 70; 142 – Steve McGlynn (Blackburn) 73 69; 144 – Paul Kinnear (Formby) 73 71; 152 Sean Towndrow (S&A) 78 74.

Meanwhile, a young Cheshire team finished fifth, 21 shots off the pace.

June 3, 2012

Young claims title at 11th extra hole

MARK Young was crowned Lancashire County Amateur champion after a dramatic play-off with Jon Hurst that went to the 11th extra hole.

After a gruelling final two rounds in incessant rain, and the county team-mates deadlocked on four-under-par, the sudden death shoot-out became something of an

CHAMPION: Mark Young, right, receives the trophy from county president Les Wilson


With darkness descending, and the players understandably tiring, it was agreed to settle the issue on the first hole after they’d completed three loops of the 1st, 17th and 18th.

And Young, the 2009 champion from Longridge, eventually prevailed when Hurst, from Pleasington, failed to get up and down after missing the green.

Astonishingly, it was the seventh time they had played the hole during the day!

Young, a three-time Northern Order of Merit winner, looked home but certainly not dry in the conditions until he dropped two shots on the last three holes in normal play to post a 71.

Hurst, joint first round leader, rolled in a birdie at the 16th for a 68 which forced arguably the longest play-off in the competition’s history.

Blackburn’s Steve McGlynn was third, three shots off the pace, after a closing 71.

Meanwhile,  Formby claimed the team award for the third successive year to  qualify for the County Club Championship at Stoneham September  15-16. Their top players were Paul Kinnear, Kristian Taylor and James Bolton.

LEADING SCORES: 280 Jon Hurst (Pleasington) 67 72 73 68, Mark Young (Longridge) 70 66 7371; 283 Steve McGlynn (Blackburn) 72 67 73 71; 286 Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park) 67 74 69 76; 287 Paul Kinnear (Formby) 70 67 72 78.

Full scores on: Lancashire Amateur Championship Live

June 2 2012

Young leads Lancashire Championship by a shot

MARK Young, the winner in 2009, goes into the final two rounds of the Lancashire Amateur Championship at Preston with a one shot lead over England A team player Paul Kinnear.


The three-time Northern Order of Merit winner from Longridge tagged a 66 to his opening 70 to lie on six-under-par but he was left to rue two bogeys on the last three holes.

Earlier he had reeled off seven birdies, including three in a row from the ninth, as Formby’s Kinnear narrowed the gap by picking up strokes at the 17th and 18th.

Defending champion John Carroll, from Huyton & Prescot, gave himself a fighting chance to retain his title with a 67, although he is seven shots off the pace.

Full scores on: Lancashire Amateur Championship Live

June 1 2012

Two share Lancashire Championship lead

JONATHAN  Hurst overcame a shaky start to share the first round lead with Ian Kenright in the Lancashire Amateur Championship at Preston.

The Pleasington player double bogeyed the third hole and dropped another shot at the next  but atoned for the lapses with eagles at the sixth an seventh.

Three more birdies on the home stretch took him to a four-under-par 67 matched by Haydock Park’s Kenwright who also eagled the sixth and added four birdies to more than compensate for a brace of bogeys.

The pair are a stroke ahead of Lancaster’s Adam Stone and Bryan Hughes, from Hillside.

Defending champion John Carroll, from Huyton & Prescot, carded 76 to share 69th place.

June 1 2012

Nice one, Squires! Oldham man’s senior hat-trick

OLDHAM’S Alan Squires is still the English Seniors champion. He turned the event on its head with a closing round of one-over-par 69 at Aldeburgh, a testing course to say the least, to win the title for the third successive year, the first man to achieve such a feat.

Having started the day seven strokes back, in the end he signed for 221, to win by three

CHAMP AGAIN: Alan Squires

from England seniors team-mate Chris Reynolds and by four from the rest of the field.

“This is unbelievable,” said theLancastrian. “When I walked off the final green last evening at Thorpeness having taken a double-bogey, I said to myself, ‘Well, you can’t win it every year.’

“But I spent an hour on the practice range to sort myself out and after playing six holes today at level par, I felt I still had a chance.

“Even then, there were a lot of good players ahead of me and I thought someone would find a good score to win.

“But I have achieved something. I love this event and to win three times in a lifetime is something. To be the first man to win it three times in a row is special.”

Few could have visualised such a turnaround. There were 12 players ahead of Squires at the start of the final round, but while most went backwards, he  held his nerve and played the round of his life with two birdies and just three bogeys.

It may have been the first day of June but the weather didn’t reflect that. Overcast conditions backed by a cold wind on an already testing course were not the best ingredients for these over 55 golfers.

Consequently, shots were spilled with alarming regularity, which led to a string of high scores not in keeping with these accomplished players.

Douglas Cameron led by one going into the final day, but he faltered to an 80, while John Baldwin, a shot behind, could do no better than 79.

The best return of those ahead of Squires at the start was Andrew Stracey’s 73, but that only earned him a share of third on 225.

Cameron, the English Seniors County champion, said: “I just don’t know what happened. I had a shank on the first and I just wasn’t in gear. I was four over for the front nine, then the three-putts started creeping in. It was just one of those days.”

Reynolds, the champion before Squires began his winning run, said: “I had two birdies all week, which is testimony to the toughness of Aldeburgh and Thorpeness. It was a disappointing day for me. I didn’t drive the ball well and didn’t hole any putts. Alan deserved to win after shooting 69 around here.”

So ended another thrilling week for the seniors but spare a thought for Martin Farmer from North Hants. He signed for 74 which included a quadruple-bogey eight on the last after he lost a ball off his drive when disturbed on his backswing by a shout from an adjacent hole.

A par for a 70 would have seen him finish in second place but he took it in his stride. “It was the only fairway I missed,” he said. “If the shout had been five seconds earlier or five seconds later it would have been fine.”

May 30 2012

Beesley joint leader in English Seniors’ Championship

HIGH Legh Park’s  Alan Beesley shares the first round lead with Tyrone Carter, from Stevenage, in the English Seniors’ Championship.

They lead by a stroke from four players, Dave Jessup, Douglas Cameron  and Michael Jones, who shot 73 at Thorpeness and John Baldwin with the same figure at Aldeburgh.

Carter’s 72 at Aldeburgh amazed most including defending champion Alan Squires, from Oldham, who is looking to complete a hat-trick of titles this week. After signing for birdie-less 77, he admitted with a smile: “This is a great course but it has done my head in.

“I didn’t hit a bad shot, I wasn’t in any trouble but I had two double-bogeys from nowhere. The wind has turned completely round from yesterday while the greens are rock hard.

“I would have taken 74 before going out because this is a difficult course. I never got downhearted but this is a challenge and there is a long way to go.”

One man who did shoot 74 was West Lancs secretary/manager Stewart King. A senior international as recently as 2009, he had just one birdie, at the short eighth, in an outward 36, but dropped two shots at the 11th in coming home in 38.

Over at Thorpeness, Beesley, was the model of consistency, signing for 15 pars and three bogeys.

May 29 2012

Bromilow happy with Big Six Squad

LANCASHIRE captain Bill Bromilow has “every confidence” in the squad of seven players named for the England Golf Northern Group qualifying round at Ponteland on June 6.

The final six will be announced after this week’s county championship at Preston which finishes on Sunday.

But Bromilow, who has led the Red Rose men to two victories in three English Finals in four years, admitted: “Choosing the odd man out will be difficult.

“This squad is much stronger than the one that lost in last year’s final because collectively they have more experience. But our first job is to clear the Ponteland hurdle.”

John Carroll, who defends his county title at Preston, Steve  Glynn and Mark Young have all won the Northern Order of Merit at least once and Paul Kinnear, an England A squad player, finished 10th in last week’s Welsh Open at Prestatyn.

Bromilow, who finishes his five-year term as captain at the end of the season, added: “It would be great to go out with another English title.”

SQUAD: John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Paul Howard (Southport & Ainsdale), Jon Hurst (Pleasington), Paul Kinnear (Formby), Steven McGlynn (Blackburn), Sean Towndrow (Southport & Ainsdale), Mark Young (Longridge).

May 28 2012

In-form Carroll defends Lancashire Championship

JOHN Carroll is in the form of his life as he starts his defence of the Lancashire Amateur Championship at Preston on Friday.

The 33-year-old painter and decorator from Huyton & Prescot has already won two events in the Cleveland Srixon Northern Order of Merit this season, the Formby Hare and Southport and Ainsdale Bowl.


Collectively, he also captured the Lancashire Links Trophy, which he retained from last year, when it was inaugurated and lifted him inside the top 3,000 in the Amateur World Rankings.

Carroll is seeking his third Lancashire Championship, having also prevailed in 2006, and is young enough to equal or better the record five achieved by Southport & Ainsdale’s Sam Robinson between 1914-1929 and Denton’s Bob Bardsley in a 20-year spell from 1985.

Off plus four, Carroll is the highest ranked player in the 120-strong field at Preston of which 55 are off scratch or better.

In his case that’s outstanding because most players at his level are full-time amateurs. But not Carroll. He’s working in Southport this week right up to the eve of the championship.

“It’s a big job but it’s outdoors so at least I’ll benefit from the weather. I won’t have time for a practice round but as long as I have my yardage chart I’ll be fine,” he said.

Other former champions are Longridge’s Mark Young who won in 2009 at Southport & Ainsdale whose member Sean Towndrow took the honour at Hesketh the following year.

Names expected to be in the frame are Formby’s England A team player Paul Kinnear and Pleasington pair Jon Hurst and Michael Hunt.

Full draw on

May 26, 2012

Lancs lose their way at Carlisle

 CUMBRIA leapfrogged Lancashire in the Daily Telegraph Northern Counties League at Carlisle as Yorkshire took pole position and defending champions Cheshire lost again.

Red Rose skipper Bill Bromilow could offer no excuses as his side succumbed 10.5-7.5, gleaning only one point from the top six singles which sealed their fate.

“We mismanaged the foursomes and Cumbria were too strong for us in the afternoon,” rued Bromilow.

But it might have been a different story if Gareth Clark and 17-year-old Sean Blinkhorn hadn’t lost the last two holes in a halved match with Martin Hand and Geoff Nixon.

Instead, Lancashire trailed by a point going into the singles and Cumbria held the upper hand until Jon Hurst, Michael Hunt Sean Towndrow and Steve McGlynn gave some respectability to the final score.

Cheshire lost their second successive match by a point against Durham at South Shields as Yorkshire overpowered Northumberland 13-5 at Almouth.

FOURSOMES: Mark Young (Longridge) & Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park)  lost to Will Bowe (Workington) & James Atkinson (Kendal) 2&1; John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) & Adam Andrews (Ashton-in-Makerfield) bt John Longcake (Silloth) & Andrew Edwards (Ulverston) 2&1; Richie Blundell (Hillside) & Paul Howard (S&A) lost to Nicky Bell (Eden) & Kieran Waters (Carlisle) 1h; Jonathan Hurst (Pleasington) & Michael Hunt (Pleasington) lost to Andrew Millray (Windermere) & Mike Jack (Carlisle) 2&1; Gareth Clark (Manchester) & Sean Blinkhorn (S&A) halved with Martin Hand (Eden) & Geoff Nixon (Brampton); Sean Towndrow (S&A) & Steve McGlynn (Blackburn) bt Grant Little (Carlisle) & Thomas Forster (Brampton) 1h.

SINGLES: Carroll halved with Bowe; Young halved with Atkinson; Howard lost to Longcake 2&1; Blundell lost to Edwards 1h; Andrews lost to Bell 2&1; Kenwright lost to Waters 4&2; Hurst bt Jack 3&2; Hunt bt Millray 4&3; Blinkhorn lost to Hand 2&1; Clark lost to Nixon 5&4; Towndrow bt Forster 2&1; McGlynn bt Little 3&2.

P             W            D             L              F              A             P

Yorkshire                             2              2              0              0              24.5        11.5        4

Cumbria                               2              2              0              0              22           14           4

Lancashire                           2              1              0              1              19.5        16.5        2

Durham                                2              1              0              1              16           20           2

Cheshire                              2              0              0              2              15.6        21.5        0

Northumberland              2              0              0              2              11          25           0

May 24, 2012

Sawbridge homes in on trophy success

 JOE Sawbridge capitalised on local knowledge to win the Lancashire County Members’ Collinge Trophy second qualifying round at his home course Hurlston Hall.

The six handicapper returned nett 71 to prevail by a shot from Grange Park’s Alan Burns, playing off 17, who beat nine ranked Peter White, from Lee Park, on a card play-off.

Sherdley Park’s Paul Fairhurst signed for best gross 76.

Meanwhile, qualifying for the Bell Trophy is at Lytham Green Drive on June 12 and Heysham on June 29.

The Collinge and Bell finals are at Hesketh on September 13.

LEADING SCORES: 71 – Joe Sawbridge (6, Hurlston Hall); 72 – Alan Burns (17, Grange Park), Peter White (9, Lee Park); 73 – Samuel Dring (14, Grange Park), Paul Fairhurst (3, Sherdley Park), Bob Snellgrove (11, Hurlston Hall). Gross: 76 – Paul Fairhurst (Sherdley Park).

Full scores on

May 21 2012

Squires bids for senior hat-trick

 OLDHAM evergreen Alan Squires  will be seeking a hat-trick of titles when the English Men’s Open Seniors Championship is played at Aldeburgh and Thorpeness in Suffolk on May 30–June 1.

He won the title for the first time at Carlisle in 2010 and successfully defended it at Northants County 12 months ago. No-one has won it in three consecutive years but Crewe’s Roy Smethurst  has two-in-a-row while Doug Arnold, from Copthorne, prevailed in 2002 and 2003.


Squires is sure to offer a stern defence but knows the field of 240 golfers aged 55 or over contains many who are capable and keen of relieving him of the crown, not least many of his senior international colleagues.

He of six players competing who have lifted the championship along with a string of senior internationals and many players who represent their counties at seniors level. The other five former champions in the field are Arnold, Chris Reynolds (Littlestone, Kent), David Lane (Goring & Streatley, BB&O), Jon Marks (Woodbridge, Suffolk), and John Jermine (Sunningdale, Surrey). Smethurst is not competing this year.

All six members of the England team that won the European Seniors title in 2010 are in the field, Arnold, Reynolds, Squires, Andrew Carman (Coventry, Warwickshire), Dave Jessup (Rochester & Cobham Park, Kent) and Philip Slater (Sandiway, Cheshire).

Any one of the latter trio could easily be crowned champion, as could two more seniors’ internationals in Charlie Banks (Stanton-on-the-Wolds, Nottinghamshire) and Andrew Stracey (Littlestone, Kent).

Banks, a full England cap in 1983, has a hat-trick of his own following his successive victories in the English Mid Amateur Championship in the 1990s.

The quality of seniors’ golf continues to improve with a constant influx of ‘younger’ challengers as they reach the age of 55 and maintain a low handicap. Among the ‘new draft’ this time is John Ambridge (Moor Park, Hertfordshire), who won the Spanish Seniors Championship on his debut earlier this year.

Also in the 240-strong field is Paul Baxter (Woodhall Spa)  one of this year’s joint Presidents of England Golf, who is competing for the first time in several years.

The competitors will play one round over each course on the first two days after which the leading 60 and ties will complete 18 holes on the final day at Aldeburgh.

May 21 2012

Hooray Henry – Featherstone claims Cheshire title

CHESHIRE’S young guns fired on all cylinders in the county matchplay championship at Northenden, writes Geoff Garnett. Host club senior player Dave Nelson showed his class with wins over Chorlton’s u16 England star Cameron Massey and Finn Keely (Styal) before losing out to Crewe 17-year-old Matt Taylor.

Another Northenden star Joe York also did well with victories in the first two rounds over


Jonathan Litte ( Heswall) and Lewis Johanasen (Caldy ) before bowing out to Charles Bradley

Taylor is enjoying a great year and showed why he has made his way on to the full Cheshire team as he reached the semi-finals with a 3&1 win over Mere’s Robert Hart to match with Ringway’s Henry Featherstone.

In the other half of the draw England A team player James Newton (Prestbury) was the pre-match favourite for the title for many and he eased through to the last four with wins over Josh Garside (Prestbury), James West (Altrincham) and Bramhall father and son duo Gareth and Charles Bradley.

Battling through to meet Newton was Lymm’s Luke Burrows who went to the 19th before winning his quarter-final against Dominic Barnes of Caldy.

The third day saw the morning semi finals won by Featherstone 3&2 over Taylor and Newton by 5&3 over Burrows.

Both players made a nervy start to the final with little between them.

Then Featherstone produced a string of four birdies from the 11th hole to give himself a commanding lead to set up a 4&3 victory to take the trophy back to Ringway for the first time.

May 20, 2012

Blinkhorn called up for Lancashire  

LANCASHIRE have drafted 17-year-old Sean Blinkhorn into the side to face Cumbria at Carlisle on Saturday as they bid to consolidate their position as Daily Telegraph Northern Counties League leaders.

He replaces Royal Lytham’s Henry Tomlinson, who is playing in the Welsh Amateur Championship, and will make his debut alongside Southport & Ainsdale clubmates Sean Towndrow and Paul Howard.

Blinkhorn hails from a talented Leigh golfing family and was considered for the opening match at Northumberland earlier this month but he asked to be excused so he could compete in the 36-hole Lancashire Boys’ Championship at Fishwick Hall the following day.

“Unfortunately he pulled out with a shoulder injury but happily he’s made a full recovery,” explained captain Bill Bromilow, who has also brought in Gareth Clark at the expense of Bury’s Ciaran Doherty.

He’s produced some impressive form lately and was beaten by Huyton & Prescot’s John Carroll in a play-off in the County Championship over his home course Manchester last year.

It’s a sensible choice because he’s played regularly with Blinkhorn and, unsurprisingly, will partner the youngster in the foursomes.

The Red Rose men got off to a flying start with a comfortable 12-6 victory over Northumberland but Cumbria, league winners in 2009, will be a tougher proposition following their defeat of Durham at Seaton Carew.

“It will be a tester but if we can take both points it will lift our title hopes after finishing second in the last two seasons,” added Chorley’s Bromilow.

Meanwhile, captain-elect Paul Williams, who took charge of the team at Northumberland while England selector Bromilow was on international duty, has damaged his Achilles tendon and could be on crutches for at least a couple of months.

The Hillside and Denton stalwart is certain to miss the Lancashire Championship at Preston on June 1-3 and the EGU Northern qualifying round, known as the Big Six, at Ponteland on June 6.

LANCASHIRE: John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Mark Young (Longridge), Paul Howard (S&A), Richie Blundell (Hillside), Adam Andrews (Ashton-in-Makerfield), Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park), Steve McGlynn (Blackburn), Jonathan Hurst (Pleasington), Sean Towndrow (S&A), Michael Hunt (Pleasington), Sean Blinkhorn (Southport & Ainsdale), Gareth Clark (Manchester).

May 19 2012

Junior friendly Prestbury hits the mark

PRESTBURY, which caters for young golfers of all abilities from beginners to England international standard, has received national recognition for its drive to encourage more people into the sport.

It has been awarded GolfMark, a national seal of approval for junior and beginner friendly facilities which play an important role in the development of the game.

The club offers a wide range of coaching for those starting out in the game while also helping develop the talent of players like James Newton, a member of the England Under 18 squad, and Dan Young and and Josh Garside, who are both regular Cheshire county players.

TOP MARKS: junior organiser Sean Hammill, Cheshire County Golf Partnership county development officer Craig Thomas and PGA professional Mark Pilling

The club is one of the Cheshire County Golf Partnership’s County Academy centres with PGA professional Mark Pilling running the county’s only all-girls group.

It has seen the number of active junior members grow in recent years with players having the opportunity to receive coaching and participate in competitive golf. In addition, and to encourage them to get more regularly involved in competitions throughout the year, the junior section has introduced a new Order of Merit.

Junior organiser Sean Hammill explained: “The idea is to increase participation in the competitions we organise for the juniors. Everyone who takes part gets points towards the Order of Merit, with extra points for those who are successful in the individual events.

“The club offers coaching to suit all abilities, but the Order of Merit provides further encouragement for the players to take what they are learning out onto the golf course in a competitive situation.”

“GolfMark shows that we have the right polices in place to provide a welcoming and safe environment in which young players can start out in the sport,” added Hammill, “while the success of players like Josh Garside and James Newton shows what can be achieved by hard work and dedication.”

May 15 2012

Hole lot of aces at Houghwood

THAT was the week that was for Houghwood  members Jeff Albin, Roy Cunliffe and Kevin Jones –  all three  holed in one. On Monday Jeff and

WATER HOLE: Houghwood’s 8th

his playing partners watched with delight as his ball rolled in on the 134-yard second. On Wednesday, congratulations were in order for Roy as he scored an ace over water to the 162-yard 8th. Then on Thursday the drinks were on Kevin as he nailed a 6 iron straight in the 163-yard 4th. Houghwood custom dictates that following a hole in one a bottle of whiskey is placed on the bar for fellow members to enjoy.  Although it is not unusual to see an invitation on the bar to enjoy a complimentary whiskey, it is highly unusual for the bottle to be around all week.

May 13 2012

Tyke that! Cheshire lose opener

 DEFENDING champions Cheshire were put to the sword by Yorkshire in their opening Northern Counties League match at Wallasey.

Stockport’s David Peel, in his second season as captain, had room for optimism after his charges shared the foursomes.

But the mighty Tykes knocked them for six in the singles, winning the first five matches before former pro Barry Barker, from Reddish Vale, stopped the rot by halving with Nick Marsh.

England player James Newton, from Prestbury, then beat Martin Brown to reduce the deficit but Yorkshire turned the screw again to take the match 11.5-6.5

FOURSOMES: Fraser McLeod (Hazel Grove) & Jonathan Little (Heswall) halved with Dan Wasteney & Paul Lockwood; Dominic Barnes (Caldy) & Ray Hughes (Caldy) lost to Matt Fitzpatrick & Nick Marsh 5&4; David Peel (Stockport) & Barry Barker (Reddish  Vale) halved with Will Shucksmith & Martin Brown; James Newton (Prestbury) & Luke Burrows (Lymm) bt Joe Dean & Scott Campbell 3&2; Cameron Massey (Chorlton) & Matt Taylor (Crewe) bt Chris Haley & Matt Daley 2&1; Ashley Sage (Sandiway) and James West (Altrincham) lost to Richard Law & Sam Young 1h. SINGLES: McLeod lost to Wasteney 6&4; Little lost to Lockwood 6&5; Barnes lost to Fitzpatrick 5&4; Hughes lost to Shucksmith 4&3; Peel lost to Campbell 2&1; Barker halved with Marsh; Newton bt Brown 1h; Burrows halved with Halley; Massey lost to Law 4&3; Taylor bt Young  4&3; West lost to Dean 5&4; Sage halved with Daley.

May 13 2012

Lancashire fight back to crush Northumberland  

 LANCASHIRE stormed back from 4-2 down in the foursomes to overcome Northumberland 12-6 in the opening Daily Telegraph Northern Counties League match at Hexham. And the victory also represented a perfect start for captain-elect Paul Williams as he took over the helm from Bill Bromilow who was on England duty in his role as a selector.

“The team spirit was fantastic,” said the Hillside and Denton member who played 39 times for the county before retiring 11 years ago.

“It was a great turn-around with the players coming quickly out of the blocks in the singles.

BIG WINNER: Sean Towndrow

They all pulled for each other and this success will boost their confidence for the next match against Cumbria at Carlisle on May 26.”

Five of Northumberland’s regular players turned professional at the end of last year and the side’s weaknesses were emphatically exposed by Lancashire as they won 10 of the 12 singles.

County champion John Carroll, from Huyton & Prescot, led the fight back by winning six of the first seven holes before despatching Matthew Webb 7&6; Southport & Ainsdale’s Sean Towndrow overwhelmed Lewis Fairbairn 9&8; Hillside’s Richie Blundell prevailed 7&5 against Sean Heads; and Michael Hunt, from Pleasington eclipsed Jake Storey 6&4.

Elsewhere, Yorkshire defeated defending champions Cheshire by five points at Wallasey and Cumbria won by the same margin against Durham at Seaton Carew.

“Cumbria will certainly test us at Carlisle but the attitude of our players is excellent,” added Williams after the Red Rose men went top of the table.

FOURSOMES: Mark Young (Longridge) & Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park)  halved with Matthew Webb & Jack Hermeston; John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) & Adam Andrews (Ashton-in-Makerfield) halved with Sandy Twynholm & Alec Dixon; Richie Blundell (Hillside) & Paul Howard (S&A) bt Martin Coup & Sean Heads 3&2; Jonathan Hurst (Pleasington) & Michael Hunt (Pleasington) lost to Darren Smith & Lewis Fairbairn 1h; Sean Towndrow (S&A) & Steve McGlynn (Blackburn) lost to Andrew Minnikin & Jake Storey 1h; Ciaran Doherty(Bury) & Henry Tomlinson (Royal Lytham & St Annes) lost to Peter Sym & Russell Hayhoe 1h. SINGLES: Carroll bt Webb 7&6; Young bt Twynholm 3&2; Howard bt Smith 4&3; Blundell bt Heads 7&5; Andrews bt Hermeston 4&3; Kenwright lost to Minnikin 2&1; McGlynn bt Coup 1h; Hurst bt Dixon 4&2; Towndrow bt Fairbairn 9&8; Hunt bt Storey 6&4; Tomlinson bt Sym 2&1; Doherty lost to Hayhoe 3&2.

May 10 2012

First time lucky for Goodland   

HAYDOCK Park 10 handicapper John Goodland, playing in his first event as a new county member, fired a nett 70 to win the Lancashire Collinge Trophy qualifier at Grange Park.

Chris Clarke, who plays off 17 at West Derby, claimed second place on countback from Swinton Park’s 12 ranked Paul Barlow.

Chorley’s Keith Sutch returned the best gross of 80 on a day when the early starters took advantage of sunshine before the weather deteriorated.

The second qualifier is at Hurlston Hall on May 23 with the final at Hesketh on September 13 along with the Bell Trophy for which qualifying is at Lytham Green Drive on June 12 and Heysham on June 27.

LEADING SCORES: 70 – John Goodland  (10, Haydock Park); 72 – Chris Clarke (17, West Derby),  Paul Barlow  (12, Swinton Park); 75 – A Rawlings ( 10,West Derby),  Peter R Jones (7,Woolton);  Menmenda Chandrasena (13, Grange Park). Gross: 80 – Keith Sutch (Chorley).

Full scores on

May 8 2012

Sheffield too hot for Bolton GA 

BOLTON GA were comprehensively beaten by  Sheffield Union of Golf Clubs at Renishaw Park. The first friendly encounter between these two teams was exactly 50 years ago and since 1985 an annual match has been played for the aptly named Sheffton Trophy.On this occasion, Sheffield got their noses in front in the morning foursomes by 4- 2, with the best performance coming from Jamie Harrison (Rotherham GC) and John Bragger (Tinsley Park GC) with a 4 & 3 win. In the afternoon singles, Sheffield ran away from Bolton and took the match 13.5-4.5.

May 8 2012

Bromilow’s Lancashire pledge  

 BILL Bromilow is determined to go out in a blaze of glory when he completes his five-year tenure as Lancashire County captain at the end of the season.

The Red Rose men open their Northern Counties League campaign against Northumberland at Hexham on Saturday without Formby player Paul Kinnear who misses the first two matches because of England duties.

And Bromilow can’t make the trip, either, because of a commitment as an England selector so he has handed the reins to his successor, Hillside and Denton member Paul Williams.

“We’ve picked our strongest available side,” said Bromilow (pictured) who guided Lancashire to two English Championships and a Northern Counties League title in his first three years then took them to the English final again last autumn.

“Northumberland are having to rebuild their side because five players have turned professional but it won’t be an easy match – none of them are.”

The past Chorley captain and Bolton champion added: “We’ve put our squad through their paces during the winter and I’m confident they will deliver the goods.”

But’s a testing start for Lancashire who then travel to Carlisle to face 2009 league champions Cumbria on May 26. They visit Northumberland club Ponteland on June 6 to defend the Northern Counties Championship, the qualifier for the English Finals at Beau Desert on September 28-30.

Bromilow has pledged to support the county “for as long as they’ll have me,” having been involved for the last 11 years. “I’ve enjoyed my spell as captain and it would be great to go out with a bang,” he added.

Meanwhile, it’s a busy weekend for Lancashire who stage the boys’ championship at Fishwick Hall on Sunday.

LANCASHIRE: John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot), Mark Young (Longridge), Paul Howard (S&A), Richie Blundell (Hillside), Adam Andrews (Ashton-in-Makerfield), Ian Kenwright (Haydock Park), Steve McGlynn (Blackburn), Jonathan Hurst (Pleasington), Sean Towndrow (S&A), Michael Hunt (Pleasington), Henry Tomlinson (Royal Lytham & St Annes), Ciaran Doherty (Bury).

May 7 2012

Dan’s the man as he powers to 11-shot victory in Lytham Trophy


FLYING Dutchman Daniel Huizing cruised to victory in the Lytham Trophy as he left the rest of the big international field trailing in his wake.

The 21-year-old student from Soest is the first player from the Netherlands to claim one of the most coveted titles in amateur golf, achieving it in a most emphatic manner by 11 shots over Germany’s Moritz Lampert.

Huizing, who takes his final economics exams in the winter then hopes to turn professional, had done his homework based on two previous appearances in the tournament, finishing 27th last year after missing the cut in 2010.

And he certainly got his sums right time as he led from wire-to-wire, opening with a brace of 67s followed by 71 and 68.

At seven-under he was the only player among the 144 starters to beat par at Open Championship venue Royal Lytham & St Annes, his winning total bettered only by Londoner James Heath who was 11 lower in 2004.

Huizing was coolness personified as he plotted his way round the links with pinpoint accuracy, his club selection ensuring he steered clear of the cavernous bunkers in which so many players came to grief.

“I felt very comfortable here and I knew what to do,” he said. “The key was good, solid play and hitting the right targets. I had good distance control so I had plenty of short putts for birdies.

“It was killing to find the fairway bunkers so I often took an iron off the tee for safety. I only took out my driver when we played off forward tees, they were saving some of the back ones for Open, and I executed that shot well.”

Huizing, who won six times last season including the Dutch strokeplay and twice in Argentina, has a score to settle in this week’s Irish Amateur – he tripled bogeyed the final hole at Royal Dublin last year to lose by two.

Pick of the regional players were Pleasington’s Jonathan Hurst, who chipped in for a birdie three on the last hole for a 70, and Paul Howard, from Southport & Ainsdale, who were tied eighth on eight-over-par.

Their Lancashire County team-mates, Blackburn’s Steve McGlynn was 26th and Henry Tomlinson was 44 but had the honour of becoming the first host club player to make the cut since John Hawksworth won in 1984.

Shot of the week was an eagle two at the 17th by Workington’s Seb Nixon where he holed his nine iron approach.

LEADING SCORES:  273 D Huizing (Netherlands) 67 67 71 68; 284 M Lampert (Ger) 69 72 71 72; 285 B Westgate (Trevose) 68 74 75 68; 286 P Barjon (France) 73 71 73 69, M Miller (US) 71 73 72 70; 287 M Wallace (Moor Park) 70 67 77 73, G Gordon (Newmacher) 72 67 72 77.

Free lessons at Cheshire clubs

 TYTHERINGTON and Eaton are staging free coaching programmes for would-be golfers as part of the drive to encourage more people to take the game in part of the county-wide campaign.

Macclesfield club Tytherington’s Golf4All sessions start on May 14- 15 at 6pm and  May 26- 27 at 12pm.

Further details are available from the club on 01625 506 000.

Eaton, at Waverton near Chester, is holding special sessions for women only starting on June 16 and September 8. The club is running Golf4All programmes from July 28 and November 3.

Further details are available by calling 01244 335885, extension 3.

Craig Thomas, county development officer for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership, said: “These schemes give anyone interested in trying golf the ideal opportunity to give it a go alongside people in a similar situation.

“It is a sport that offers a healthier lifestyle and, with the potential for club membership in the future, an enjoyable social life, too.”

Both clubs have been awarded GolfMark, a national scheme that incorporates ClubMark and recognises junior and beginner friendly golf facilities that focus on coaching and playing, club environment and Child Protection, and Duty of Care, all of which are extremely important to parents and children alike.

GolfMark is an initiative jointly provided by the EGU and EWGA via the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and is an integral part of the England Golf Partnership’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’.

May 5 2012

Howard’s heads local challenge at Lytham

LANCASHIRE County player Paul Howard is the best placed regional player going into today’s second round of the Lytham Trophy.

The Southport and Ainsdale man shot a one-under-par 69 at Royal Lytham & St Annes for a six-way share of third place.

He is two strokes adrift of leader Daniel Huizing, from the Netherlands.

Blackburn’s Steve McGlynn, winner of last year’s Cleveland Srixon Northern Order of Merit, is among seven players on 71 including county team-mate Henry Tomlinson from the host club.

Sam Stewart, from Pleasington, carded 79 matched by Formby’s England player Paul Kinnear while Longridge’s Mark Young was a shot back.

There are several internationals in a 144-strong field sprinkled with players from Germany, Finland, Norway Sweden, Denmark, Austria, France, Italy, the United States and Hong Kong. The players who survive the half-way cut compete over 36 holes tomorrow.

April 24 2012

Rees lands Portugese title

GLYN Rees has won the Portugese Senior Men’s International Championship. The Fleetwood veteran prevailed by a shot in the three-day event at Estoril, his best-of-tournament second round 69 sandwiched between a 73 and 75 in a 10-over-par total. Rees also won the Lancashire Seniors’ Championship at Penwortham  in 2008, the same year he captured the senior crown in the James Brearley Lancashire Open at Blackpool North Shore.

+THE Rest of Lancs beat the East Lancs GA by one point at Blackburn.

April 21 2012

Give golf a go for a tenner!

WOULD-BE golfers in Cumbria have the ideal chance to give the sport a go – for the bargain price of a tenner! Four clubs have signed up to deliver a special coaching course for beginners during May. The four weeks of top advice from PGA professionals is open to both male and females aged 16 and over and costs just £10 per person.Sessions are being delivered at Penrith Driving Range, Cumbria Golf Centre (based at Whitehaven GC), Carlisle DR and Furness DR starting during the first week of May.

Says Jane Robinson, county development officer for the Cumbria County Golf Partnership: “This is as great opportunity for anyone who has thought about taking up golf to give the sport a go without having to spend a lot of money doing so.

“The coaching will be designed to help newcomers get to grip with the basics of the sport, which will give a great platform to take part in further coaching in the future, to get out on the course and perhaps even enjoy the benefits of becoming a golf club member.”

Anyone interested is asked to contact the club they wish to attend directly. All equipment is provided.

Penrith Golf Centre and Driving Range – starts Monday, April 30 (7pm and 8pm) Contact Andrew Sowerby on 01768 892167

Cumbria Golf Centre (Whitehaven) – starts Tuesday, May 1 (6pm) Contact Mark Mattinson on 01946 599683

Carlisle Driving Range – starts Saturday, May 12 (10am) Contact Stuart Rafferty on 01228 545665

Furness Driving Range – starts Tuesday, May 1 (10am and 7pm) Contact Paul Rawlinson on 079689 67148

Meanwhile, clubs across Durham are on course to follow up the success of the region’s first golf week. A wide range of events took placed to make it easier than ever for people to give golf a go – and hundreds in the county took the opportunity to do so.

Now clubs are offering a six-week free coaching programme for would-be golfers who want to take their interest further.

Those taking part are:

Billingham GC – starts Thursday, April 26 (7pm) Contact Mike Ure on

01642 533816

Eaglescliffe GC – starts, Sunday, April  29 (1pm-2pm) Contact Graeme Bell on 07732 264789

Teesside  GC – starts Thursday, April  26 (5.30pm-6.30pm) Contact Stuart Pilgrim on 01642 673822

The Wynyard GC – starts Thursday, April  26 (6pm-7pm) Contact Chris Mounter on 01740 644399 (Ext 24)

Yarm Driving Range – starts Tuesday, April  24 (6pm – 7pm) Contact Ian Lindsay on 01642 780662

April 19 2012

Charity Cots need your support

MICHAEL Yates, chairman of Bolton and District Charity Golf Cot which was formed in 1915, is urging club members to enter the four fund-raising events to help local causes.The former Lancashire UGCI president says: “I appreciate players have a very busy schedule but I hope they

PLEA: Michael Yates

can give their support. It would also be very helpful if they could encourage fellow club members to enter. Unfortunately the support for some of these competitions in recent years has reduced dramatically, thus affecting the amount of money we hope to raise for our chosen charities.They are: BLISS (Premature babies); Prostate Cancer; NW Air Ambulance, and Bolton Hospice which are very worthy causes.”


May 12: Second Division Golf Cot, handicaps 15-18 (Dunscar)

MAY 14: Ladies’ Competition (Turton)

JUNE 9: First Division Golf Cot, handicaps 1-14 (Turton)

JULY 15: Mixed Texas Scramble, 2 ladies, 2 gents (Bolton Old Links)

Entry sheets available at all Bolton GA clubs.

April 11 2012

Roy is captain of  Crewe!

Roy Smethurst

 AMATEUR legend Roy Smethurst, with an enviable record of success at national, county and regional level, who still plays off plus two at the age of 69, has been appointed captain at Crewe where he’s been a member for 44 years.

Smethurst has played 186 times for Cheshire and won the county championship on four occasions and in the past two decades he has carried all before him in the senior ranks, winning the English crown four times, the European Championship, four Northern Counties titles and  10 county ones.

He was also French Over-65 champion in 2010 and last year.

Smethurst, who has named St Luke’s Hospice in Middlewich as his chosen captain’s charity, still lives within a mile of his club and worked in IT before he retired. His favourite course other than Crewe are Sherwood Forest. where he began his golf aged 10, and Royal Portrush where he won three of his four British Seniors’ Opens.

April 10 2012

Follow in the spike marks of the greats in Wirral Classic

CLUB golfers of any standard have the opportunity to play Hoylake just two weeks after the Ricoh Women’s British Open Championship this autumn.

The links, which has seen a few minor improvements during the winter, will be brought up to top condition by mid-September for the world’s top women players and be seen via TV broadcast worldwide.

Just two weeks later, Hoylake will open its course to club golfers, both male and female, for the third Wirral Golf Classic on October 1-5.

The 72-hole open stableford competition, for golfers of all abilities, is played on four links courses in Wirral, Caldy, a qualifying venue for the Ricoh, Wallasey, final qualifying venue for the 2014 Open Championship, and Heswall, venue of the R&A’s Junior Championships.  The entry fee is £219, just over half the green fees of these clubs alone and includes the opportunity to win over £3,000 worth of prizes from Titleist as well as two social events.

This tournament is developing a great reputation as a wonderful week enjoying a 100 per cent satisfaction rate among competitors surveyed at last year’s Classic.

“Flyers were sent to golf clubs in March f and further information can be found on the web site including promotional offers from accommodation and food providers in Wirral.

Entries are restricted to the first 300 golfers so don’t miss out and find out more now.

April 4, 2012

Lancashire claim title in tight finish

WINNING SMILES                           Photo Tom Ward

 LANCASHIRE won the Four Counties Junior Tournament for the first time since 2007 when they halved their final match against Nottingham.

But, as expected, Cheshire did not relinquish their crown without a fight and a 7-0 white-washing of Shropshire and Herefordshire kept the Red Rose boys on their toes on a nerve-wracking final day at West Lancs.

Lancashire trailed 3-2 at one stage and knew they could not afford to lose another two matches but when Pike Fold’s Ben Richards dispatched his Notts opponent Jacob Walker 3&1 the pressure was taken off them.

Formby’s Ian Stirling halved the last tie with Walker’s clubmate Scott Hamilton to ensure outright victory.


LANCS 3.5 NOTTINGHAM 3.5: Sean Blinkhorn (S&A)  lost to Liam Taylor (Sherwood Forest) 1h; Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest) bt Reece Thorlby-Coy (Worksop)  6&4;  Joey Lamb (Wilpshire)  lost to Joe Haig (Coxmoor) 1h; Sami Procter-Bouzabia (Preston) bt Jack Sallis (Notts) 6&5; Louis Tomlinson (West Lancs) lost to Jacob Walker (Notts) 1h; Ben Richards (Pike Fold ) bt Scott Hamilton (Notts) 3&1; Ian Stirling (Formby) halved with Issac Walker (Notts).

CHESHIRE 7 S&H 0: James Newton (Prestbury) bt Tom Young (Hawkstone Park) 3&2; Cameron Massey (Chorlton) bt Phillip Weston (Hawkstone Park) 5&4; Matt Taylor (Crewe) bt Nick Jones (Lilleshall) 2h; Jordan Jones (Delamere Forest) bt Gareth Evans (Llanymynech) 4&3; Lewis Jones (Delamere Forest) bt Will Enefer (Wrekin) 2h; Josh Garside (Prestbury) bt Harry Burt (Wrekin) 7&5; Freddie Williams (Prenton) bt Lewis Horobin (Wrekin) 5&4.

FULL DETAILS:  1st rnd: Shropshire & Herefordshire 2.5 Nottinghamshire 4.5; Lancs 5.5 Cheshire 1.5. 2nd rnd: S&H 2.5 Lancs 4.5; Nottm 3 Cheshire 4. 3rd rnd rnd: Lancs 3.5 Nottingham 3.5; Cheshire 7 Shropshire & Herefordshire 0. Final pos: 1 Lancs, 2 Cheshire; 3 Nottingham; 4 Shropshire & Herefordshire.

Cheshire duo earn trip to Dubai after winning matchplay qualifier

EMIRATES BOUND: Martin and Andrew

AFTER battling through several rounds of qualifying and beating off thousands of other competitors, two local golfers are celebrating after booking their place in the Grand Final of the UK’s biggest amateur golf event, The Matchplay Championship. Martin Firth and Andrew Taylor from Tytherington Golf Club are to be flown off to Dubai to experience the trip of a lifetime after winning the tournament’s North Regional qualifier with 40 stableford points at European Tour venue, The Marriott Forest of Arden near Birmingham. They follow in the footsteps of Thomas Bjorn, Robert Allenby, ex-Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie and Open Champion Darren Clarke as winners at the impressive championship venue.

April 3 2012

Red Rose boys in great shape

 LANCASHIRE are in a strong position to recapture the Four Counties Junior Tournament they last won in 2007 when they beat arch rivals and title-holders Cheshire by four points in the first round then Shropshire and Herefordshire by two in the next.

Apart from home advantage for the round-robin series of matches at West Lancs, the Red Rose boys had too much fire power for a young Cheshire side.

Despite Prestbury’s England A team player James Newton convincingly beating Preston’s Procter-Bouzabia in the top tie, Lancashire took five of the next six.

They were equally impressive against Shropshire & Herefordshire and will meet Nottingham, beaten 4-3 by Cheshire, tomorrow. S&H play Cheshire.

DETAILS:  1st rnd: Shropshire & Herefordshire 2.5 Nottinghamshire 4.5; Lancs 5.5 Cheshire 1.5. 2nd rnd: S&H 2.5 Lancs 4.5; Nottm 3 Cheshire 4.

April 1 2012

Red Rose boys seek home win

LANCASHIRE are aiming to end a five-year drought in the Four Counties Junior Tournament which swings into action on Tuesday.

And home advantage could prove crucial when they face Cheshire, Nottinghamshire and the combined Shropshire & Herefordshire teams at West Lancs.

That was the case when the Red Rose boys claimed the title for the ninth occasion at Fairhaven in 2007 with a strong team which included Tommy Fleetwood and Matthew Nixon who are now plying their trade on the European Tour.

Since then Lancashire have played second fiddle to Cheshire, although they were narrowly beaten by their neighbours at Crewe last year.

Preston’s Sami Procter-Bouzabia, Southport & Ainsdale’s Sean Blinkhorne and host club player and reigning county boys’ champion Louis Tomlinson, retain their places from that side.

The eight-strong squad, from which the team of seven will be selected, hopes to benefit from a training session at the Blundellsands links with county coach Jim Payne.

Cheshire, as expected, have also named a strong line-up which includes England player James Newton.

Meanwhile, Delamere Forest have three players on show – Lewis George and Jordan Jones for their own county and Haydn McCullen who represents Lancashire.

LANCASHIRE: Sami Procter-Bouzabia (Preston), Sean Blinkhorne (S&A), Louis Tomlinson (West Lancs), Joey Lamb (Wilpshire), Ian Stirling (Formby), Haydn McCullen (Delamere Forest), Ben Richards (Pike Fold), James Rooney (West Lancs).

CHESHIRE: James Newton (Prestbury), Daniel Chapman (Sandiway), Joshua Garside (Prestbury), Lewis George (Delamere Forest), Jordan Jones (Delamere Forest), Cameron Massey (Chorlton-cum-Hardy), Matt Taylor (Crewe), Freddie Williams (Prenton).

NB:The tournament was instigated in 1973 at Hollinwell, Nottinghamshire, and past players include Sandy Lyle; Ian Woosnam; Lee Westwood; Nick Dougherty; Jamie Donaldson; Paul Waring and David Horsey.

*Lancashire B defeated Cumbria B 11-7 at Fleetwood yesterday.

March 25 2012

Rest of Lancs stung by Southport DGA

 SOUTHPORT and District GA had a sting in their tail as they won three off the last four singles to defeat the Rest of Lancs 10-8 at Hesketh.

After sharing the foursomes, SDGA gained only one point from the top four singles, Southport & Ainsdale’s Paul Howard edging to a one hole success over Steven McGlynn, from Blackburn.

Earlier, county champion John Carroll, from Huyton & Prescot, dispatched his Red Rose team-mate, Hillside’s Richie Ritchie Blundell, 4&3 in the top pairing.

But Rest of Lancs, two points ahead after four singles, won only one of the last eight, Tom Stuart prevailing by one hole against his former Chorley clubmate Richard Kilshaw, from Hillside.

Meanwhile, Blundell at least had something to celebrate – he holed in one at the second during the foursomes.

March 23 2012

Paul’s in charge at Worsley

PAUL Bayley has been appointed golf director at Worsley – a role he held Didsbury after briefly managing Disley. He said: “Our professional Andrew Cory is proud of the club’s rich heritage of developing junior golf and he is putting forward several new initiatives to get youngsters into the game.” Bayley is pictured left being welcomed by Cory.

March 23 2012

Junior friendly Cheshire club makes a mark

ON THE MARK: Astbury receive their accreditation, from left Alan White (president), Craig Thomas (Cheshire County Golf Partnership development officer), Jerry Hayes (junior organiser), Alan Percival (captain), Neil Dawson (professional), Eileen Murphy (lady captain), and Iain Seath (professional and Cheshire County Academy co-ordinator)

A CHESHIRE golf club which has received national recognition for its drive to encourage more people into the sport is to hold a special Open Day next month. Astbury, near Congleton, has been awarded GolfMark, a national seal of approval for junior and beginner friendly facilities which play an important role in the development of the game.The club is to showcase what it has to offer with a series of special events on Sunday, April 15 (9.30am-3.00pm).

A round of golf will be available for just £10, including a brunch buffet, with 12 holes for £8 and juniors playing for just £5.

There will be target and putting competitions, free coaching for adults and juniors, discounts available in the professional’s shop and £100 off the joining fee.

The event – and the GolfMark award – is all part of the 90-year-old club’s proactive approach to encouraging more people into the sport.

PGA professional Iain Seath runs a Junior Academy on a Saturday afternoon which offers a pathway for beginners to develop their golfing skills and move into future club membership.

Iain, who is also a coach for the Cheshire County Academy and runs disability golfing sessions in schools and clubs across Cheshire, saod: “Coaching takes place from 12 noon to 3pm on a Saturday, starting with those new to the game playing Tri Golf, a middle session for those using metal clubs and hitting real golf balls to a more advanced session, when the juniors are encouraged to become members of the club and get involved in playing in competitions.

“The members at the club are very supportive and welcoming and want to create a family environment, encouraging new members to get involved in the social side of the club as much as the playing.

“The Open Day is a chance for people to come along and see what the club has to offer. It is part of a proactive approach to giving more people the opportunity to get involved in golf and become a future member of the club.”

The club’s junior programme has seen the recruitment of five of its junior members to the Cheshire Union county set-up. Adam Cockerill, Max Rogers, Thomas Marsh, Jeremiah Hayes and Jack Machin have all received call-ups.

It is the highest number of players that the club has ever had reaching this level of county acknowledgement.

Says Craig Thomas, county development officer for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership, said: “Astbury is a well-established club with a distinguished history that is taking a positive approach and looking to build even further for the future, both in terms of its offering for juniors and newcomers to the game or those looking to return to playing golf.

“GolfMark means a parent dropping off their child knows they are in a positive environment with the emphasis on the right care and responsibilities while the success of the individual club members shows the quality of coaching on offer.”

March 21 2012

Last chance to enter Northern Matchplay

Arcos Gardens

ENTRIES for the Northern Matchplay Golf Championship close at noon on April 2. The season-long knockout is open to male golfers in the North of England with regional finals held at Formby, Alwoodley and Silloth on Solway golf clubs. It all culminates in a grand final for 12 players at the stunning Arcos Gardens Golf Resort near Cadiz, Spain, on October 14-18.

There are individual and betterball competitions – players can choose to enter either or both – with the first round in each played over 36 holes on a home and away basis, assuring competitors of at least one round away from their home course.

Entrants need to win a maximum of just six matches against local opponents to reach their 36-hole regional climax where semi-finals and finals take place.

The event is sponsored by Golf de la Luz, the expert golf holiday company for golf breaks to the Costa de la Luz & Seville in Spain and the Lisbon & Algarve regions of Portugal. An added bonus is that all entrants who play in the 2012 competition receive £50 off a golf holiday to Arcos Gardens when taken before February, 28, 2013 – based on a minimum group size of two staying for at least three nights.

Tournament organiser, Edward Battye, who set the event up two years ago said: “We’ve had a brilliant response to the 2012 championship. The appeal of possibly making the overseas final has drawn in a lot of new entries whilst several familiar names have once again signed up.”

He added: “For those new to the competition it provides a great way to play different courses, either free of charge or at members rates, and the carrot is obviously the regional final at a top class venue with the chance to make the grand final in Spain.”

Entry is just £15 for the singles and £25 per pair for the betterball. You can find full details and enter online at

March 20 2012

It’s in the net for golf’s newcomers

THE Cheshire County Golf Partnership is taking one of its inflatable nets to Macclesfield Track, based at the town’s leisure centre, on March 25, to give people the chance to swing a golf and hit balls.

It’s part of the Cheshire East Sport Relief initiative and information will be available taster sessions at local clubs or additional coaching from PGA professionals on one of the county’s Get into Golf programmes.

The CGP will also be in action at the Manchester 10k Run on May 20.

Craig Thomas, the county development officer , said: “Sport Relief is a great event which does a fantastic job in raising money for charity. Golf, too, has a long tradition of holding charity events as part of the active social side to the sport.”

March 19 2012

England Golf monitors membership trends

ALL golf clubs in England have been invited to take part in vital research to help shape future investment in the game.England Golf’s 2012 Golf Club Membership Questionnaire will monitor membership trends and highlight the effectiveness of current development initiatives and resources.

Copies of the questionnaire have been sent to all clubs but it can also be completed online at All clubs who make an online return by 11th May 2012 will be entered into a draw to win one of three Apple iPads.

Meanwhile, all clubs which return a completed questionnaire will be entered into a draw to win a fourball on the Hotchkin Course at The National Golf Centre, Woodhall Spa.
Since the first survey was distributed in 2002 the research has helped England Golf to identify significant changes and challenges facing clubs and to direct finances and resources.

The research findings have been used in a number of ways including:

• Providing golf clubs with statistics to compare and benchmark themselves, to better assess their business health and progress.

• The development of flexible membership packages and best practice examples for golf clubs.
• The production of the Recruitment & Retention Toolkit for golf clubs.
• Production of county and regional information to identify and support development of the sport at a local level through County Golf Partnerships.
• Specific support for women’s and girls’ golf.
• The production of the Junior Organisers’ Handbook to support and improve junior structures within golf clubs.
• Provision of data to Sport England to gain funding for the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’.
Richard Flint, Development Manager for England Golf commented “Despite the pressures of the economic climate, golf in England has reacted to the challenges and changing golfing environment.
“This biennial research is a critical part of meeting these and future challenges and will enable us, along with our County Golf Partnerships, to establish recruitment activities and transform facilities and offerings within clubs to meet the demand of existing and potential golfers.”
Once all data has been collated a national results booklet will be produced in the autumn along with individual county breakdowns. Previous results booklets can be downloaded at

March 18 2012

Counties back regional golf week

CUMBRIA clubs are backing a new drive to help more people get into the by staging the north region’s first golf week is to take place on April 16-22. Durham and Northumberland clubs are supporting the project which will see a range of activities including free taster schemes for people to try golf; free lessons to encourage work colleagues to take up a healthier lifestyle together through golf; and ladies only golf sessions.

  • FREE health workforce sessions at Penrith Driving Range on Monday, April 16t (2pm/6pm/7pm)
  • FREE lady golfer sessions at Whitehaven Golf Club on Tuesday, April 17t (10am/5.30pm)
  • A FREE new golfer challenge and four-hole competition at Eden Golf Club on Wednesday, April 18t (5pm)
  • FREE health workforce sessions at Furness Driving Range on Thursday, April 19  (available all day)
  • Tri-golf Activators Workshop at Penrith GC on Friday, April 20 (10am-12noon; cost £20 per person)
  • City centre project in Carlisle on Saturday, April 21 (10am)
  • Match Fitness and Preparation Workshop at Eden GC on Sunday, April 22.

Jane Robinson, county development officer for the Cumbria Golf Partnership, said: “The Healthy Workforce programme includes sessions of coaching for businesses/employers/employees to get a taste of golf in a group environment. It is a fun way for work colleagues to share in an activity away from the workplace.

“The New Golfer Challenge offers one-hour of group coaching for beginners and golfers in pairs followed by a fourball four-hole competition.  Golfers hit the long shots and the beginners chip and putt.  It is aimed at helping people towards golf club membership.

“The Tri-Golf workshop looks at ways of introducing children to the game in a fun and friendly way. It is a chance to learn new games and activities using the tri-golf equipment. This course is ideal for any golf professional, coach, junior organiser, club volunteer or teacher.”

The week is being promoted by the County Golf Partnerships in Durham, Northumberland and Cumbria.

Details of the programme of events in each county are available from the relevant County Golf Partnership website – (Durham); (Northumberland); (Cumbria). For more information about Regional Golf Week please contact Jason Budd on 07726 601724.

And for more information on the work of the Cumbria County Golf Partnership contact Jane Robinson, County Development Officer, Cumbria County Golf Partnership.


Mobile: 079851 81070


March 16 2012

Top marks for Tytherington

TYTHERINGTON Golf Club is building on its 25th anniversary by receiving national recognition for its work in helping more people take up the sport.

The Macclesfield club has been awarded GolfMark, a national seal of approval for junior and beginner friendly facilities which play an important role in the development of the game.

PRIZE GUY: Craig Thomas presents the award to Anthony Haste

The club has created a stronger structure to its existing junior section – including encouraging feedback from the players themselves – as well as supporting schemes run under the umbrella of the Cheshire County Golf Partnership aimed at bringing more newcomers into golf.

Regular coaching for juniors takes place on a Sunday morning, with ages ranging from four through to 18.

Head professional Anthony Haste said: “We have introduced a more structured diary of events which gives the youngsters the chance to play in more competitions to put into practice the skills they are learning on the range. We also encourage feedback from the juniors, while both the golf committee and club owners have been very supportive of the work we have been doing.

“As well as coaching on the driving range, we take the younger players out on the course to give them a feel for what the sport is about and show them things they would use during a round of golf, such as repairing pitch marks.”

The club has built links with Macclesfield High School and several primary schools, and also plans to extend that work to the Wilmslow area.

Haste added: “We hope that the GolfMark award demonstrates that Tytherington is a friendly club open to all ages and abilities and the ideal place to develop your golfing skills in an enjoyable way.”

Craig Thomas, county development officer for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership, said: “GolfMark is a positive signal to anyone thinking of giving golf a go at Tytherington that they have the right duty of care policies in place. It means a parent dropping off their child knows they are in a positive environment with the emphasis on the right care and responsibilities.”

March 14 2012

England to defend European Nations Championship

A four-man England team will defend the European Nations Championship next week in Sotogrande, Spain, while an England women’s team, which includes regional players Nikki Foster and  Rachael Goodall,  will return to the event after an absence of several years.

The England men have won this title for the past three years and will look to make it four-in-a-row when the event is played from 21–24 March.

The men’s team is Jack Hiluta (Chelmsford, Essex), the newly crowned Spanish amateur champion, Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire), Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire, IoW & CI) and Toby Tree (Worthing, Sussex).

The women’s team of three is Rachel Drummond (Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire), Nikki Foster (Pleasington, Lancashire) and Rachael Goodall (Heswall, Cheshire).  All three are members of the top-ranking England women’s Performance Squad.

Jack Hiluta, 22, who won the Spanish title earlier this month, has spent the last few years at the University of South Alabama in the USA. He was capped at U16 and boys’ levels and has represented GB&I against the Continent of Europe in the Jacques Leglise Trophy. Last year he was third in the Berkshire Trophy.

Ashley Chesters, 22, was capped at U16 level and is a member of the England squad. Last year, he won the Lee Westwood Trophy and finished runner-up in the Simon Bolivar Cup in Venezuela. He visited Australia earlier this year, with top ten finishes in the Masters of the Amateurs and the Avondale Cup.

Neil Raymond, 26, made his full England debut against Spain last year and was also a member of the victorious Home Internationals team. He won the Brabazon Trophy, was runner-up in the Selborne Salver and seventh in the Welsh stroke play. He finished eighth on last year’s Titleist Footjoy EGU Order of Merit and was also a member of the squad which visited Australia, winning the New South Wales Medal.

Toby Tree, 17, has just won the Gauteng North Open in South Africa. He is a past winner of the English U14 and U16 championships, has represented England as an U16 and boy international and represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy. He has also won the Douglas Johns Trophy and the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters.

Rachel Drummond, 22, won the 2011 Roehampton Gold Cup and had top-four high finishes in two other prestigious scratch events. She was a quarter finalist in the English amateur championship and recorded high finishes in the English, French and British stroke play championships.

Nikki Foster, 20, has represented England in the Home Internationals and, last year, qualified to play in the Women’s British Open. She’s a past winner of the Royal Birkdale scratch trophy and has been runner-up in the Scottish and Welsh stroke play championships and in the English women’s order of merit.

Rachael Goodall, 21, won the 2011 Critchley Salver and had top-three places in two other major scratch events. She also had top ten finishes in the English, Scottish and Welsh stroke play championships and reached final qualifying for the Women’s British Open.

The European Nations Championship is played over 72 holes. Each team discounts it worst score each day with the others counting towards the team event. An individual competition runs simultaneously.

March 9 2012

Northern Matchplay qualifier at Huddersfield

THE Fixby Challenge returns to Huddersfield Golf Club this year. The 18 hole individual strokeplay competition is on Friday, July 27, a time of year when the championship course – a regular venue for the Yorkshire County Championship – is at its best. And in 2012 the player returning the lowest nett score will be jetting off to Spain for a four-night golfing trip of a lifetime.

The tournament, open to male golfers in the North of England with an official handicap, includes lunch and has an entry-fee of £30 per person. However, those entering during March as a group of four can do so for just £100.

The competition forms part of the Northern Matchplay Golf Championship and offers a fast-track route for one lucky individual to reach the grand final at the highly acclaimed Arcos Gardens Golf Resort on the Costa de la Luz.

Organiser Edward Battye, said: “Fixby doesn’t hold a singles open competition so hopefully golfers will see this as an excellent opportunity to play one of the best courses in Yorkshire under tournament conditions.”

He added, “There’s a huge prize up for grabs and last year the winning score was a level par round of 71, so anybody playing to their handicap on the day has a real chance.”

More information and entry details can be found at

March 8 2012

Wilson installed as Lancashire President

WHEN Les Wilson kicked football into touch because of “dodgy ankles and knees” he

HONOUR: Les Wilson

exchanged his studs for spikes and joined Greenmount Golf Club.

That was back in 1983 and he got to grips with the game so quickly that he improved faster than the system could reduce his handicap!

This week the Liverpool-born 61-year-old, who still plays off 11, was installed as President of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, succeeding another Bury man Terry Horrocks.

“It’s a great honour and for Greenmount, too, because I’m the second member to hold the position following Tommy Schofield in 1977,” he said. “Not many nine-hole clubs can claim that distinction.”

“Tommy was still around during my early years at the club and I was in mortal fear of him.

“I remember playing in the fourball knockout final and he was stood behind our seventh green which had a narrow approach. The only way you could stop the ball was to pitch it just over the front bunker which I duly did.

“When I walked up to the back of the green Tommy growled: ‘you only just made it’ to which I replied that’s what I was trying to do! He was not very generous with his praise of fellow golfers.”

Wilson, a Liverpool FC season-ticket holder, played soccer for Walshaw Sports Club in the Lancashire Amateur League before turning to golf.

He volunteered to oversee Greenmount’s junior section and served on the club council for 15 years, five as finance chairman,

And running the Bury and District GA Junior League led him to an invitation to join the Lancashire Executive 1999. He was Chairman of Championship from 2003 to 2007 and is the county’s England Golf voting representative and a member of its tournament panel.

He is hoping his term as president will be marked by the continuing success of the county team which has reached the English Finals three times in the last four years, winning the title twice.

“I’d like to see the boys achieve something as well,” he added.

Wilson, 61, a Maghull Grammar School old boy and former Kelsterton College student, founded a Manchester-based computer software business before moving into the print industry but is now semi-retired.

He has been married to Lesley for 38 years, has two daughters and expecting a first grandchild this year.

February 22 2012

Volunteer Ted picks up award 

CHESHIRE’S Ted Leather was among six people to receive the 2012 Volunteer of the Year awards, made by the England Golf Partnership during the annual County Golf Development Conference dinner at Woodhall Spa.

They were applauded by a packed conference hall made up of those leading the EGP’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’ through the County Golf Partnership structure.

Phil Beard, Volunteer Manager for the England Golf Partnership, said: “These volunteers are truly inspiring people who play a crucial part in growing the game. They readily give up their time and many people are playing and enjoying golf because of their encouragement. These awards recognise the importance and value of our volunteers.”

Leather, who won the Services to Golf Lifetime Achievement award, is known for his passion and enthusiasm for the Cheshire Golf Partnership and its work to grow the game. He was instrumental in setting up the partnership and has chaired it since it launched in 2009, working with “a very good team who are responsible for the success we have at the moment.”

Over the past year he’s combined his CGP duties with those of club captain at Warrington Golf Club, where he’s been a member for more than 40 years. He was president of the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs in 2008 and still sits on the executive committee.

“I’ve always been very keen to develop golf and to look forward to the future, but I certainly didn’t expect this award,” he said.

The national volunteering programme is delivered via the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and is an integral part of the England Golf Partnership’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’.

For more on volunteers go to

February 16 2012

Joint presidents at England helm

FOLLOWING the recent merger of the English Golf Union with the English Women’s Golf Association to form England Golf, joint presidents for 2012 were voted into office at yesterday’s  annual meeting at Woodhall Spa.
Paul Baxter (Woodhall Spa), the past Chief Executive of the English Golf Union, and Sue Johnson (Huddersfield, Yorkshire), a past Chairman of the England Ladies’ Golf Association and the Ladies Golf Union, will operate in tandem for the new organisation.

Baxter says: “The merger will undoubtedly bring with it a number of challenges however it will also create opportunities.

“I have known Johnson for a number of years and we have worked together in the past. Our role is to support the Board bring together a smooth transition of the two organisations into a single body for the promotion and development of English golf.

“Creating one organisation provides the opportunity to grow the game at a time when membership of clubs is declining and one of my ambitions during my year as president is to promote the benefits of golf club membership.

“I am also looking forward to supporting England teams and visiting the clubs hosting our championships, but most of all I look forward meeting the people who make the game tick – the club volunteers who give so willingly of their time so that we can play and enjoy this wonderful game.”

Sue  said: “This is history in the making and we are privileged to be part of it. Through our roles we can help to bring men and women golfers together as members of one, united and successful organisation. So, I shall attend some men’s events and Paul will be at a number of women’s events. “The merger which created England Golf was for the good of all amateur golfers, and it is now up to us to make it work.”

After studying mechanical engineering as part of an apprenticeship with Golf Ball Development for Penfolds, Paul Baxter worked for Rolls Royce and the Bemrose Corporation in Derby before moving into golf administration in 1973 as secretary at Chevin Golf Club.

Four years later he moved to Sherwood Forest before the switch to the EGU at its headquarters in Leicester prior to the move to Woodhall Spa in 1996.

Paul is also an accomplished golfer. After joining Sherwood Forest as a junior in 1956, he was English boy champion in 1960 as well as a boy and youth international. He captained the England youth team and also represented GB&I at boys level.

He was Derbyshire champion three times, match play champion four times and once Nottinghamshire champion. His involvement at the helm of the EGU restricted his playing opportunities but he was captain of the Midland Golf Union 1982–84 and President of the Nottinghamshire Schools Association 1983-84.

In 2001, Paul became an England senior international and in recent times has been a member of the Lincolnshire seniors team, becoming Lincolnshire seniors champion in 2009.
Sue began her career in golf administration in Yorkshire and went on to represent the county on ELGA, which became the English Women’s Golf Association. She became ELGA chairman in 1987 then started a six-year term on the LGU, which she chaired in 1994.

Sue was LGU president from 2001-03, has also been captain and president of Yorkshire and is a life vice-president of both bodies.
During her time with the LGU Sue was involved with running the Commonwealth Tournament, now the Astor Trophy, and the Curtis Cup when it was held at Royal Liverpool.
She has been a single figure golfer for most of her life and played for the Yorkshire second team, but says: “I’ve never been a top golfer but I have had such pleasure from the game and met so many wonderful people.”

February 14 2012

Wirral Classic boosts economy

THE Wirral Golf Classic, launched two years ago, has already been hailed a roaring success – and a huge benefit to the area.  Last season it attracted more than 200 golfers entries from the UK and abroad and indications are that most of the competitors will be back this year

The 72-hole amateur tournament is being staged at Royal Liverpool, Caldy, Wallasey and Heswall on October 1-5 and further information can be found at which includes  accommodation availability.

Meanwhile, with more than 95 per cent of players coming from outside the region, with almost third visiting for the first time, the economic impact was £188,000.

The event was the suggestion of Royal Liverpool secretary, David Crombie, the then Chair of the Wirral Golf Partnership and is aided by funds from the European Development Fund.

February 3 2012

Samantha keeps Cheshire kids in shape

YOUNG golfers in Cheshire are being given the chance to get themselves fit for life. Chorley-

HELPING HANDS: Cheshire County Golf Partnership County Academy co-ordinator Iain Seath with physiotherapist Samantha Durnian

based physiotherapist Samantha Durnian, whose husband Denis plays on the European Seniors’ Tour after a career on the regular circuit, is working with youngsters taking part in the Cheshire County Golf Partnership’s County Academy programme.

The CAP scheme gives promising players the chance to develop their skills and serves as a stepping stone towards the county standard squads or helps map out future coaching requirements.

A team of 11 PGA qualified coaches across Cheshire hold regular sessions to develop the technical side of the game – from better driving, good iron play, making the most of shots in and around the green to holing more putts.

But County Academy co-ordinator Iain Seath, from Astbury Golf Club, believes it is important the course helps prepare those taking part for more than just hitting golf balls.

“The work Samantha does with the players is vital to ensuring they get into good habits early in life and look after their body in the right way,” he explains.

“As well as establishing a link between their physical fitness and the mechanics of their swing, the advice the players are receiving teaches them about how to look after their bodies to their long-term benefit.

“Sam is delighted to have been given the opportunity of working with the juniors from the County Academy Programme as she strongly believes that such early intervention can help them reduce the risk of injury and continue playing great golf for as long as they want to.”

The 39-year-old physiotherapist qualified from the University of Teeside in 1994 and has been working with golfers for more than 10 years.  Her early years were spent on the European Seniors’ Tour where she predominantly treated players that were injured and required a “quick fix” to enable them to continue playing.

As part of her innovative work with the County Academy, Sam assessed the players using a golf-specific musculoskeletal screening.  This looks at how the body works and aims to highlight any potential body faults that can lead to poor swing mechanics and increased risk of injury.

So far 60 juniors have been screened and the results provide Sam with invaluable information in developing the next stage of the juniors’ fitness programme.

She will now work closely with the Academy coaches out on the range with the players to devise fitness drills that keep swing specifics in mind to enable the golfer to achieve a good swing technique and avoid injury.

The England Golf Partnership is a collaboration of the major stakeholders in golf, including England Golf – the organisation formed by the merger of The English Golf Union and The English Women’s Golf Association – the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Cheshire the partnership is supported by the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs, the Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association and the Cheshire and North Wales PGA.

For more details of the activities in Cheshire visit

January 30 2012

Keith Hornby, a Pleasington legend, dies at 73

KEITH Hornby, a past president of the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, died last night at the
age of 73 following a long battle with cancer. He was described as a legend by his club Pleasington which he joined 59 years ago, winning the scratch medal on eight occasions


spread over five decades and  was such a successful player that his name appears 25 times on the club’s honours boards. He was the only member since the First World War to serve as captain twice – in 1984 and in centenary year 1991. Sadly, he completed his term of office as club president at last Thursday’s annual meeting where he was made a life member.

Hornby, who worked in the paper and packaging industry until his retirement, won 33 of his 63 matches for the county between 1965 and 1983 and was elected president in 1993. He was also county captain in 1980-82.

The following year he won the Lancashire Seniors’ Championship at Worsley, having finished runner up in the County Championship at Fairhaven in 1975.

He also captured the East Lancashire Golf Association Harold Ryden Trophy twice, at Burnley in 1969 and Wilpshire in 1977.

Hornby is survived by his wife and two daughters.

 A memorial service will take place on Monday, February 6, at Blackburn Cathedral at 1.30pm followed by a  private funeral at Pleasington Crematorium for family and invited guests only.

January 29 2012

RAF golfers are flying high 

STAFF from RAF Spadeadam are flying high – out on the golf course. A group of 16 engineers from the station at Brampton signed up for the Cumbria County Golf Partnership’s Get into Golf programme. The latest scheme targets businesses across the region with the aim of promoting a healthier lifestyle for employees.

Now the RAF workmates – who range from golfing beginners to more regular players – are enjoying a series of six free lessons with PGA professional Stuart Rafferty at Eden Golf Club, near Carlisle.

A RAF Spadeadam spokesman said: “It has been a great way to get together in a sociable way while the newcomers to the sport have really enjoyed themselves. Stuart has been a great teacher and everyone is improving while having plenty of good-natured banter.

“This is a good scheme that enables colleagues to spend time together outside the usual work environment while doing something that is fun and healthy.”

The group shows that golf is a sport that is accessible to all ages and abilities – with teenagers teeing up alongside those in their 40s.

Eden Golf Club professional Stuart Rafferty added: “They have all been very good pupils – willing to listen and keen to improve. The more they have learnt about the game, the better they have become and that helps them enjoy the game even more.

“This scheme has been another way to introduce people to the sport, help develop pathways into future lessons or golf club membership and that can only be good for the long-term future of the clubs.”

Stuart is keen to hear from other businesses who are interested in what golf has to offer for their staff.

Says Jane Robinson, county development officer for the Cumbria County Golf Partnership: “The Get into Golf scheme aimed at businesses has brought together people from all walks of life to enjoy a taste of what golf has to offer.

“The chance to begin learning the game in the company of friends from work is a great introduction to a sport that offers a healthy lifestyle and good social life as well.”

RAF Spadeadam  specialises in electronic warfare tactics.

It is the only facility in Europe where aircrews can practice manoeuvres and tactics against a variety of threats and targets that they face in contemporary warfare. The facility attracts aircraft from the RAF, Army, Navy and NATO Forces.

The survival of aircrews over Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, and the soldiers on the ground who depend on air support are affected by the training provided by RAF Spadeadam.

For further information visit

Eden Golf Club, in Crosby-on-Eden, was first established in 1991 and has 27 parkland holes, a 16 bay floodlit driving range and short game practice area. It has been a regular supporter of Get into Golf schemes run by the Cumbria County Golf Partnership.

Further information can be found at

Eden is offering a special coaching deal with vouchers available for four one-hour lessons for just £100 or six lessons for £150, including a free nine-hole playing lesson. Further details available from Stuart Rafferty on 07799 633343. Membership deals are also available.

January 29 2012

Skills chance for Durham youngsters

PROMISING young golfers in Durham are to be given the chance to develop their skills as part of a successful talent-spotting programme in the county.

The scheme is aimed at identifying boys and girls with the right mix of talent, commitment and attitude to help them develop into players capable of climbing the talent pathway.

Those taking part do not even need to have a handicap or be members of a golf club, but will be encouraged to become involved at their local club so they can put what they learn into practice.

Six centres – at Chester-le-Street GC, Knotty Hill Golf Centre, Sharpley GC, Headlam Hall, Beamish Park Hotel and Golf Centre and Ramside Hall – will provide coaching by PGA professionals who understand the development needs of young players.

The County Academy Programme, which is now in its fourth year, has seen more than 150 young golfers access its coaching and development opportunities. Some players have progressed onto the next step on the talent pathway – County Junior Elite coaching.

The first steps towards getting involved in the 2012 programme take place in March when two free talent assessment days will be held. These are aimed at youngsters between the ages of 7 and 15 years.

The talent assessment venues and dates are:

Saturday, March 3 (12noon-3pm) – Ramside Hall, DurhamSunday, March 4 (10am-1pm) – Knotty Hill Golf Centre, Sedgefield

Anyone wishing to take part needs to register in advance by returning the form available from the Durham County Golf Partnership website ( The website also has further information about the programme and the opportunities it offers developing players.

Any questions about the programme can be directed towards Jonathan Ward, County Development Officer for the Durham County Golf Partnership (Tel: 077758 48602; E-mail

“This opportunity should be of interest to any young player who has aspirations of progressing within the game to become the best player they can be. A good attitude towards practising, playing and competing is a must!” explained Jonathan Ward, County Development Officer for the Durham  County Golf Partnership.

After the assessment days have been completed all those successful will be invited onto the programme and to join other players of a similar age/ability at one of the venues around the county.

Apart from coaching, members of the academy will be able to access online resources, workshops on topics such as golf psychology, fitness and rules, as well as take part in events which are only open to those on the programme.

January 23 2012

Partnership seeks manager to launch new social game

THE England Golf Partnership is seeking to recruit a manager to roll out the pilot phase of a project to get adults playing a new form of quick, social golf. The move follows the success of a test scheme to design and develop the concept in the South East which got the thumbs-up from those involved in the 60-minute fun sessions at driving ranges and on golf club practice grounds.
The competitive, target format has been designed to generate the wow factor, with weekly game nights for teams whose scores will be recorded on a national leaderboard. The formula appealed to beginners and advanced players alike and now the EGP wants to recruit a manager to develop and implement the project during the 2012 playing season.
It is inviting proposals from individuals and organisations with a background in product development, sourcing and marketing and a track record of taking a concept through to successful implementation.
Project co-ordinator Andy Willems said: “This is a very exciting opportunity to build a new game for golf.
All our research tells us that people want to play a competitive golf-based game within 60 minutes. Now we need someone with the expertise and creativity to make this happen.”
The brief for the role of implementation manager may be viewed by visiting brief contains details of how to submit the required proposal by the closing date of 15.00 hours on 3 February 2012. Those shortlisted will be invited to interviews in London on Thursday 9 February.
The England Golf Partnership, which grows the game of golf, is a partnership between the English Golf Union, the English Women’s Golf Association and the PGA with the support of the Golf Foundation and Sport England. Its Whole Sport Plan for golf identifies its vision that England will become the leading golf nation in the world by 2020 by providing more opportunities for people to start, stay and succeed in the game.

January 23 2012

Bromilow leads Lancs for fifth campaign

BILL Bromilow has been elected Lancashire County captain for a fifth successive year. But he will stand down at the end of the season and hand the reins to Hillside and Denton member Paul Williams. “It will give him time to familiarise himself with the role and get to know the players,” he said. “He has been appointed chairman of selectors and captain-elect so he will soon get into the

FINAL YEAR: Bill Bromilow

swing of things.”

Bromilow, a past Chorley captain and Bolton champion, steered the Red Rose side to two English Championships and a Northern Counties League title in his first three years then took them to the English final again last autumn.

Williams claimed the County Championship in 1998 at Clitheroe and won 16 of his 39 matches for Lancashire in a 10-year spell from 1991.

Bromilow, an R&A and England selector, hopes to go out on a high. He’s already put the players through their paces at several links courses this month and in March takes his 12-strong top squad for a three-day training session at the EGU Woodhall Spa HQ.

He will start the season without the services of Walker Cup man Jack Senior, from Heysham, and Formby’s James Wilson who have joined the pro ranks.

“Last year I was two or three players short because of international events but that might not happen this time unless one of them is picked for England,” added Bromilow.

Lancashire face a tough start to their league programme, against Northumberland at Hexham on May 12 then Cumbria at Carlisle two weeks later.  They return to Northumberland on June 6 to defend the Northern Counties Championship, the qualifier for the English Finals at Beau Desert on September 28-30.

Meanwhile, Bromilow has pledged to support the county “for as long as they’ll have me,” having been involved for the last 11 years.

January 22 2012

Clubs join forces in Cheshire drive

CHESHIRE golf clubs are making it even easier to give the sport a go – and enjoy the health and social benefits linked to playing.

PGA professionals from 15 different clubs have come together under the umbrella of the Cheshire County Golf Partnership to form a development group aimed at driving up the number of people playing from the 16-plus age range.

They will be staging a series of free taster sessions and bargain-price group coaching programmes over the next few months. The Cheshire CGP is hoping to have introduced up to 500 people into the sport by the summer.

Golf facilities involved in the project include Tytherington, Alvaston Hall, Mottram Hall, Mere Golf and County Club, Eaton, Carden Park, Disley,  Drivetime Warrington, Vale Royal Abbey, Aldersey Green, High Legh, Crewe and Bramhall. Further details on the courses available at each venue can be obtained from the individual clubs.

Eaton professional Bill Tye is launching his first sessions on Sunday, March 4, and they will continue every Saturday and Sunday (11am-12noon).

Matthew Turnock from Mottram Hall will be running mixed sessions in April on Saturdays and Sundays starting on April 7, between 11am and noon. Golf 4 Women sessions will be held on Tuesdays (10am-11am) and Wednesday evenings (6.30pm-7.30pm).

Anthony Haste from Tytherington  is hosting Golf 4 All sessions from Monday February 20 (10.30am) and Golf 4 Women (11.30am). Further courses will start on Saturday, February 25 (9am, Golf 4 All) and 10am (Golf 4 Women). Sunday, March 4, sees Golf 4 All coaching available at 12 noon and Golf 4 Women at 1pm.

Steve Priest from Carden Park is running a ladies session on Sunday, February 5 (3.30pm) and Golf 4 All on Sunday, February 12(3.30pm). Further details from Steve on 07743 641902.

Piers Stockton, from Alvaston Hall, will host weekly sessions from January 30-April 6.

Disley pro Jamie Goodall starts his Golf 4 All on Saturday, April 7 (2pm-3pm)

Vale Royal Abbey will be running a Golf 4 Women and Golf 4 All project starting on March 10 (1pm and 2.30pm) with further details from   head professional David Ingman on 01606 301291.

Aldersley Green GC, near Chester, will be running a Golf 4 All programme in March with further details from head pro Stuart Hurstfield by emailing

Craig Thomas, county development officer for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership, said: “The support from the PGA pros has been fantastic and the enthusiasm they are showing to bring more people into golf throughout Cheshire will no doubt shine through at their coaching sessions.

“These schemes give anyone interested in trying golf the ideal opportunity to give it a go alongside people in a similar situation.

“It is a sport that offers a healthier lifestyle and, with the potential for club membership in the future, an enjoyable social life, too.”

The England Golf Partnership is a collaboration of the major stakeholders in golf, including England Golf – the organisation formed by the merger of The English Golf Union and The English Women’s Golf Association – the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Cheshire the partnership is supported by the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs, the Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association and the Cheshire and North Wales PGA.

January 21

Golf can fix it for you in Northumberland

IF gym can’t fix it for you, then a new scheme in Northumberland can help put you on course for a healthier lifestyle. Clubs across the county have signed up to deliver free golf lessons to help local people spring into summer. Get into Golf sessions are being held at 12 cenues and are open to anyone looking to take up the sport or who is interested in returning to golf. They are open to anyone aged 16 years or older and the only stipulation is that you are not a member of a club.

Lisa Ferrie, county development officer for the Northumberland County Golf Partnership, said: “The gym isn’t for everyone, but if your new year’s resolution was to get fit or try something new, why not try golf.

“This scheme means you can try it completely free; all equipment will be provided. It is a fantastic opportunity for people to try a new sport or get back into a sport they used to enjoy and got out of the habit of playing. I would encourage people to come along and try, it is a great way to meet people and participate in a low impact sport.”

Anyone interested should simply call the venue of choice and register.  If the sessions are full or there isn’t one that suits your schedule email and you will be contacted when more sessions become available.

Coaching sessions are also open to any groups or organisations in Northumberland who should contact to register their interest. Disability golf sessions are also available.

The clubs taking part, start dates and contact details are:

Bedlingtonshire GC (Bedlington) Tuesday, March 6 (6.30pm) Marcus Webb 01670 822 457

Centurion Park (Wallasend) Wednesday, February 8 (6pm) Craig Fetherstone 07875 871 333

City of Newcastle (Gosforth) Wednesday, February 15 (1.30pm) Steve McKenna 0191 285 5481

Close House (Heddon) Thursday, February 9 (6.30pm) Sally Hinton 01661 852 953

Longhirst (Longhirst) Sunday, February 5 (10.30am) Graham Chambers 01670 791 562

Matfen Hall (Matfen) Thursday, February 9 (10am) Peter Smith 01661 886 400

Rothbury (Rothbury) Saturday, February 18 (11am) Val Hope 01669 620 710

Slaley Hall (Slaley) Friday, February 17 (6pm) Steve McNally 078796 70038

Stocksfield (Stocksfield) Saturday, February 18 (10am) Steve Harrison 01661 843041

Tynemouth (Tynemouth) Sunday, February 12 (3.30pm) David Twizell 0191 258 0728

Percy Wood (Swarland) Saturday, February 18 (1pm) Peter Ritchie 01670 787010

Westerhope (Westerhope) Thursday, February 9 (10am) Michael Nesbitt 0191 286 0594

For more details of the activities in Northumberland visit

January 20 2012

Cheshire play it by the rules

ENGLAND Golf  run another two County Rules Schools this spring, at venues in Cheshire and Devon. Following the success of seven schools in 2011 which proved attracted more than 200 delegates, England Golf are delighted to be offering the chance for more people to participate in Rules education.

To date, 67 of those delegates who sat the County Rules exam last year achieved a distinction. This in turn has provided their respective County Unions with a potential new source of qualified ‘County Referees’ to assist at county tournaments.

Toby Thorne, England Golf deputy championship manager said: “The Schools cater for all levels of Rules knowledge, endorsed by the wide variety of delegates who have attended and the feedback that we have received. There is something for everyone to learn about the Rules and with the new changes in effect from January 1st, it will be important to ensure all delegates are aware of and well informed about these changes.

“The format of the School, with a mix of outdoor practical demonstrations, refereeing role-play scenarios and some indoor tutorials, keeps everyone interested and on their toes throughout the day.”

Delegates should have at least a basic understanding of the Rules of Golf before attending the school, although advice will be given on how to prepare for the exam which is several weeks after the first day of practical tuition.

The following dates and venues are finalised for spring 2012:

Sandiway Golf Club will host the Cheshire school on March 28 and May 3. Entries close on March 19

The fee for is £50, which includes all tuition, lunches, teas and coffees on both days.  Although hosted in a particular county, delegates from other counties will also be welcome.

Further Schools are being scheduled for autumn 2012.Register at

January 18 2012

Golf Mark award for junior friendly Old Links

BOLTON Old Links have received the coveted national Golfmark Award from the English Golf Union. The accreditation also comes with the Clubmark Award and together they represent the commitment to a safe and friendly environment for both junior and new golfers.

Club director Carole Leece said: “The quality of the course at Old Links has always been a major

ON THE MARK: From left, Paul Horridge (professional) Kalista Miller, Andy Wood (assistant junior 0rganiser), Hannah Taylor, James Platt, Hayden Taylor, Matt Taylor (junior organiser) Nick McKeown, Adam Wood, Danny McKeown (junior captain) Michael Tunstall, Mark Hancock (assistant professional) Carole Leece

factor in attracting top class players but I’m proud to say that I represent a board who recognise the need to support club members of all abilities.

“The application process for Golfmark is quite involved, but we realise that it’s important to give our youngsters and beginners the best start possible in golf and this accreditation will allow us to provide free lessons to our growing junior section.

“Last autumn we also held an open day, offering discounted group lessons for adults and an opening into golf for anyone wishing to take it up, which proved especially popular with ladies.

“The Golfmark Award means funding will now be available for us to repeat a similar event in the spring, hopefully introducing the benefits golf to a wider audience. Our professional Paul Horridge and assistant Mark Hancock are looking forward to the challenge.”

January 16 2012

John Petrie appointed as England Golf Chief Executive

John PetrieFOLLOWING the merger of the English Golf Union and the English Women’s Golf Association on the January 1 it has been announced that John Petrie has been appointed as the Chief Executive of the new organisation, England Golf.  The decision to appoint Petrie (pictured right), who was previously Chief Executive of the English Golf Union, in the role, was ratified at the first meeting of the new Board of England Golf earlier this month.

Talking of his appointment he said: “It is both an honour and a challenge to have been appointed as Chief Executive of England Golf. I am under no illusions that there is a huge task ahead bringing two successful companies together to make one even more successful company. I am fortunate to have excellent staff from both the EGU and EWGA to help make this happen as well as the support of the Board and the many volunteers that support the governance of golf.”

Nigel Evans has also been nominated by the Board to be the first Chairman of England Golf. This position will need to be approved at England Golf’s Annual Meeting on February 15 Previously the English Golf Union’s Chairman, Nigel was elected in February 2009 and plans to chair the new England Golf Board for a further two years.

January 11 2011

Boys aim to bridge six-year gap

A TALENTED team of six youngsters, all members of the England ‘A’ Squad and three from the North West, will aim to bridge a six-year gap when they represent England Golf in the annual Costa Ballena Quadrangular Tournament in Spain later.

Paul Kinnear

After five successive runners-up finishes, the squad of Oliver Carr (Heswall), Seb Crookall-Nixon (Workington), Paul Kinnear (Formby), Josh Loughrey (Wrag Barn), Callum Shinkwin (Moor Park) and Jordan Smith (Bowood) will aim to go one better at the Costa Ballena Ocean Golf Club on January 25-27.

Carr, 18, has been capped at Under 16 and boys levels while he was Cheshire Boy Champion in 2010. Last year, when he finished ninth in the Titleist/FootJoy EGU Boys Order of Merit, he was a quarter finalist in the British Boys’ Championship and the Cheshire Matchplay Championship and was equal fourth in the Fairhaven Trophy.

Crookall-Nixon, 18, was the English Under 16 Champion in 2008 and 2009 and has been an Under 16 and boy international. In 2011, he finished fourth in the Brabazon Trophy, winning the George Henriques Salver for the best performance by a player aged Under 20, and finished seventh in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and the Tillman Trophy.

Kinnear, 18, is a former Lancashire Boys’ champion. He was capped for the first time in the Boys’ Home Internationals in Wales last year while he also represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy. In individual events, he finished tied fifth in the Brabazon Trophy, eighth in the Fairhaven Trophy and equal ninth in the West of England Strokplay.

Like Crookall-Nixon, Loughrey, 21, collected an award at last year’s Brabazon Trophy, the Scrutton Jug for the best aggregate from the Berkshire and Brabazon Trophies. He enjoyed a number of high finishes including equal third in the Darwin Salver, fourth in the Duncan Putter and tied fifth in the Berkshire Trophy. When representing England, he was tied fourth in the Chiberta Grand Prix and equal sixth in the Biarritz Cup. He was also a member of the victorious Wiltshire team in the English County Championship.

Shinkwin, 18, enjoyed a successful 2010, becoming English Under-18 Champion, making his England debut in the Boys’ Home Internationals and helping Hertfordshire to the Boys’ County Championship. Last year, he reached the semi-finals of the English Amateur Championship, finished tied fourth when defending his Under 18 title for the Carris trophy, and was eighth in the McEvoy Trophy. He also represented GB&I in the Jacques Leglise Trophy in Spain.

Smith, 19, has been attending Filton College and developed through their golfing AASE programme. He has won the Intercollegiate Tour Players Championship for the past two years and is an England Schools international. He was another member of the Wiltshire County Championship-winning team at Ganton last year when he also finished fourth in the Faldo Series Grand Final at Lough Erne.

The last occasion an England team emerged as Costa Ballena champions was in 2006 while the title was also won in the previous year. The Costa Ballena competition is played on a round robin basis over three days, each match comprising three foursomes and six singles.

December 30 2011

Cheshire golfers  have plenty to twitter about 

CHESHIRE  golfers can find out about the latest developments in the county by signing up to social media site Twitter.Cheshire County Golf Partnership development officer Craig Thomas has started ‘tweeting’ to keep followers up to date with everything from Get into Golf schemes to new plans to help juniors. Those already registered on Twitter can follow  @cheshirecgp

Those new to the Twitter-sphere can join in the fun by using the link –!/Cheshirecgp

Thomas says: “It is important that golf reaches out to potential new players, whether that be through the traditional routes at our local golf clubs or by embracing the new technology that is used by so many people to keep in touch.”

The Cheshire County Golf Partnership is a collaboration of the major stakeholders in golf, including the English Golf Union, The English Women’s Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Cheshire the partnership is supported by the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs, the Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association and the Cheshire and North Wales PGA.

For more details of the activities in Cheshire visit

For more information on the work of the Cheshire Golf Partnership contact Craig Thomas, County Development Officer, Cheshire County Golf Partnership.


Mobile: 07973 798483


December 22 2011

Clubs are doing better, survey reveals

A NEW survey conducted by A4G, supported by the Golf Club Managers’ Association (GCMA) and de Haan & Associates, of 105 golf clubs in the UK reveals that over the past 12 months 46% of clubs have increased membership, 57% generated bar and catering sales increases, 48% saw green fee sales increase, and 71% experienced no cash flow difficulties.
A4G’s findings are reinforced by two other recent surveys. The 2011 KPMG Advisory survey ‘Golf course performances inEMAin 2010’ found that although overall participation dropped by 4%, 45% the UK clubs performed well or very well in 2010 compared to 2009. The A4G results also resonated with an even more recent survey from the Scottish Golf Union which revealed that while membership reduced nationally by 1.4%, 40.6% of Scottish golf clubs grew their membership last year.

What makes one club more successful than another?
The A4G report analyses the factors that make one club successful while another struggles. Weighting the responses across two major criteria, pro-activity and performance, A4G created their own version of the well known Boston Matrix, identifying four types of golf clubs – Stars, Could Do Betters, Ineffectives and the Bunkered – and nine particular success factors that help explain why some clubs seem  to do so much better than others in the same area.
These success factors range from maximising the resources available eg. website refreshing and online tee booking, emailing frequently your members with news and useful information, ensuring key members of a club’s management team and its decision makers understand the club is a business, knowing their market and the sales processes they are involved in, making the club more attractive for families, engaging more with local businesses, agreeing a joint marketing strategy with your club’sPGAprofessional, to getting and delegating control of a club via monthly management accounts and key performance indicators.A welcome perspectiveMalcolm Palmer, Managing Partner of A4G, knows all about growing SMEs, as his firm has over 900 of them on its books and is growing by 10% year-on-year: “Having been a nomad golfer for ten years, I joined a club this year and became fascinated by the issues that so many other golf clubs were facing and either overcoming or being overcome by. So we conducted a survey with the help of the GCMA’s Southern,Londonand Home Counties, and South East Regions, andBRSGolf, to look into these issues.”
“With a simple online questionnaire designed, we received responses from 105 clubs and met with several of them for deeper questioning. The results show that not only are things nowhere near as bad as many people like to think, but that with some pretty simple actions club managers and decision makers can start to turn things around and get the kind of results they need to survive and prosper, despite what are probably the toughest economic conditions in living memory.”

December 20 2011

Working for golf – the role of the R&A

A FILM chronicling the past year at the R&A will premiere on Sky Sports tomorrow night (Wednesday, December 21).

The hour long programme, to be broadcast at 8pm on Sky Sports 3, covers the full range of The R&A’s work aimed at supporting and growing the game across the globe. The programme will also be repeated on the same channel at 1am, 8am and 1pm the following day.

Based in St Andrews, the R&A organises the Open Championship, major amateur events and international matches and, together with the United States Golf Association (USGA), governs the game worldwide.

Working for Golf 2011 looks at another busy year for the organisation including the launch of the latest Rules of Golf and Amateur Status, work with R&A ambassadors Padraig Harrington and Suzann Pettersen along with golf development and course management projects from South America to North Africa.

It also features action from The Open Championship and other major amateur events organised by The R&A including the Boys Amateur Championship, the Amateur Championship and the Walker Cup.

The R&A’s Chief Executive Peter Dawson said: “It has been another busy and successful year for The R&A and our affiliates, who represent the interests of over 30 million golfers in 128 countries.

“We are dedicated to working on behalf of all those with an interest in the game, from the beginner picking up a club for the first time to The Open Champion. I hope this film gives people a glimpse into the full range of activity we undertake and support throughout the world.”

December 12 2012

Les Wilson is Lancashire’s next president

GREENMOUNT member Les Wilson has been nominated president of Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs for 2012-2013.

He has served on the Lancashire Executive since 1999 and has acted as chairman of the Championship Committee 2003 -2006.

He comes into office at the annual meeting in March, 2012.

December 11 2011

Golfers donate £12,250 to cancer charity

A group of big-hearted golfers celebrated 10 years of  fundraising by presenting a bumper cheque to their favourite charity. Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer have handed over £12,250 to the Preston-based Rosemere Cancer Foundation at the  annual Supporters’ Christmas Party. Captains John Allott and Gill Roscoe, along with RGAC patron Paul Eales, the former European Tour professional, made the presentation to  Rosemere chairman Dennis Benson.

CHEQUE MATES: Gill Roscoe and John Allott and Paul Eales (centre) with the presentation cheque

Allott said: “In 2011 we have raised money through staging events at clubs across the North West, including Leyland, Morecambe, Pleasington, Stoneyhurst and Fairhaven. We have a fantastic group of supporters which is growing year on year. We work hard and play hard, have a lot of fun but we are always focused on the importance of raising much needed funds for this vital cause.”

Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer was founded in 2001 by Leyland golfer Keith McIntosh, who wanted to combine his love of the sport with support for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.  Sue Thompson, chief executive of the Rosemere Cancer Foundation, said: “Over 10 years, through a regular programme of events, Rosemere Golfers have raised thousands of much-needed pounds for the charity. They are a fun group who strive tirelessly to help the cause and we are sincerely grateful for all they contribute.”

Rosemere Golfers Against Cancer have a whole series of events planned for 2012, including exciting new venues, with an ambitious aim to top this year’s cheque. Details can be found at

For more information contact Keith McIntosh on 01772 462685

December 11 2011

Michael Shaw – an appreciation of his life

SAD to report the death of Bolton-born Michael Shaw, the chief executive, National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association and stalwart of  Regent Park Golf Club. 

Here is a tribute by his successor Keith Lloyd.

‘At the end of last month, golf administration in the UK lost a key figure due to the

untimely passing of NGCAA Chief Executive Michael Shaw. Michael took up his position in September 2001, just a few months before I started here at the GCMA (then the AGCS) and we became firm friends and close working colleagues from the outset. He qualified as a solicitor in 1971 and was engaged mainly in Criminal and Civil litigation work.  From 1989 up until his appointment at the NGCAA he held an academic post delivering law based courses to undergraduate, post graduate and professional students.  Over the last 10 years he continued in a similar role as a regular contributor to this magazine, other golfing journals, and was also a regular lecturer on the GCMA residential Training Courses.

Michael also held a Masters degree in law and was a past secretary, captain and president of Regent Park Golf Club.

Michael was also proud of his individual membership of the GCMA and the English Golf Captains.

Michael held a unique set of skills and qualifications suitably qualifying him for the role at the National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association, and just like lots of fellow GCMA members he grew into the role with great aplomb as he dealt with the daily experiences and challenges that came along.

He also had warmth to his character, notwithstanding the fact of course that he was not afraid to tell you if you were wrong! It is fair to say that whilst we agreed on most things most of the time, there were some differing views expressed on occasions.

Whatever the outcome though, there was never a grudge held by either side. His wise counsel and passion for the good of the game always seemed to determine our healthy debates.

One such occasion where Michael’s colours shone through admirably was during a visit he and I made to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport offices in London, where we had been granted an audience with the Minister’s representatives to lobby the case for the way in which the new licensing law changes were unfairly affecting golf clubs.

We were joined by a colleague from the English Golf Union (Neil Cockbill at that time) and the three of us met with senior officials for approximately 45 minutes. We were there to basically tell the Government they should reconsider their actions. To say that Michael was impressive is an understatement, and it was an experience to see how these trained and well versed representatives were completely overwhelmed by his delivery and passion on the matter. Such was Michael’s enthusiasm during this session, even Neil and I had to suggest that ‘they’ might be allowed to get a word in at some point!

I shall not forget that day, as it also happened to fall on my birthday, and with the sun shining we enjoyed a spot of lunch together before boarding our respective trains home. Before leaving, we shared the comment that ‘we should do this more often’ and sadly of course one always reflects at a time like this that you didn’t.

Michael’s passing will be a loss to many of us, both professionally and on a personal basis, but of course it is his partner and work colleague at the NGCAA, Jackie Howe, that our thoughts are with the most as the next few weeks and months pass. Jackie and Mike got together as a result of meeting via a GCMA visit to our Swedish colleagues in Stockholm in 2002, and had been together since.

Jackie has asked me to record her appreciation for the scores of heartfelt messages of support both she and the NGCAA have recently received. Whilst an initial settling down period is inevitable, I can assure all readers that the NGCAA is very much open for business ‘as usual’ and under the very good stewardship of Jackie as its National Secretary, a comprehensive and fitting service will remain in place for all subscribing Clubs.’

November 24 2011

Northern Matchplay entry list opens

YOU can now sign-up to next year’s Northern Matchplay Golf Championship. The season-long competition has established itself as a popular event for club golfers across the North of England and has now attracted title sponsorship, from golf travel company Golf de la Luz, enabling the grand final to head overseas for the

FINAL VENUE: Arcos Gardens

first time. The tournament is open to members of a golf club in Cheshire, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland and Yorkshire. Three regional finals will be held with Formby  staging the North-West final, Silloth on Solway the venue for the North-East & Cumbria section while  Yorkshire players will compete to reach Alwoodley.The winners at each regional final will progress to the highly acclaimed Arcos Gardens Golf Club near Cadiz in Spain where they will compete for the overall title. Arcos Gardens is ranked as one of the top courses in Europe and has staged European Tour Q-School among other prestigious events.

Tournament organiser Edward Battye said: “I’m delighted to welcome Golf de la Luz as the headline sponsor, they have been strong supporters of the championship since its inauguration and the backing they have given to next years event means 12 finalists will enjoy a superb week in Spain.”

He added: “The regional final courses are also among the best in the country and will provide a true test for the area finalists.”

The first round will once again be played over 36 holes on a home and away basis with competitor needing to win a maximum of just six games to reach their regional final.

Entry-fees have been held at £15 for the individual event and £25 per pair for the betterball competition. There’s also an incentive to encourage early entries with those who register before January 1 going into a draw to win Titleist Pro V1 balls.

Full details can be found at

November 23 2011

Cheshire Partnership initiative wins award

THE team behind a campaign to encourage more people in Cheshire to take up golf is celebrating a top award for its efforts. The Cheshire County Golf Partnership was presented with one of the prizes up for grabs at the ninth annual Cheshire & Warrington Sports Partnership Awards, hosted by Sport Cheshire at Eaton Park, near Chester.

The evening was a celebration of those who go the extra mile for community sport across Cheshire and Warrington and was attended by more than 150 guests.

The Cheshire CGP had been nominated in the National Governing Body category after a year in which clubs across the county have held special taster sessions and coaching courses to make it as easy as possible to take up golf or return to the sport.

Under the stewardship of the Cheshire County Golf Partnership, PGA professionals have delivered the scheme which aims to make golf as accessible as possible to people of all abilities, while also highlighting the health benefits and social life to be gained from joining a club.

The awards night acknowledges organisations that have shown “a significant enhancement in its delivery to the residents of Chester and Warrington.” Also nominated in the category were Badminton England and the Cheshire County Football FA.

More than 350 potential golfers have taken advantage of the schemes on offer.

The Cheshire County Golf Partnership was represented by Melanie Flude, north west regional development officer for the English Golf Union and the English Women’s Golf Association, and Cheshire County Golf Partnership Chair Ted Leather.

The Cheshire CGP has launched a wide range of initiatives under the banners of ‘Get into Golf’ and ‘Go4Green’.

As well as targeting junior players, special emphasis has been placed on the 16plus age group with free taster sessions and low-cost coaching sessions designed to appeal to beginners to the sport or those looking to return to golf.

Driving ranges and municipal golf courses have also supported the scheme, which has been tailored to have a wide appeal, including sessions for ladies only, couples and disability groups. Those taking part also received a free Wilson 7 iron golf club.

Flude said: “Our success at these awards is down to the hard work of many people – ranging from those individuals who have volunteered to become involved in the county partnership, the PGA professionals who have delivered the projects, the clubs who have supported us and our county development officer Craig Thomas.

“Everyone who has supported the different schemes has shown a positive and proactive approach to ensuring that golf attracts a new generation of players for the future, which can only help safeguard the clubs in the years ahead.”

The England Golf Partnership (EGP) was established to co-ordinate one development plan for golf in England, known as ‘The Whole Sport Plan’, and attracted substantial funding from Sport England

November 16 2011

EGU and EWGA in historic merger

THE merger of the English Golf Union (EGU) and the English Women’s Golf Association (EWGA) was approved today  at simultaneous general meetings of both organisations.

The merger will come into effect on 1 January 2012 and will create England Golf, one national governing body to represent all amateur golfers in England.

The merger proposal was approved by 86 per cent of the voting members of the EGU, meeting at its headquarters in Woodhall Spa; and by 100 per cent of the voting members of the EWGA, meeting at the National Motor Cycle Museum at Solihull. Both organisations had to approve the proposal by a majority of at least 75 per cent for it to be successful.

The decision was immediately hailed as a triumph for golf and a vital step forward for the game. Nigel Evans, Chairman EGU and Sylvia Perrins, Interim Chairman EWGA said: “This merger is in the best interests of golf and we are delighted that it has been given overwhelming support by our members. We look forward to a new era and to realising our vision for the future.

“England Golf will speak with one voice and send out the powerful, modern message that golf is a game for all, for men and women, boys and girls.

“A unified organisation, which promotes both the men’s and women’s game, will be more attractive to new golfers, will help us to grow the game, will be more appealing to commercial partners and sponsors and will mean we can be more cost effective.”

The merger vote followed a long period of consultation and preparation, which began in 2009 when a steering group was formed of members of both organisations. Following lengthy discussions, and the involvement of ten working groups, the proposal was produced and ratified by the Boards of both organisations before being put to the voting members.

Key points of the merger

• The headquarters of England Golf will initially be at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa. The EWGA offices in Edgbaston will continue in use until at least October 2012.
• The counties will continue to be the voting members. Counties will be encouraged to merge their Unions and Associations, but this will not be mandatory.
• The Board of England Golf will initially include 10 stakeholder non-executive directors, six nominated by the EGU and four women nominated by the EWGA. One of these 10 will be nominated as Chairman.
• The first sole President of England Golf will be a woman. The President will be supported by the immediate Past President and the President-Elect. One of these three will always be a woman.
• Club golf will go on, from day-to-day, as it does now, but members will benefit from the positive perceptions created by the merger and by the better support available for clubs.
• All the championships and tournaments currently run by the EWGA and the EGU will continue.
• The regional and group structures of the two organisations will continue to run competitions. The decision-making role of the EWGA regional committees will end.
• Affiliation fees for men and women will be harmonised and will be equal by 1 January 2014. Women will continue to pay an additional subscription to the Ladies Golf Union.

November 16 2011

 Golf club gets green light for £1m hotel

PLANNING permission has been granted for a 26-bedroom hotel at Oak Royal Golf and Country Club in Withnell, near Chorley. Work will begin before the end of the year on the £1m three-storey project which will be bolted on to the existing clubhouse which opened in 2007. Charles

SPOT ON: Charles Downes points to the area where the hotel will be built

Downes, head of Hoghton Leisure Ltd and Alder Construction, said: “We will be employing 30 people on the building which will take two years to complete and 20 full-time jobs when it’s opened.

“There will be restaurant and conference facilities and the added attraction is our nine-hole golf course which continues to buck the national trend of declining memberships.

“The greens are USGA standard which means they are playable throughout the year so we expect our hotel guests to take advantage of our stay-and-play packages. Our research indicated that this is a prime area for a hotel with the M65 and M61 motorways literally down the road. We are also anticipating a mixture of business people, week-end breakers and groups using our function suites for weddings and such like.”

Mr Downes is very much the hands-on owner of the complex. He built the scenic course which opened less than five years ago but has already been hailed as one of the best of its type in the region.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and former Walker Cup captain Peter McEvoy, and several Championship footballers, are members.

There are also trout and coarse fishing waters which have proved hugely popular with the angling fraternity and other country pursuits are in the pipeline.”

Mr Downes had nothing but praise for the Chorley Borough Council who gave the hotel the green light less than six months after the planning application had been submitted. “They really moved quickly on this which proves they are a forward-thinking authority,” he added.

November 14 2011

Taylor made for Dunscar

DUNSCAR won the Bolton GA Jack Taylor Trophy at Old Links when they edged home 3-2 against Deane.

November 11 2011

Styal come up to the mark

THE home club of Manchester European Tour star David Horsey has received national recognition for its work in introducing young people to the sport.Styal has been awarded GolfMark, a national seal of approval for junior and beginner friendly facilities which play an important role in the

TOP MARKS: Styalreceives its GolfMark award (left to right) Glynn Traynor, director of golf, Mark Johnson, PGA golf professional, Simon Tracey, volunteer, and Craig Thomas, county development officer for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership

development of the game. The club has been a long-time supporter of junior golf but has further developed the junior programme and plans to continue building closer links with local schools and the community. The result of the club’s hard work is a healthy and active 70-strong junior group which is supported by other sections of the club as well as the parents.

PGA professional Mark Johnson explained: “Styal is an ideal place to start playing golf. As well as the main course we have a par 3 course, which is a great starting point for the younger players, and a 24 bay floodlit driving range so players can practice as often as they want.

“We have always done a lot of work with the 8-12 years-old age group, but as part of working towards GolfMark we have improved the offering for all ages through new competitions, prize presentations, support from volunteers at the club and the backing of the committee.

“The duty of care policies that we have in place as part of GolfMark means parents know when they drop off their children that they are in a safe and positive environment.

“There is a real buzz about the club over the juniors. We have some very good players coming through, such as Charlotte Leathem who plays for Cheshire, and 16 of the junior boys have been selected for the Cheshire County Academy programme.

“The presentations after each competition have introduced the players and parents to the social side of the sport, with plenty of good-natured banter flying around. We finished the season with a well-supported dads v lads competition, which was rather predictably won by the lads.

“We have had volunteers like Simon and Daniel Tracey – both former junior members themselves – who have put a lot of time and effort in while a number of the senior players have also offered their services to help out.”

The club has appointed a new junior organiser in Gavin Tilbee while also attracting sponsorship from Warburton’s Bread, and Travis Perkin. It is one of the centres for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership’s County Academy programme, where Johnson coaches two Academy squads. The Academy uses the latest technology,  including 3-D motion analysis, Trackman,  video and computer analysis.

Former Walker Cup player Horsey, winner of two tournaments on the European Tour, is a product of the club’s junior programme in the past and is still a regular visitor to the club, where he is happy to pass on tips to the youngsters out on the range.

Johnson added: “Styal is a very accessible club, is very friendly and welcoming.

“We have made significant progress over the past 12 months and hopefully the club will see the long-term benefits of the work with the juniors.”

Craig Thomas, county development officer for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership, said: “Styal have worked hard to make sure their junior offering is as up to date as possible and GolfMark is a well-deserved recognition of the time and effort that have been invested in the future of the club.

“Styal’s junior section shows how to enjoy both the sporting and social side of the sport and it is great to see the support Mark is receiving from other sections of the club. A strong and healthy junior section bodes well for the future of any club.”

November 11 2011

Crucial EGU and EWGA merger vote next week

A VOTE  to merge the EGU and EWGA into a single ‘National Governing Body for golf’ will take place on Wednesday (November 16). Each organisation will have its own vote and each will require a 75 per cent “yes”for the merger to be agreed.

Under the terms of the merger, the EWGA would join the EGU under a modified structure. The EGU would be expanded to incorporate the activities and assets of both existing companies, with a new management structure reflected in revised Articles. England Golf would be the trading name for the EGU following its amalgamation with the EWGA.

The feeling in the air is that the EWGA’s big vote will return the necessary majority from its members. The EGU’s vote is harder to call. Due to a constitutional request, a ‘poll vote’ must take place, which means that rather than every county lodging one vote (eg: 27 out of a total of 36 votes would be needed for merger), the county casts a block vote by the number of clubs in the county (eg: Lancashire has 139) making a total of 1,878 club votes to be counted, and around 1,409 ‘yes’ votes needed.

However, under these rules, a county committee does not have to consult with its clubs before making a block vote. The largest county will therefore submit nearly 200 ‘yes’ or ‘no’ votes. To deny a merger – therefore – it is possible that four large counties could between them lodge ‘no’ votes of more than 469, enough to make more than 25 per cent against the merger (this is theory of course, as we don’t know how the largest counties will vote).

The EGU has been holding roadshow meetings with counties and the majority appear to have been communicative with their clubs.

In a joint letter sent to all members of golf clubs, written by the chairmen of the EGU and EWGA, Nigel Evans (chairman EGU), Sylvia Perrins (interim chairman EWGA), and Sue Whittaker (past chairman EWGA), the benefits of the merger were outlined clearly.

Under one heading: Speaking with one voice, they write: “One National Governing Body will give a powerful message about the direction and approach of the leadership of the sport. It is a message that will be more appealing to younger generations who are our future players and golf club members. With the increasing difficulty of attracting people into golf club membership, the sport, more than ever, needs to be aligned with today’s culture and society. If golf does not reflect societal change, it cannot hope to attract the next generation of golf club members.”

Other benefits of merger are said to include:

  • Unified marketing and better media coverage
  • Greater attraction for commercial partners
  • Reduced duplication, enhanced efficiency
  • Improved support and service to clubs.

It is argued that if no merger takes place, consequences include:

  • The negative perception of golf being a divided game and not welcoming to all will be reinforced and have a damaging effect on clubs striving to attract new golfers.
  • The decline in golf club membership will be more difficult to reverse.
  • The sport will be perceived in many quarters, including media and the government, as being out of touch with today’s generation.
  • Future government funding cuts for the sport.

November 10 2010

Aces high after new ruling

CLUB golfers will soon be able to walk off the course with a new car, an expensive holiday or even £1,000,000 thanks to the R&A’s new ruling on hole-in-one prizes.

Previously, prizes for holing a tee shot in amateur golf have been subject to the same restrictions as other competitions, but a rule change – which comes into effect on January 1, 2012 – acknowledges the special nature of a hole-in-one and, consequently, restrictions on prizes have been lifted.

So no longer is the chance of winning a brand new car the sole preserve of professionals in a Tour event. An ‘ordinary’ club or society day can now be enlivened with a ‘Win a Car’ hole-in-one competition or a £1,000,000 shoot-out for as little as a few pounds per player with prize insurance specialist WorldWide Hole ‘N One.

WorldWide Hole ‘N One’s managing director, Brian Luckhurst, believes the rule change will add a new dimension to golf days – and even ordinary club competitions.

He said: “This amendment brings us in line with the USGA; American amateurs have been able to enjoy these fantastic events at club, society and corporate days for some time. But previously, under R&A rules, winning anything over £500 meant you had to forego your amateur status to claim the prize.

“The R&A has realised that in order to add something extra to the sport and encourage more participation there needed to be some added gloss – a bit of razzamatazz if you like. The opportunity to win a car or even £1,000,000 with a single shot certainly does that.

“Event organisers insure against a golfer achieving the hole-in-one with a specialist such as WorldWide Hole ‘N One and the insurer takes the risk while organisers and competitors simply enjoy the day and the extra frisson of excitement.

“Now, boats, holidays and even houses can be won by an amateur golfer for their shot of a lifetime, without the threat of relinquishing their amateur status hanging over them like the sword of Damocles. That’s one small step for the R&A, one giant leap for golfkind.”

R&A golf ambassador and world number two Suzann Pettersen, from Norway, said: “I think this is a really good change. Anyone who makes a hole-in-one knows there is a degree of luck. Most professional tournaments offer hole-in-one prizes and it adds some real interest for the players and the fans. It is great to think that club golfers can now experience that same excitement.”

Dream prizes are offered weekly on TV shows such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Million Pound Drop and Red or Black, and WorldWide Hole ‘N One – and its subsidiary WorldWide Special Risks – insure such exciting prizes for media companies and global consumer brands including The Telegraph, Capital FM, Callaway, Volvo, Saab, Chicago Town Pizza and many more.

■ WorldWide Hole ‘N One offers a portfolio of prize competitions for golf events, including hole-in-one; £1,000,000 shoot-out; putting competitions; and fundraising contests including dice rolls and prize draws. For further information visit or call 01727 843686.

November 6 2011

Cheshire initiative up for award

A CAMPAIGN to encourage more people in Cheshire to take up golf has been nominated for a sports award.

Clubs across the county have held special taster sessions and coaching courses to make it as easy as possible to take up golf or return to the sport.

Under the stewardship of the Cheshire County Golf Partnership, PGA professionals have delivered the scheme which aims to make golf as accessible as possible to people of all abilities, while also highlighting the health benefits and social life to be gained from joining a club.

Now the Cheshire and Warrington Sports Partnership has nominated the county partnership in the National Governing Body category.

It acknowledges organisations that have shown “a significant enhancement in its delivery to the residents of Chester and Warrington.”

More than 350 potential golfers have taken advantage of the schemes on offer.

The award winners will be announced at a glittering evening held at Eaton Park, Eccleston, on November 16 which organisers Cheshire Sport describe as a “celebration of those who go the extra mile for the sporting community of Cheshire and Warrington.”

The event, now in its ninth year which will be attended by around 150 people, also raises money for the Cheshire Sport Rising Stars Fund.

The Cheshire County Golf Partnership will be represented by Melanie Flude, north west regional development officer for the English Golf Union and the English Women’s Golf Association, and Cheshire County Golf Partnership Chair Ted Leather.

The Cheshire CGP has launched a wide range of initiatives under the banners of ‘Get into Golf’ and ‘Go4Green’.

As well as targeting junior players, special emphasis has been placed on the 16plus age group with free taster sessions and low-cost coaching sessions designed to appeal to beginners to the sport or those looking to return to golf.

Driving ranges and municipal golf courses have also supported the scheme, which has been tailored to have a wide appeal, including sessions for ladies only, couples and disability groups. Those taking part also received a free Wilson 7 iron golf club.

Melanie said: “This nomination is down to the hard work of all those involved in delivering these schemes which offer an easy way to start playing golf.

“Everyone who has supported the work of the Cheshire County Golf Partnership and its development officer Craig Thomas has shown a positive and proactive approach to ensuring that golf attracts a new generation of players for the future, which can only help safeguard the clubs in the years ahead.”

The England Golf Partnership (EGP) was established to co-ordinate one development plan for golf in England, known as ‘The Whole Sport Plan’, and attracted substantial funding from Sport England. A network of county golf partnerships was put in place across England to deliver a raft of schemes aimed at increasing participation in golf by people of all ages and abilities.

The EGP is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including the English Golf Union, The English Women’s Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Cheshire the partnership is supported by the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs, the Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association and the Cheshire and North Wales PGA.

For more details of the activities in Cheshire visit

November 2 2011

Turton tower above the rest

THE champagne corks should be popping at Turton after winning the Volvo National Golf Club Challenge men’s title at Turnberry.

The two-day event featured the four top men’s and women’s teams which qualified in the season-long event  and in addition to winning a golfing holiday to Greece, theirs players were awarded Lee Westwood Cup which the Ryder Cup man will present to the club next month

Turton amassed  192 points, one ahead of The Players Club, with Robin Hood Golf Club third with 176 and Guilford Golf Club fourth with 141.

Making it through to the finals was down not only to their results but the £7,500  they had raised for the Help the Heroes charity.

October 27 2011

Celebrate golf’s champion volunteers

THE growing network of golf volunteers that supports new and emerging players is to be celebrated by the England Golf Partnership (EGP). Nominations are being invited now in order to honour a range of volunteers with awards during the 2012 County Golf Development Conference at the National Golf Centre, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire (21 February, 2012).

The closing date for nominations is 16 December 2011 and the easy-to-follow nomination form is found at

The winners will be volunteers who contribute within golf clubs, schools, county golf partnerships, training schemes and many other programmes. There are seven different volunteer categories in all, which take in age groups (including Under 18), volunteer coaching, those involved in club and county development, and lifetime achievers.

Phillip Beard, volunteer manager for the England Golf Partnership, said: “So many volunteers give up their time to help new and existing players of all ages to get the most out of their golf. Not only does this make the sport as a whole more welcoming, it also really helps those in our clubs, including PGA professionals, to help the whole membership to reach its potential, including encouraging new members.

“In February we will be celebrating volunteers of all ages, so we want some good nominations now to ensure that those who deserve special praise can be considered for an award.”

In its objective to ‘Grow the Game’, the EGP has expanded its volunteer base through a dedicated national strategy. Traditional club volunteers have now been joined by many young leaders, as well as volunteer coaches, PGA professionals who combine volunteer work with their regular coaching, schoolteachers and community sports representatives who all gain satisfaction from helping golfers of all abilities to play golf in our clubs and communities.

All of these people can be put forward and those interested in nominating a champion volunteer can do so through

The national volunteering programme is delivered via the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and is an integral part of the England Golf Partnership’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’.

October 15 2011

Skipper Peel  dines out on  Cheshire’s league victory 

CAPTAIN MARVEL:  David Peel proudly shows off  the Daily Telegraph Northern Counties League salver he was presented with at the Cheshire Union of Golf Club’s annual dinner at Mere last night.

 The Stockport player, in his first season at the helm, guided his team to the their first league victory since 2004 despite losing their last match against Cumbria at Appleby.

October 13 2011

Smith continues the chase for Manchester Alliance crown

LEIGH Golf Club’s hard-working green staff saw their labours rewarded as the course stood the test of some heavy rain and provided a good challenge for another strong Manchester Alliance field, writes Geoff Garnett.

Swinton Park’s David Smith continued from last week in his chase of professional Order of Merit leader Graham Cox from Davenport with a fine return of 36 points seeing him home by a point from Didsbury’s Danny Wardrop and Steve Parry from th North West Golf Academy at Hart Common.

HOME WIN: Leigh captain with Anthony O’Neill and Paul Sherwood

Knutsford pro Tim Maxwell enjoyed his first venture into 20 years of Alliance golf with his brother Simon as they won the pro am section with 43 points.

Winning a cpo on 41 points were Dave Smith and his clubmate Jimmy O’Reilly from Steve Parry and Tony Roberts (Hart Common).

Home pairs dominated the am am section with Leigh secretary Antony O’Neill and Paul Sherwood leading in with 41 points.

Breaking up a Leigh domination were Stamford’s Tony Smith and Lee Compton who took second spot after a cpo on 39 points from another home pair Kevin Kinney and Peter Connolly.

October 10 2011

Davyhulme a glass act!

DAVYHULME Park are enjoying a memorable centenary season and they added a major regional trophy to their honours with a stunning 5-2 win in the Manchester Alliance’s City Glass Men’s Foursomes final, writes Geoff Garnett.

It was a real 3D final for Davyhulme against former winners Didsbury at the exciting venue of Dukinfield who are justifiably proud of their splendid new clubhouse and redesigned course.

Park had built up a 3-2 lead with wins from David Lowe by 2/1 over John

HAPPY DAYS: Davyhulme players celebrate

Bent and Billy Blissett, Alan Vaughan and Mark Ross by 3/2 over Andy Burns and Neil Higgins and Steve Howells and Bernard Garitty by 5/4 over Tony Taylor and John Kirk.

Didsbury replied with wins from Peter Young and Fred Finley by 5/3 over Paul Barton and Howard Jones and Andy Lawman and Peter Mellor by 2/1 over Dave Wood and Steve Chamberlain.

The final outcome came on the 19th hole when Mike Wallwork and Geoff Lever, having recovered from being three down with four to play secured the vital win over John Aikenhead and Chris Cyprus.

The remaining match also went to the 19th with Derrick Page and Paul Greenhalgh prevailing against Paul Sherwood and John Gregory to complete the 5-2 score-line..

October 7 2011

Final agony as Red Rose wilts

LANCASHIRE were handed the wooden spoon after losing all three matches in the English Seniors’ County Championships at Gog Magog as Kent completed a hat-trick of titles.

Apart from an emphatic victory in the newly-formed Northern Counties Senior League, in which they won all five matches, a season which offered so much promise for the county teams ended in disappointment.

Bill Bromilow’s charges finished third in the English County finals at Ganton and runners-up in the league for the second year running.

And the women had to settle for second place at the EWGA County Finals at Thorndon Park.

October 7 2007

England revamp training squads

WITH several key players having made progress to the professional ranks, the English Golf Union has revamped its England and England A training squads for the 2011 and 2012 coaching programme.

The nine-strong squad could be depleted further depending on events at the forthcoming European Tour Qualifying School but the EGU has named four invitees while two other members are at college in the United States.

Seven of the squad are full internationals in James Burnett, Dave Coupland, Craig Hinton, Paul Lockwood, Ben Loughrey, Neil Raymond and Ben Stow, while Ashley Chesters is a former Under 18 Squad member leaving Matthew Wallace as the sole new face to the EGU coaching scheme.

Burnett, 19, made his full England debut in this year’s international with Spain at The Berkshire having been capped at under 16 and boys levels. He also won the Lima International Amateur this year and finished third in the Berkhamsted Trophy.

Chesters, 22, is a newcomer to the England Squad having been a member of the Under 16 and Under 18 Squads. A former Shropshire and Herefordshire boy champion, he recently won the Lee Westwood Trophy.

Coupland, 25, became a full England cap in this summer’s European Men’s Team Championships and he also played in the Home Internationals in Ireland. He spent four months in Australia earlier this year playing for Waverley in the Pennant Series and reached the quarter finals of the Australian Amateur. In past years he has won the Lagonda and Tillman Trophies and was a semi-finalist in the 2009 English Amateur.

Hinton, 23, made his full England debut in the recent Home Internationals having qualified for the Open Championship at Royal St George’s. He has also enjoyed top-ten finishes in several events at home and abroad, while Lockwood, 19, another debutant against Spain this year, is a former boy cap who finished third in the North of England Youths Championship and fourth in the Lee Westwood Trophy.

Ben Loughrey, 22, winner of last year’s Lee Westwood Trophy, helped Wiltshire win the English County Championship last month having been capped for England against Spain in May and in the Home Internationals. He also toured Australia last winter with the EGU squad, winning the New South Wales Cup.

Raymond, 25, also made his full England debut against the Spanish this year before winning the Brabazon Trophy at Burnham & Berrow. He was also a member of the winning Home Internationals team, as was Stow, another member of Wiltshire’s victorious County Championship side.

Stow, 19, also won the Welsh Open Youths Championship and the South West Championship and was runner-up in the County Champions Tournament. Wallace, 21, finished runner-up in this year’s Berkshire Trophy and also represented the EGU in the Czech Amateur again finishing as the runner-up.

Of the invitees, Cooley, 22, is a former West of England Stroke Play Champion and Italian Amateur Champion. An England A Squad member in 2009, Claridge, 20, won this year’s Berkhamsted Trophy and was a quarter finalist in the English Amateur. Wasteney, 19, was an England A Squad member last year and has represented the EGU is Spain and Holland, while White, 20, the Surrey Champion, won the Berkshire Trophy this year.

Of the two American college students, both Porteous, 21, and Taylor, 19, made their full England debuts in the 2011 Home Internationals. Porteous was runner-up in the Tillman Trophy, while Taylor finished runner-up in the South East Links Championship and came third in the Lagonda Trophy.

England Squad
James Burnett (Sleaford, Lincolnshire)
Ashley Chesters (Hawkstone Park, Shropshire & Herefordshire)
Dave Coupland (Boston, Lincolnshire)
Craig Hinton (The Oxfordshire, Berks, Bucks & Oxon)
Paul Lockwood (Hessle, Yorkshire)
Ben Loughrey (Wrag Barn, Wiltshire)
Neil Raymond (Corhampton, Hampshire, IoW & CIs)
Ben Stow (Rushmore, Wiltshire)
Matthew Wallace (Moor Park, Hertfordshire)

Andrew Cooley (Chobham, Surrey)
Sam Claridge (Harpenden Common, Hertfordshire)
Daniel Wasteney (Bondhay, Yorkshire)
Josh White (Chipstead, Surrey)

Players at college in United States
Garrick Porteous (Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland)
Ben Taylor (Walton Heath, Surrey)

There are 18 players in the England A Squad including a number of boy internationals and reigning champions.

Jamie Bower, 18, is the current North of England Youths and English Schools Champion, Oliver Carr, 18, was a quarter finalist in the British Boys, while Harry Casey, 18, is the English Boys Champion.

Sebastian Crookall-Nixon, 18, was English Under 16 Champion in 2008 and 2009, Curtis Griffiths, 18, lost a playoff to Tom Harris, 18, for the Fairhaven Trophy, and Nathan Kimsey, 18, is the current holder of the McEvoy Trophy and the Malcolm Reid Salver for the best aggregate from the McEvoy and Carris Trophies combined.

Josh Loughrey, 21, won the Scrutton Jug for the lowest aggregate from the Berkshire and Brabazon Trophies, Greg Payne, 17, was a joint winner of the Junior County Champions Tournament, and Sam Robertshawe, 20, won the South East of England Links Championship.

Jamie Rutherford, 19, won the County Champions Tournament at Woodhall Spa, Callum Shinkwin, 18, last year’s English Boys Champion, was a semi-finalist in the English Amateur, while Jordan Smith, 18, was a member of the victorious Wiltshire team in the English County Championship.

England A Squad
Jamie Bower (Meltham, Yorkshire)
Oliver Carr (Heswall, Cheshire)
Harry Casey (Enfield, Middlesex)
Jack Colegate (Rochester & Cobham, Kent)
Sebastian Crookall-Nixon (Workington, Cumbria)
Connor Fletcher (Chart Hills, Kent)
Curtis Griffiths (Wentworth, Surrey)
Tom Harris (Castletown, Isle of Man)
Nathan Kimsey (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire)
Paul Kinnear (Formby, Lancashire)
Josh Loughrey (Wrag Barn, Wiltshire)
Greg Payne (Chobham, Surrey)
Sam Robertshawe (Army, Hampshire, IoW & CIs)
Tom Rowland (Prudhoe, Northumberland)
Jamie Rutherford (Knebworth, Hertfordshire)
Gavin Samuels (Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire)
Callum Shinkwin (Moor Park, Hertfordshire)
Jordan Smith (Bowood, Wiltshire)
Jerome Titlow (The London GC, Kent)

October 7 2011

Your country needs you!

The England Golf Partnership’s (EGP) National Youth Panel is looking for new volunteer members from all backgrounds and communities to help shape the future development of the sport in England.

The EGP is looking to recruit 12 young people under 25 (on 01 January of the current year) to join the Youth Panel. Applicants can include those with limited or no experience of golf and all applications should be made by 4 November (see end for details).

Panel members will be tasked with providing the EGP with consultative advice on the views of young people, creating new initiatives and activities to engage young people and assisting the delivery of a number of key regional and national golf events in schools and communities.

The Youth Panel is a body of individuals who are helping to create new ways of encouraging young people into golf, as part of the EGP’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’.

Additionally, Youth Panel members work with EGP staff to recruit more young volunteers in golf. They can influence the development of high quality resources and also build programmes for young people in the sport. The panel also supports and advises on child protection and safeguarding issues in golf.

The current Youth Panel has been operational for four years. All members have received training and a significant number of the original volunteers have now progressed into careers within the golf industry.

Phil Beard, EGP Golf Volunteer Manager, said: “The volunteers on our Youth Panel have contributed to creating a greater understanding of how golf is perceived by young people. While helping the EGP in the formation of development strategy, the panellists are also gaining valuable experience which can help them when they look for work in the future, so it’s a win-win situation.”

Those interested in applying for a place on the Youth Panel or who would like to learn more about volunteering in golf, should go to for more information. Applications for a place on the panel can be made online and should be completed by 4 November, 2011.

The national volunteering programme is delivered via the England Golf Partnership’s ‘Whole Sport Plan’ for golf and is an integral part of the England Golf Partnership’s vision to ‘Grow the Game’.

For further information please contact:
Phil Beard, EGP Volunteer Manager
Tel: 07919 055025

Ben Evans, EGP Communications Officer
Tel: 01747 820384

October 7 2011

The First Tee Junior Golf Disability Fun Day at Heaton Park 

MORE than 50 children from Greater Manchester will take part in The First Tee’s Inclusion Fun Day at Heaton Park on October 17.

The festival is designed to bring children with disabilities together from across Greater Manchester to have fun, and for some, experience golf for the first time.  The First Tee is working with North Manchester School Sports Partnership which is led by Sue Samuels, School Sports Coordinator for Manchester Council. The event will also benefit from the support of junior leaders from year 10 at from Abraham Moss School.

Dawn Roberts, executive director of The First Tee Manchester, said:  “After the success of our last Disability day in the summer we are excited to be hosting our next one at Heaton Park.  The First Tee Manchester is committed to helping and supporting young people.  The First Tee’s programmes are all fully inclusive and have been specially designed so that youth of any age or ability can enjoy the game and learn the life skills.”

Youth aged 7-plus can take part in The First Tees Life Skills Experience which is a progressive golf skills and life skills programme based on nine core values inherent to the game of golf including honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and confidence.  Participants learn a variety of life skills including self-management, interpersonal communication and conflict resolution in a fun, non-competitive environment.  The youth are then encouraged to utilise these skills and values both on and off the golf course.

The event will start at 10:30am and run until 2pm.

October 6 2011

Smith forges another win in Alliance

THE race for the Manchester Alliance professional Order of Merit hotted up at Styal as Swinton Park’s David Smith, going for a hat-trick of titles, romped to victory with 39 points, writes GEOFF GARNETT.

Next in was leader Graham Cox with 35 as he failed to complete four wins on the bounce with Grant Hamerton (Pike Fold), Dave Green (Dukinfield) and Richard Green (Bramhall) all on 33 also picking up useful merit points.Dave

TOP SHOTS: From left, David Smith Alan Bullock, Paul Crisp and Dave Green

Green once more found a terrific partner in highly-tuned athlete Paul Crisp from Ashton-on-Mersey who for the second time this year helped Green to win the pro am with a great contribution to their 45-point winning score.

It still needed a cpo to see them home from David Smith and his regular club partner Jimmy O’Reilly with Graham Cox and Matthew Dent posting 44 points in third spot.

The am-am was a family affair as Warrington’s Russ Johnson partnered his son Anton into the pole position with 40 points.

This was one more than Stamford duo James Woodcock and Martin Dwyer who won a cpo from Michael Wallace (Hart Common) and Dave Ahern (Bolton Old Links).

October 2, 2011

Werneth keep it in the family as they win Archie Preston Trophy

TOP TEAM: Werneth players celebrate

WERNETH became only the second club from the Oldham area to win the coveted Archie Preston Trophy.

Victory came at Disley in the final of the Manchester Alliance Mixed Foursomes knock out that had attracted an original entry of 87 clubs.

Werneth had battled through five rounds, several of them being tough away ties to make the final where they took on Turton.

It began well with Werneth claiming three early victories from captain Quentin Cartwright and women’s captain Fiona Dooley at the 21st hole, Vice captain Lee Rowbotham and Gail Rowbotham by 4&3, and Paul Rowbotham and Madge Griffiths by two up.

Then the tide began to turn as Turton hit back with three wins to level the scores.

The tie went to the wire of the 20th hole where Adam Rowbotham and Glynis Jones secured the vital point watched by their anxious and then elated team and supporters.

It was a triumph for the Rowbotham family who had five members playing including grandfather, son, grandson, wife and daughter.

The other members of the fine Werneth team were John Yemm and Shelia Waterhouse, Peter and Marilyn Griffin and Jack Suttie and Pat Grant.

September 29 2011

WINNING TEAM: Ian Johnson, George Senior, Simon Bolam, Dan Osbaldeston, James Newton, Josh Garside, Joe Armitt and club Captain Mike Forbes

Prestbury stars retain their title

PRESTBURY scratch team won the East Cheshire Scratch Premier League title for the second successive year. Having retained the title with one match remaining they hosted relegation-threatened Hazel Grove  and the match was halved which did enough to secure Hazel Grove their premier division status.

Tytherington were deserving runners-up but unfortunately Disley and Ringway finished in the bottom two to be relegated with their places for 2012 being taken by Stockport and Reddish Vale.

The Prestbury team was captained by Simon Bolam who was also the Premier division player of the year winning all of his seven matches.

The club’s youth policy was evident with strong performances from their talented juniors including England and Cheshire star James Newton, junior captain Dan Young, Josh Garside and Joe Armitt.

In addition Prestbury were also represented by Dan Osbaldeston, Andy Greenhalgh, Lee Charnley, Joe Joyce, Dave Wood, Ian Johnson, Nigel Naden and George Senior.

High fives for Didsbury

DIDSBURY players and officials celebrated long and hard after rewriting the Mersey Clubs record books.

The six competitions that the Mersey clubs – Chorlton, Sale, Didsbury, Northenden and Withington – take part in each year are always fiercely fought and success is hard to achieve. Occasionally, over the 50-plus years that the Mersey competitions have been played for clubs have occasionally won two or three trophies in a season.

But in 2011 Didsbury set a new mark by winning five of the six trophies on offer.

Their women began the run with victory in the Mersey Shield held at Northenden before Sale intervened by winning the Mersey Bowl for Mixed teams on their own course.

Then the big run began as Didsbury won the Men’s Shield at Didsbury and then their fine junior team made it four trophies winning the Junior Shield at Withington.

Trophy number four was for winning the Men’s Mersey League which involves eight matches each for the first and second team over a long season.

The teams only lost one game and drew three others to accumulate 27 points out of a possible 32 for a comfortable victory.

The record-breaking High Fives came at Chorlton in the battle for the Mersey men’s individual title where plus one handicapper Kevin Hamilton ended a 16-year drought for the club in the championship winning with rounds of 69 and 70.

The club  had special trophies made for all of the members of the teams and on a great night of celebration.


September 27 2011

Manchester win  Dunham Forest Trophy 

THE unique Manchester Alliance Dunham Forest Trophy final again produced some top quality golf and terrific contests conducted in a superb sporting manner by the four finalists from the original entry of 96 clubs, writes GEOFF GARNETT.

It is the biggest inter club competition of its kind in the UK and once more Dunham Forest Golf Club provided a fitting stage for a top event which is the highlight for the top amateurs and professionals of the clubs involved.

All four finalists were previous winners of the competition and featured several county players in their ranks with Manchester easing through the first semi-final by 4-3 over Disley with wins from Jake Murphy, Graham Jackson, Gareth Clark and Matt Hough.

The other semi between Marriott Worsley Park and Blackburn went to the wire of the 20th hole between the respective professionals Alliance life member and legend Dave Screeton and Blackburn’s young professional Craig Gornall before Screeton saw his team home.

The late finish meant that the light could be a factor in another close contest but Manchester were always in control and won by 4.5-2.5 with wins from Aaron Watkinson, Jake Murphy, Roger Smithies and Matt Hough backed by a half from Graham Jackson with Richard Fletcher.

Consolation points for Worsley Park came from Richard Gwyther and Graham Maly.

The only other time that Manchester had won the trophy was in 1996 and a then youthful Gareth Clark, aged 17, was the only member of the team to end the long wait for a second win.

Picture shows the Manchester team celebrating

September 26 2011

Lancs lose English crown

DEFENDING champions Lancashire had to settle for third place in the English County Championship final at Ganton – won by Wiltshire whom they  thrashed 8-1 in the first round.

Bill Bromilow’s men finished level on points after beating Warwickshire 5-4 on the last day but lost out on a three-way card play-off.

“We have to take the positives out of the setback,” said the Red Rose captain who had taken his charges to two English crowns in his four years.

“Four of our six-man side had not played in the event before. I put out shortcomings down to course management.

“We conceded eight holes against Surrey which effectively ended our hopes.”

Junior League title goes to wire 

THE Manchester Junior League enjoyed one of the closest finishes for years at the final fixture at Davyhulme Park.

After seven events, only one point separated the top two teams – Worsley and Poulton Park.

Following a nervous morning’s play, Poulton Park came from behind to claim the League title in their debut season.

Worsley were gallant runners-up, only three points adrift which was a fantastic effort considering they were in bottom position after the first fixture.

Anyone interested in joining the league next year, or require further information, contact or attend the AGM at Ellesmere Golf Club on  November 8 at 8pm.

September 25 2011

Eales appointed as  EGU supporting coaching squad 

 GARSTANG  head professional and former European Tour winner Paul Eales is poised to pass on his extensive experience after being selected as supporting squad coach to the English Golf Union (EGU) under-18 squad.

The 48-year-old will work with Burhill PGA professional Hugh Marr, who has been appointed as the lead coach to the team. Both PGA professionals will be supporting existing squad manager Derek Hughes in the delivery of the EGU under-18 Squad training programme.

Eales, who has been delivering EGU initiatives in the north west of England, is excited at the challenge of working with the cream of the amateur game.

“I’m delighted the EGU have invited me to be part of the team having been working in the north west with the EGU age group,” said Eales, who claimed his maiden Tour victory in 1994.

“It is massively exciting and I’m proud to be recognised at such a high level. Having played at the top level I’m looking to give something back to these young aspiring players.”

Eales, who is looking to study for a PGA Diploma to enhance his coaching qualifications, is also looking forward to working with Marr, who has achieved considerable success in his former coaching role with Surrey and with a number of European Tour and Ladies European Tour stars.

He said: “I was aware of Hugh’s reputation in the game and his past record of achievements. I met him at the Walker Cup, where he was working with two of the players and I am really looking forward to working with him and learning from him.

“He has a wealth of experience, but I am sure we’ll learn from each other.  I’m delighted to be able to help Hugh as I have a lot of respect for him and what he has done.

“He is very driven and has forward thinking ideas.  He’s not reinventing the wheel but does have very similar thoughts to mine about player development. Being part of the national set-up gives us access to the cream of the crop, which is a very exciting opportunity and one where I am able to pass on my experience.”

The additional coaching role will increase Eales’ already burgeoning workload, at national, county and grass roots level.

“I’ll be working with the squad for 35-40 days during the year with another 30 on top of that with the A squad,” he said. “It’s a way forward for my coaching as now I am largely doing more group and performance coaching.

“Coaching plays a major role in my career but I still very much want to be playing in pro-ams and tournaments and I’m still involved in broadcasting.

“But I am dedicated to working with these elite players and bringing my knowledge to them. We all know they can play the game but it is about making sure they take the right steps in their development as some get carried away about how good they really are and where they see themselves going.

“We’re there to help them kick on and to help them reach their dream.”

Marr, formerly the Head Coach to Surrey and an EGU Regional Coach, brings a wealth of experience in long term player development.

The individuals and teams that Marr collaborates with are proven winners at national and international level and during his time at Surrey the county’s Boys team achieved a hat trick of English Championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

September 25 2011

Close finish to Junior League

THE Manchester Junior League enjoyed one of the closest finishes for years at the final fixture at Davyhulme Park.After seven events, only one point separated the top two teams – Worsley and Poulton Park.

Following a nervous morning’s play, Poulton Park came from behind to claim the League title in their debut season.

Worsley were gallant runners-up, only three points adrift which was a fantastic effort considering they were in bottom position after the first fixture.

Anyone interested in joining the league next year, or require further information, contact or attend the AGM at Ellesmere Golf Club on  November 8 at 8pm.

September 20, 2011

Tea bags? No tee pegs!

SHOPPERS in Kendal are to be given the chance to swap their tea bags for tee pegs this week.Special golf taster sessions will be on offer at the Westmorland Shopping Centre in Kendal on Saturday, September 24 (10am-3pm).

Carus Green Golf Club professionals Andrew Pickering and David Turner will be giving customers the opportunity to have a go at golf and discover how they can take part in follow up lessons or even become members of the club, which is situated just a few minutes from the town centre.

As well as an attractive par 70 parkland golf course and 15 bay floodlit driving range, Carus Green now boasts an impressive new clubhouse after a £1m investment which provides the most up to date facilities for members as well as offering an ideal functions venue for both business and pleasure.

Says professional Andrew Pickering: “We will have a driving net in place so anyone interested can hit real golf balls with real golf clubs, while we will be putting on Tri Golf for the children. We want to take the golf course out to the people in the hope that they then come to the golf course.”

The Westmorland Shopping Centre can be found in Stricklandgate in Kendal with more than 30 shops to choose from and is the only covered shopping area in the South Lakes.

The club, in Burneside Road, Kendal, is launching a number of new classes in October to help people into golf.

Nine-week courses, costing just £45, will be held on a Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and with sessions for beginners (5pm-6pm), improvers (6.30-7.30) and experienced players (7.30-8.30) there is coaching available to suit all ages and abilities.

The club also runs a regular roll-up for juniors on a Saturday morning (10am-11am), which costs just £5 for each session attended, while a Get into Golf session for ladies takes place from 11.30am-12.30pm.

The club has around 550 members with 95 juniors, but has vacancies and will be announcing a winter membership deal shortly.

Says Cumbria Golf Partnership county development officer Jane Robinson: “The clubs, along with the county union and association, have done a great job in encouraging people of all ages to take up the sport.

“This is a great example of a club being proactive in finding  a way of taking the sport to people outside the usual confines of a club or driving range.

“These taster sessions give people the chance to see what golf has to offer – from a healthy, sporting exercise to the enjoyable social side of being a member of a club.”

Carus Green Golf Club can be contacted on 01539 721097 or by emailing

The Cumbria County  Golf Partnership  is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including the English Golf Union, The English Women’s Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Cumbria the partnership is supported by the Cumbria Ladies County Golf Association, the Cumbria Union of Golf Clubs, The Eden Valley Sports Partnership and the PGA North East/West.

For more details of the activities in Cumbria visit

September 16 2011

More clubs join Cheshire initiative

ADLINGTON Golf Centre is the latest to join a new four-pronged campaign aimed at bringing more people into the sport in Cheshire.

Under the banner of Go4Green, the project is offering a wide range of routes into golf.

Drivetime at Warrington and Disley Golf Club have also signed up to host courses in October.

All those taking part in one of the Go4Green schemes will receive a free golf club courtesy of leading equipment manufacturers Wilson.

The schemes are being delivered under the umbrella of the Cheshire County Golf Partnership and include:

Golf4Women – the chance to learn in a ladies-only group.

Golf4Couples – mixed group coaching sessions

Golf4All – aimed at beginners of all abilities from the age of 18 up.

Fit4Golf – aimed those who want a healthier lifestyle

All the schemes offer five one-hour group coaching sessions with a qualified PGA professional at the bargain price of just £20 per person.

More than a dozen clubs have signed up to deliver coaching schemes throughout the summer and early autumn.

Adlington, near Macclesfield,  will be starting a Golf 4 All scheme from Tuesday, September 20 (6pm-7pm) and a Golf 4 Women from Wednesday, September 21 (6pm-7pm).

The Drivetime team will be putting on a Golf 4 All scheme from Monday, October 10, with full details available by contacting 01925 234 800.

Disley Golf Club’s Golf 4 All programme starts on Tuesday, October 4 (10am-11am)

Other forthcoming dates include:


Golf 4 All – From Tuesday, September 27 (10am-12)

Golf 4 Women – From Saturday, September 17 (10am-11am)

Golf 4 Couples – From Sunday, September 25 (3pm-5pm)


Carden Park

Golf 4 All – From Saturday, September 24 (11.30am-12.30pm), Monday, October 10 (10am-11am) or Sunday, October 16 (5.30pm-6.30pm)


Golf 4 All – from Monday-Friday, October 10-14 (5.30pm-6.30pm)

Golf 4 Women – from Monday-Friday, October 10-14 (5.30pm-6.30pm)

Craig Thomas, county development officer for the Cheshire County Golf Partnership, said: “We hope that anyone interested in taking up golf will find something to appeal to them from one of the courses.

“The benefits of playing golf and becoming involved in a golf club include the sporting challenge, the chance to meet like-minded people in an enjoyable social atmosphere and the obvious health benefits of regular exercise in the fresh air.

“Each of the schemes offers something different.

“Golf4Women gives ladies the chance to try golf alongside other ladies in the same position as newcomers to the sport, so should be less intimidating than joining a club on your own.

“Couples4Golf offers the chance to start something new together, while Golf4All caters for those over the age of 18 of all abilities who can start out with other beginners so you can share your experiences.

“A round of golf equates to 12,000 steps or a 45 minute workout so is ideal for anyone looking to become more active. Fit4Golf will show the many benefits of the sport – it helps improve flexibility, strength and overall fitness as well as helping reduce stress levels, strengthen mental health while relaxing outdoors and socialising with friends.

“These schemes support the overall aim of making golf as accessible as possible to people of all ages and abilities”

Full details of the clubs involved and starting dates will be available on the Cheshire County Golf Partnership website – – or anyone interested can email Craig Thomas at

Or the clubs can be contacted directly for full details of their Go4Green events.

Go4Green is one of the projects being coordinated by the Cheshire Golf Partnership, a collaboration of the major stakeholders in golf, including the English Golf Union, The English Women’s Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Cheshire the partnership is supported by the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs, the Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association and the Cheshire and North Wales PGA.

For more details of the activities in Cheshire visit

For more information on the work of the Cheshire Golf Partnership contact Craig Thomas, County Development Officer, Cheshire County Golf Partnership.


Mobile: 07973 798483


3 responses to this post.

  1. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I’m hoping you write again soon!


  2. Your blog posts are very informative and they help amature and professional golfers to stay up to date with current affairs in the world of Golf. Keep up the good work.


  3. Posted by mark foley on October 21, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Iam very sad to just read the passing of a dear friend ,Michael Shaw who I had not seen for a time , but always a pleasure to meet up with when we crossed paths , mikes wife worked for me in my hair salon in Bolton ,and who became a customer to me and a friend , he will be missed by me and a lot of people that’s for sure . it was a pleasure to have know him ………R.I.P Mark Foley


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