Archive for the ‘Amateur Golf’ Category

Lymm lasses in the driving seat

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TEE TIME: Gillian Brown, Diana Broady, Carol Roberts and Jessica Taylor-Booth

LYMM Golf Club  is celebrating a year of firsts which has put women in the driving seat. For the first time in its 111-year-history members have elected women to serve as club president, chair of council and junior captain.

And the membership has also voted to give their respective captains.

Diana Broady will serve as the president for 12 months. A retired physiotherapist at Warrington Hospital, she is an active member of more than 30 years, a former captain and keen all round sportswoman, having played tennis and squash alongside golf.

She commented: “Lymm Ladies are a very active force and support the club well, both on the playing and social side. I look forward to a great year and to serving all of the members to the best of my ability.”

Carol Roberts has stepped from the 2017 lady captain’s role straight into chair of council for the three years. She recently retired as the managing director of a national financial services business and was handed a Life Time Achievement Award for services to the leasing industry and was previously the European CEO of the Year.

She will use her experience to face a different set of challenges as she supports the continual modernisation of golf at club level.

Jessica Taylor-Booth,  17, is the first girl to become junior captain, having come through Lymm’s active junior programme. She has taken part in Cheshire County girls coaching and is a club ambassador for the Girls Golf Rocks programme. At the recent combined Captain’s drive-in, a  Jessica smashed a superb 200 yard drive in very unforgiving, wet conditions to mark a historic year for the club.

Gillian Brown is the ladies’ captain and for the first time and will hold equal status with captain Alan Dagger.

Lymm has a long tradition of encouraging women and girls to take up golf. It has more than 110 female members and there is a very popular Silver Rabbits group, which welcomes new women golfers and supports their development and progress on to the course.

Lymm has worked successfully with England Golf to run Girls Golf Rocks at the club and will be throwing open a welcome to local girls for a free Girls Golf Rocks taster session on Saturday  at 2pm.

Alison Lysons, England Golf Club support officer, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Lymm  to help their continued development of golf for women and girls and it’s exciting to see these four taking on such important roles at the club.”

 

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Carroll calls the tune at West Lancs

JOHN Carroll, a double Lancashire County champion, proved he could still compete with the best when he won the opening fixture in the Galvin Green Northern Order of Merit series with rounds of 68 and 71 in the Crosby Challenge Plate at West Lancs.

The Huyton & Prescot stalwart (pictured) started with four birdies in the first nine holes and added another for good measure on the home stretch, erring only once with a bogey at the short 17th.John Carroll (2).jpg

Plus three ranked Carroll picked up three birdies in the second round marred by two dropped shots.

Royal Liverpool’s Steven Capper, last year’s winner, was runner-up four off the pace.

LEADING SCORES: 139 John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot) 68 71; 143 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool) 71 72; 145 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale) 75 70; 146 Aiden Hooson (Manchester) 74 72, Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale) 74 72, Curtis Clarkin (Nelson) 71 75; 147 Jack Cornes (Lymm) 76 71, Chris Chilton (Stockport) 74 73, Kevin Moore (Douglas) 72 75; 148 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside) 75 73, George Young (Clitheroe) 75 73, Gary Blades (Burnley) 74 74.

ORDER OF MERIT: 50pts John Carroll (Huyton & Prescot); 100 Steven Capper (Royal Liverpool); 75 Greg Holmes (Royal Birkdale); 60 Aiden Hooson (Manchester); 50 Mark Duncalf (Southport & Ainsdale); 45 Curtis Clarkin (Nelson); 40 Jack Cornes (Lymm); 30 Chris Chilton (Stockport); 25 Kevin Moore (Douglas); 20 Oliver Ravenscroft (Hillside); 15 George Young (Clitheroe); 10 Gary Blades (Burnley).

 

White cup double for Chorley duo Sam and Denis

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TROPHY GLORY: Chorley players Denis and Sam Durnian with the White Cup presented by sponsor Don Milligan (centre)

DENIS Durnian and his wife Sam evoked memories of yesteryear when they won the White Cup, a Manchester Alliance mixed pairs competition, at Chorlton.

They were members at Styal when they last claimed the title in 2002 but this time they returned to Chorlton with Denis having regained his amateur status and playing at Chorley.

The individual professional prize went to Graham Cox (Lymm) with 40 points from Phil Archer (Poulton Park) 37 and Steve McCarthy  (Lymm) 36.

Cox made it a double as he also won the pro-am section partnering Liz Lyons (Lymm) to win a  42 points countback from  Archer and his mum Jean (Birchwood) and Andy Palmer and Steph Patterson (Chorley) 40.

The White Cup is presented by the pair from the same club with the highest number of points. Chorlton’s Hubert Dunki-Jacobs partnered Barbara Redford (Swinton Park) to 45 points to win the am-am section from Denis and Sam 43 and home duo Peter Parmeshwar and Jackie Whitehurst 42.

Why golf is good for your health

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GOLF is good for your health and happiness – and could save millions of pounds for local authorities, according to new research.

The findings are the result of an investigation by England Golf, Mytime Active and ukactive into the impact of playing golf on health and well-being. More than 3,200 golfers at 12 Mytime Active courses were surveyed about their participation.

The results suggest the sport is attracting significant numbers of people who haven’t been getting enough exercise and, once they get into golf, they’re likely to keep playing and improving their fitness.

The more they play the happier they’ll be, with the golfers who took most activity scoring well above the national average for their mental wellbeing.

As a result, it is estimated that golf is saving local authorities in the survey area a total of £3.4m a year in health costs. There are even bigger potential savings if the golfers who play the least continue their participation and become more active.

The findings will be used to investigate the possibility of making golf available on referral by GPs. It will also help to find other ways to encourage inactive golfers to play more and to generally promote the health benefits of the game.

Abbie Lench, England Golf Head of Club Support, commented: “It’s fantastic to be able to show that golf is both good for you and could save the country considerable sums of money. Golf clubs and ranges have a really important role to play in helping people become fitter and happier and we look forward to developing this.”

Steven Ward, CEO of ukactive, said: “Golf is another great way to stay physically active while enjoying sport. This research provides further evidence that simply by undertaking regular moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking during a game of golf, you can improve your overall health and happiness.”

Jason Stanton, Operations Director at Mytime Active added: “At Mytime Active we are committed to improving community wellbeing and it’s great to work with England Golf and ukactive to prove the health and social benefits of golf.  All our golf clubs are open to everyone and we look forward to showcasing the wider benefits of golf through future projects in the near future.”

The research highlights the appeal of golf to people who do not undertake at least 150 minutes of exercise each week, as recommended in the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) guidelines. More than 70 per cent of the people surveyed were in this category.

The research also shows that golfers are likely to stick at the sport. More than 70 per cent were positive that they would play golf regularly during the next year. However, the evidence showed that some people don’t count golf as exercise, highlighting the need to promote this aspect of the sport.

A large number of golfers (78%) are satisfied with their lives and the survey finds their mental wellbeing increases very noticeably, the more they play. The most active golfers scored an average 8.35 out of 10, when assessing how satisfied they were with their lives; the score fell to 7.12 for inactive golfers.

Golfers also show higher levels of social trust than the general UK population; increasing the levels of trust between people is seen as essential to strong communities and economic growth. Over half of the golfers surveyed gave a high score to this question (7 or more out of 10), and again, those who played more, scored it highest.

 

Faldo Series drives off at Moortown

MoortownClubhouse.JPGHistoric Moortown Golf Club

THE Faldo Series UK season begins with a bang on the Alister MacKenzie masterpiece at Yorkshire club Moortown on April 3 – 5. A field of around 80 top juniors will fight for a place in the prestigious grand final.

Moortown, host of the first Ryder Cup matches on British soil in 1929, Moortown is regarded by many as one of the country’s finest inland golf courses. Moortown has hosted many successful Faldo Series tournaments down the years and has become a highlight of the amateur calendar.

The players will be aware of the tantalising prize on offer as Sir Nick Faldo announced the Faldo Series Europe Grand Final will be held at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club (AESGC) in the United Arab Emirates for the next four years. AESGC boasts a superb course and immaculate facilities in the Oasis city of Al Ain.

The competitors will have also taken note of the hugely successful major champions Invitational in Florida last week. The tournament was filled with high quality amateurs including several players whose profile was raised by their participation in the Faldo Series. A Faldo team competed, with current Faldo Series Europe Grand Final Champion Herik Machado among them. The boys at Moortown will be desperate to seize such opportunities.

The tournament will be played over three rounds and is a World Amateur Golf Ranking event. The field will be divided into three age-groups and the winners of each division will again join Faldo at the season-ending 22nd Faldo Series Europe Grand Final.

Some  40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching thousands of golfers each year. Past winners include Major Champions Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at the 2014 Open Championship and US PGA Championship.

Lancs lads setting a high standard

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THE most promising, and youngest, golfers in Lancashire paired up with some of the county’s most experienced players to launch the junior season.

The under-16s enjoyed a warm-up match at Hesketh where they partnered a senior in a 18-hole four ball-better-ball.

Under-16 squad manager Michael Carney said: “Some great golf was played to a high standard, which is encouraging news.

“We were hoping the Under-16s would learn from their senior partners about shot making, course management, and match play tactics, for example. From the feedback received from the Under-16s we are pleased this was achieved. We also believe the seniors learned a thing or two and not just about golf!

“A big thanks must go to Mike Gray (Lancashire Seniors Captain) and his seniors’ team for entering so well into the spirit of these matches and also to professional Scott Astin>2 (Professional) and Hesketh Golf Club for being great hosts.”

MATCH SCORES: Neil Self/Edward Reed v Bryan Hughes/Oliver Duck A/S; Rob Parry/Thomas Ratcliffe v Dave Hannis/Alex James 2up; Steve Lord/Ellis Willott 2 up v Alan Gillespie/Jack Bryant; Peter Darlington/Charles Holland v Gary Byrne/Alex Duckworth 4 up; Paul Rooney/George Hanson v Tony Flanagan/Elliot Tickle 6 up; Mike Gray/Sam McGlincy v Ian Owens/Dylan Astin 6 up.

Meanwhile, Lancashire’s juniors will defend their Four Counties title at Sherwood Forest Golf Club from April 3-5. They are chasing a hat-trick of wins in the annual match against their counterparts from Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, and Shropshire and Herefordshire.

PICTURED: Alex Duckworth putts at 16 watched by his S&A clubmate Charlie Holland

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lancs clubs appeal for women members

LANCASHIRE golf clubs are being challenged to help the sport to appeal to a new generation of female players who have never known a world without the internet or mobile phones.

The first county conference on how clubs can attract more women players heard a call to arms to reverse a worrying trend of falling numbers and an ageing profile.

The meeting at Mytton Fold Golf Club, located near Blackburn and Clitheroe, was fully subscribed with more than 250 delegates representing 90 clubs from the county. It reflected the enthusiasm to embrace a new way of working to help get more girls and women on to the fairways.

The conference was the result of a unique collaboration between the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, the Lancashire Ladies’ County Golf Association, England Golf, the Golf Foundation and the R&A.

Lancashire Golf Development Group secretary Phil Harvey urged clubs to break away from the stereotyping of golf so that it can become more relevant to women who are already juggling the demands of family and work or to a younger generation who may be put off by rules, such as dress codes.

He said: “We know that the age profile of the sport is dominated by the over 50s and 60s but we need to appeal to the under 50s. Many of our present women golfers will not be playing in the next 10 years, so where is the next generation of players coming from?

“If the women’s game continues to decline, eventually there will be a knock-on effect for the men, too, as membership fees rise to offset falling numbers. Ultimately that will threaten the very future of the sport and its clubs.”

The conference supported a series of high-profile presentations with a practical blueprint for the clubs to follow with advice including:

  • Create a two-year pathway from beginner to full club membership
  • Ensure a mentoring and buddy system is in place to welcome newcomers
  • Try short course and short format events
  • Create a marketing plan targeting women, highlighting the sport’s health, lifestyle and social benefits
  • Engage with social media to promote what the club and sport has to offer
  • Review the rules and governance of the club to ensure a minimum 20 per cent female representation on the board, plus the appointment of girls and women ambassadors
  • Provide weekend play and competitions, including gender free events
  • Review membership offers to ensure they are family friendly
  • Ensure customer service is fit for the 21st century
  • Get the whole club involved in making the changes

The R&A, which is introducing a special women’s charter in this year, was represented by Jackie Davidson, assistant director of golf development, while Nick Pink, chief executive of England Golf which oversees the amateur game in this country, also delivered a keynote speech.

Dr John Fry, from Myerscough College, who has undertaken a major research project about the perception of golf and clubs from a female viewpoint, stressed that the sport needed to accept the need for change.

“The experience economy means people are far more aware of their surroundings so, for example, they are prepared to pay a bit extra for a coffee in somewhere like Costa,” he said.

“Clubs need to think about the whole experience, not just whether the ball rolls well on the greens, with ideas like priority parking for families, a safe area for children while their parents are at the club or activities for the parents themselves.

“A golf club should be like a community hub, offering the kind of personalised welcome that you might get when joining a gym – they need to be a relaxing and fun place to be, rather than a place where people feel they are struggling to fit in!”

Speakers at the hugely successful event also included social media sensation, the JazzyGolfer (pictured below), who offered a perspective of golf from a 21st century 20-something, and marketing expert Emma Ballard, of Media8.

Jasmine, who only took up the sport 12 months ago, warned that golf is in danger of missing out on potential players.

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“This is a sport that can be fun for everyone, but there have been times when I have been left to feel like an outsider or very uncomfortable,” she said.

“We need to make clubs more welcoming. It is not all clubs but probably more than we want to admit. This is a great opportunity for the sport – but there is no room for men only parts of a clubhouse while I was once told I couldn’t play at a club because of what I was wearing – even though they had invited me there!

“Clubs need to make the right appeal to a generation who spend their time on social media rather than watching TV or reading newspapers, and provide the kind of offers, playing formats and environment that will attract them.”

Clubs are being offered a range of support to drive the initiative with workshops, marketing and social media advice and grant support available.