Archive for the ‘County Golf’ Category

Lymm lasses in the driving seat

Lymm-ladies.jpg

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.”

 

Advertisements

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).

 

Lancs lads setting a high standard

Alex Duckworth putts at 16 watched by Charlie Holland & gary  Byrne.jpg

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.

JazzyNew.jpg

“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.

 

 

Helen pledges to help Lancashire clubs

HELEN Searle is on a mission – to help golf clubs across Lancashire create a positive future for themselves and the sport.

England Golf  has appointed the 26-year-old to the role of supporting the work of clubs and driving ranges across the county.

Helen, who is based in the Ribble Valley, will team up with Adam McAlister with a brief to attract more players, increase membership and develop stronger clubs across the region.

Helen Searle.jpgThe work going on in the Red Rose county to not only attract new players but also provide a solid business foundation for the future for golf facilities sees the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies’ Golf Association working closely with the area’s PGA professionals as part of the Lancashire Golf Development Group.

Helen (pictured) and Adam will work alongside England Golf regional manager, Jason Budd, to develop and deliver national initiatives and programmes to make golf more accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

This includes supporting clubs with two initiatives – the Get into Golf campaign and the achievement of the GolfMark standard. Both promote a more inclusive and friendly approach towards ne wcomers, ensuring they can play golf regularly.

Helen has been involved with golf since she was 10 when she played alongside her dad, Peter, at West End golf club in Halifax.

She  got down to a single figure handicap in her early teens and by 16 was representing both her county and England, competing in the Europeans and Home Internationals.

After achieving her A levels, Helen went on to pass her PGA degree and played as a professional on the Paul Lawrie Tour while living in Troon, Scotland, as well as enjoying a string of top five finishes in WPGA events.

Helen enjoyed coaching at numerous academies prior to taking on her England Golf role and has always thrived on the idea of making a difference and helping someone achieve their goals.

“I now have the resources and the tools to provide clubs and golf facilities with extensive support, tailoring to their specific needs,” she said. “There is far too much doom and gloom around golf in the media, but it is very much alive, and I am determined to raise awareness for the game I know and love!

“I aim to showcase what every club, big or small has to offer, whether this be a great place to learn the game or a venue to hold future national events. There is something unique in what each and every club has to offer; it’s my job to show them the potential.

“I would urge clubs to use their club support officer. Get me in, talk me through where the club is at now and where it wants to be, then we have a starting point to build a strategy and commit to an action plan; you can’t go wrong with that.”

Adam is covering the west of the county (Lancaster, Blackpool and Fylde, Preston, South Ribble, Chorley, West Lancashire, Wigan and Merseyside) while Helens is looking after East Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

 

R&A increase funding for women and girls

THE R&A is continuing its commitment to increase participation in golf among women and girls by providing funding to support the appointment of new development managers in Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Working with its affiliates around the world to enhance golf’s appeal, the investment forms part of the governing body’s drive to encourage more women, girls and families to play golf more regularly across the globe and to go on to become members of golf clubs.

An initial three-year funding package of £75,000 per nation has been agreed between The R&A, Golf Australia, England Golf, the Golfing Union of Ireland / the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union, Scottish Golf and Wales Golf for the recruitment and appointment of experienced sports development staff.

The appointees will all work in partnership with golf’s various stakeholders to deliver innovative solutions and inspiring campaigns to boost participation at a time when more women are seeking an active lifestyle for both themselves and their families.

In Scotland, the funding is being matched by the Scottish Government and VisitScotland as part of The 2019 Solheim Cup project, creating a Women and Young People Development Manager post within Scottish Golf to drive forward and promote opportunities to increase female and junior participation in golf in Scotland ahead of and beyond The Solheim Cup and PING Junior Solheim Cup being staged at Gleneagles in 2019.

Great Britain and Ireland international Maria Dunne has taken up the post in Ireland, with England Golf appointing Lucy Blakey, a former Project Officer with Lincolnshire County Sports Partnership.

Wales Golf has appointed Simon Lu who joins from Race Equality First, while Scottish Golf has employed Carol Harvey, previously a Regional Development Officer with Netball Scotland.

Meantime, Chyloe Kurdas has been appointed to the position at Golf Australia, with her most recent role being AFL Victoria Female Football Development Manager.

Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A, said: “Women and girls continue to be an under-represented group throughout golf across the world and more work needs to be done to attract more of them into the sport at a time when we need to boost participation levels.

“We believe that there is a real opportunity, working with our affiliates, to develop inclusive and inspiring participation initiatives which show that golf is a fun and enjoyable leisure activity that can provide many social and health benefits for women and families.”

A recent research report commissioned by The R&A demonstrates that a significant growth opportunity exists for golf if it can attract more women, girls and families into playing the sport more often.

 

Whitehead appointed Cheshire county secretary

PETER Whitehead has been appointed Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs county secretary, succeeding Stephen Foster who has retired.

The Mere member, pictured below right, said: “It is a great honour to be chosen by the directors and I will endeavour to repay their trust in me. With our centenary in 2020, it is fabulous to be an active part of promoting golf in the county and representing Cheshire at regional and national level.”

Peter Whitehead.jpg

Alison Lysons and Sean Hammill, England Golf’s club support officers for Cheshire, will be working with Whitehead.

Lysons commented: “We are looking forward to getting to know Peter and to continuing a positive working relationship with the Union.”

Whitehead will also act as company secretary for the Union and brings a wealth of experience from both a golfing and business background. He worked for many years in sales and customer service in the printing industry and more recently has been in charge of communications for an IT systems company.

The Cheshire Union was founded in 1920 and provides support to almost 100 clubs across the county, advising them on matters such as handicaps, rules of golf and course ratings as well as organising and running county tournaments and developing the next generation of golfers through its talent identification and coaching programme. As well as playing at Mere, Whitehead was the club’s secretary from 2004 to 2012. Since 2010 he has been the administrator for the Cheshire Union’s Life Members’ Association which organises seven golf days each year.

 

 

At least 160 golfers enter each, creating extra revenue for the county and one of Whithead’s first jobs is to find a replacement to take over this role.

For more information about the Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs, contact Peter at secretary@cheshiregolf.org.uk or on 01244 678004 or visit the Union website at www.cheshiregolf.org.uk