Archive for the ‘Amateur Golf’ Category

Cox leads the way at Warrington

alliwarringtonpro.jpgTOP OF THE SHOTS: Graham Cox. Anton Johnson, Russ Johnson

LYMM assistant Graham Cox racked up 41 points in the Manchester Alliance at Warrington to finish one ahead of Poulton Park’s Phil Archer and Chorley’s Andy Palmer.

Cox was also in the mix in the pro-am, posting 43 points partnering home host club player Russ Johnson.

But the card play-off went in favour of Ryan O’Neill (Penwortham) and Steve Moores (Stamford) and Archer and his Leigh partner Mark Pasquill.

The top assistant pro prize was taken by Jamie Howarth (Davenport) with 39 points.

Meanwhile, Stamford have been dominating the am-am in recent weeks and their tried and trusted duo of Dan Fox and Steve Finan did the business again with 43 points taking them clear of John Aikenhead (Ashton-on-Mersey) and John Russell (Sale) 42 and Mike Jones and Archie Palmer (Davenport) 41.



Turkey treat, and Rose, for Myerscough students

A GROUP of Myerscough College golf students and staff flew out to Turkey last week to work at a major PGA European Tour event.

The party spent the week providing assistance at the Turkish Airlines Open, at the Regnum Carya Resort in Belek, Antalya. The group performed carry-board scoring for the players during the four rounds of the tournament, which is one of the major events on the PGA European Tour.

It’s the fifth year that Myerscough have worked at the event, and another unique opportunity that students are offered as part of their course enrichment, gaining invaluable experience working and rubbing shoulders with a host of

TURKISH JUSTIN ROSE WITH ANDREW COLEMAN.jpg stars from the golfing world.

Laura Marsh, lecturer in Golf Studies & Programme Leader, said: ‘’All of the players were wonderful this week with our students. It’s great to see that our work experience opportunities enable the students to meet and work alongside their heroes.

‘’I’ve been involved in volunteering at European Tour events for more than 17 years with Myerscough and it has to be said that the organisers of this tournament certainly know how to look after their volunteers. We’ve had great hospitality and it’s been a great week.’

One Myerscough learner, 19-year-old Andrew Coleman (above), a Level 3 BTEC Diploma Golf Studies student, got to work with his idol, eventual tournament winner and world number one, England’s Justin Rose. Andrew said: ’I would like to give a huge thank you to Justin Rose for looking after me at the Turkish Airlines Open.

‘’We had a good afternoon which was great and I got to see him become world number one and play the best golf I have ever seen. He is definitely my favourite golfer!’’


Lea signs up as Lancashire county coach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Red Rose golfers bidding for more players

GOLFERS in one area of Lancashire are clubbing together to support the drive to encourage more people into the sport.

A new development group has been launched with the intention of providing a united approach to the challenge of attracting and retaining club members.

The idea is based on similar groups in the north west including Merseyside – and sees the existing Bolton Development Group throw open the door to clubs across a wider area in East Lancashire.

Clubs such as Dunscar, Chilli Dip, Harwood, Breightmet, Bolton Lostock, Bolton Old Links and Regent Park have already been pooling their expertise to help grow the game.

Now clubs across East Lancashire are being invited to the quarterly meetings which feature guest speakers and expert advice on topics such as the retention of existing members, marketing and social media, recruitment as well as safeguarding.

The first one is at Dunscar Golf Club on December 4 with the option to atte

Helen Searle.jpg

nd in the morning or later in the day.

The group has been established under the umbrella of the Lancashire Golf Development Group and will be looking to support campaigns like Get into Golf, Golf Express and Girls Golf Rocks as well as establishing ways to work together to their mutual benefit.

Helen Searle (pictured), Lancashire GDG club support officer, said: “This is a major step forward to see clubs working collectively and sharing their successes and challenges, and being able to work together with a vision to grow and retain golfers in the East Lancashire area for years to come.

“Not long ago, clubs very much looked over their shoulders to see what other clubs were doing, but now they realise they are all in this together.

“Golf is peaking in so many ways, just look at the record number of spectators we have had this year. People like golf!

“It is important now that we showcase what the game has to offer to give stability to the future of our golf clubs.”

Clubs requiring further information should contact Helen by email at or by phone on 07710 088 870





Lancs champs after surviving great escape


JUST CHAMPION! Lancashire players celebrate their victory at Stanton-on-the-Wolds. Image copyright Leaderboard Photography

LANCASHIRE pulled off the great escape today when they snatched victory from Sussex in the title showdown for the English Senior Men’s County Championship.

Bryan Hughes drained a 30ft putt on the 18th at Stanton-on-the-Wolds to win his match by one hole and give Lancashire their third win in this championship.

“It was the putt of my life,” said the 2017 British Senor Champion. “And it was the first one I holed today!”

Lancashire’s 5-4 win was a result which had seemed highly unlikely as little as 45 minutes earlier and underlined, once again, the team’s ability to dig deep when it counts. “You couldn’t write this script,” said team member Neil Self, who contributed a 5/4 win to the scoreline.

Tony Flanagan, who won 3/2 in the singles, added: “I don’t know how we did that. We’ve been behind every day.”

That’s been the theme of their championship. Each day they’ve trailed their opposition, each day they’ve frayed their captain’s nerves – but each day they’ve kept themselves in it and, finally, claimed the prize.

Their  captain Mike Gray said: “I have always believed in them but at times today I thought someone up there didn’t!

“When they have to, they dig in, they deliver. They play for the team and they just don’t give up. And winning this is just a wonderful feeling,” added Gray, who was making his seventh visit to county finals, five as a player and twice as a winning captain.

Today’s match was always going to be tight. Sussex, with two good wins behind them, were clearly in good and confident form. And the action unfolded as predicted. The foursomes were shared with two tense matches going to the 18th.

As the singles got under way Sussex appeared to have a real grip on the match. They were ahead in four games as the players went through six holes and up in five at the half way stage.

Lancashire got the first point, courtesy of Neil Self, but Martin King delivered a major boost for Sussex when he beat British Senior champion Trevor Foster 3/2. “I just played great match play golf. I was in trouble a few times on the back nine and Trevor probably thought he would get one back but I escaped,” he said.

The next point went Lancashire’s way, thanks to Tony Flanagan, but Sussex were up in the other three games on the course. It was the signal for the Lancashire rally to begin.

Ian Crowther brought them within touching distance of an unlikely victory when he came from behind to win the last hole to halve his game. Then Bryan Hughes completed the comeback with his last hole birdie. It was the only time he was up in his match – but it was enough!

In the final game on the course Tony Flanagan kept fighting and took the action to the 18th, but Martin Galway made sure the point went to Sussex, who are runners-up for the second year in succession.

In the day’s other match Dorset defeated the host county, Nottinghamshire 6.5-2.5 to take third place.

Click here .



Lancs and Sussex battle for honours


All smiles at the end of the game – Lancashire’s Bryan Hughes (right) and Nottinghamshire’s Ian Gretton. Image copyright Leaderboard Photography

SUSSEX and Lancashire took the honours on the opening day of the English Senior Men’s County Finals – in sharply contrasting matches in glorious autumn sunshine at Stanton-on-the-Wolds Golf Club, Nottinghamshire.

Sussex scythed through their opposition, conceding virtually nothing as they defeated Dorset 8.5-0.5. Lancashire, however, were thoroughly tested before they could celebrate a hard fought 5-4 victory over the host county, Nottinghamshire.

Sussex were the 2017 runners-up in this championship – and still count the cost of a narrow first day defeat which left them just too much to do. What a difference a year makes!

Twelve months ago they were slow to get started and gleaned only half a point in the singles. Today they shot off the blocks, winning all three foursomes by very convincing margins. Martin King and Mark Logan led the way with their 6/5 win and they were followed by the pairings of Steve Graham and Martin Galway and Colin Jones and Doug Park, who both won 4/3.

They carried the momentum into the afternoon singles, simply sweeping aside the opposition. Anchorman Malcolm Cawte beat par as he cruised to his 5/4 win, while Steve Graham (3/2) and Doug Park (4/3) were solid at the top of the order.

With the win safely in the bag the team then pushed on to acquire as many game points as possible and, in an impressive singles performance, conceded just a half to Dorset’s John Smith.

Team captain Rick Thomas welcomed the result, but sounded a note of caution. “It’s never easy and often when you see a result like this it belies what actually goes on. There’s always a stage in every match where it could go either way.”

He added: “There’s a long road to travel and this is just one step in the right direction. The boys are delighted but they all recognise there’s a long way to go.”

By contrast, Lancashire had to fight every step of the way against Nottinghamshire and the battling theme of the day became clear in the foursomes.

Nottinghamshire posted the first point, with a comfortable 5/4 win by Ian Gretton and Nigel Furniss. But the other two games were both halved, with Notts hauling Lancashire back in one and vice versa in the other. Advantage Nottinghamshire, 2-1 at lunch.

As the singles got underway the match continued to ebb and flow and, for much of the afternoon, it looked as though the host county would squeeze home as narrow winners.

The first points were shared. Tony Flanagan shot two-under to win 7/6 for Lancashire. Charles Banks, a past winner of the Brabazon Trophy and an honorary member of Stanton-on-the-Wolds, responded with his 5/4 win.

But gradually Lancashire found the edge: British Senior Champion Trevor Foster won 4/3 and was soon followed by Bryan Hughes, the 2017 Senior Champion, who won 3/1 and took Lancashire ahead in the match for the first time.

They needed just one more point for victory and it was delivered by Tony Holt who got up in his game for the first time on the 17th and went on to win the 18th to finish 2up. The final game went Nottinghamshire’s way, also finishing on the 18th.

The Lancashire team is known for its ability to dig deep for winning results. They came through the regional qualifier for this event thanks to an eagle from Ian Crowther and a birdie from Bryan Hughes, both on the last hole.

Team captain Mike Gray commented: “They have put me through the mill every match this season, but every match they have come through. They don’t know the meaning of defeat.”

Today Sussex play Nottinghamshire and Lancashire play Dorset.