Archive for the ‘County Golf’ Category

It’s a first for County Durham Club

HLS-web.jpgON THE BALL: Mags Shaw (left) and Ann Young of Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club

A GO-AHEAD golf club in County Durham is celebrating a national ‘first’ which puts it at the forefront of safeguarding.

Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club is the first club in England to successfully renew its GolfMark Award, an official seal of approval for its work to grow the game.

With it, the club has also achieved England Golf’s new SafeGolf accreditation, showing it meets high standards to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people.

Houghton-le-Spring showed its commitment to young golfers earlier this year when, with the support of Wickes, the DIY and home improvement company, it ran a volunteer project to convert a pool room/general storage space into a room for juniors. They involved local community groups and young carers to make sure they got it right.

Now, with GolfMark successfully renewed for another three years, the club is looking ahead and working to encourage even more people – particularly women and girls – to take up golf and become members.

It offers an academy membership for its six-hole short course and practice facilities, which is popular with beginners. It’s staged Women on Par days with England Golf, to get new golfers out on the course and have fun with friends. It’s hoping to join the Girls Golf Rocks recruitment programme in 2019.

Ann Young and Mags Shaw, from the club’s business development team, were among those involved in renewing GolfMark.

“We’re thrilled to be the first club to renew GolfMark,” said Ann. “It’s a great asset, which puts the club in a strong position and helps us to stand out from the rest. We’d advise any club considering GolfMark to get right on with it!”

Mags added: “We take great pride in our SafeGolf accreditation which tells people that we really care about the children and young people who come here.”

Mike Greener, England Golf Club Support Officer for Durham, said: “I am delighted that Houghton-le-Spring have become the first club to achieve this milestone. They are so committed to being relevant to the community and up to date with all their policies and procedures. Now, with SafeGolf, they can confidently promote themselves as a safe venue to the wider community.

GolfMark is awarded to clubs which successfully develop the game in four ways:
• By attracting new members and encouraging existing members to play more
• Using practical business planning to develop the club
• Offering coaching and playing opportunities for all golfers
• Ensuring safeguarding policies are in place

The GolfMark award was developed by England Golf and also integrates Sport England’s ClubMark award – a national standard for quality sports clubs recognised across the country.

GolfMark brings a number of benefits to clubs including raising awareness, access to funding, business and marketing support and training opportunities for staff and volunteers. To find out more visit www.golfmark.org,

 

Colour Path Golf puts children on right path

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See more on Colour Path Golf at colourpathgolf.co,uk and for media enquiries email david@medi8ltd.co.uk and +44(0)1782 664856.

 

Fleetwood gives youngsters Christmas treat!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hurlston Hall hits mark with national award

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ON YOUR MARKS: Hurlston Hall  receives its  GolfMark award (from left): Tim Hastings, club professional, Andrew Chessworth-Wiggar, general manager, Adam McAlister, club support officer in Lancashire for England Golf, John Walker, club chairman and GolfMark lead, and Irene Traynor, hon secretary

 

HURLSTON HALL Golf Club, on the outskirts of Ormskirk, has won a national GolfMark award for its efforts to grow the game. It’s an official seal of approval for clubs which successfully work to develop the game in four ways:

  • By attracting new members and encouraging existing ones to play more
  • Using practical business planning to develop the club
  • Offering coaching and playing opportunities for all golfers
  • Ensuring safeguarding policies are in place

The golf and country club, set in 200 acres of rolling Lancashire countryside, has been rewarded for its commitment to growing the sport and taking an innovative approach.

It launched a Get into Golf programme in 2017, attracting a mixture of women and men who were looking to try playing for the first time. Coaching from the club professional was supported by an introduction to life both on and off the course at the club.

The club also provided a pathway into membership with the first month free followed up by a specially tailored deal which gave those signing up the chance to play regularly and enter competitions.

The club continues to support the newcomers, with their own fun six-hole competition and further coaching clinics.

Club chairman John Walker, who took the lead on the club’s GolfMark application, explained: “It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm of these new members and to watch them progress on their golfing journey.

“While they may yet not be ready for an official handicap, we are very conscious of the need to follow them on their golfing journey and to continue to provide help and support.”

Among the innovative events staged by the club have been Night Golf and a special cross country competition for the captains’ charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind.

A 13-hole course was set up – but not following the usual route round. For example, players teed off on the first but aimed for the green on the eighth!

Walker added: “It certainly made the players think and we all saw parts of the course we had never been to before!”

Adam McAlister, club support officer in Lancashire for England Golf, said: “Hurlston Hall has gone to great lengths, not just to attract and then support newcomers to the sport, but to also provide something different for club members, which is a great way of retaining numbers and stimulating interest.

“The award of GolfMark is well deserved and the result of much hard work by all those involved at the club.”

The GolfMark award was developed by England Golf and also integrates Sport England’s Clubmark award – a national standard for quality sports clubs recognised across the country.

GolfMark brings a number of benefits to clubs including raising awareness, access to funding, business and marketing support and training opportunities for staff and volunteers.

To find out more visit www.golfmark.org

 

Storm named Golf Foundation ambassador

EUROPEAN Tour favourite Graeme Storm has been announced as a new ambassador for national charity the Golf Foundation.

Graeme has given up many hours of his time this year to inspire children in schools through his passion for golf. He is seen as following in the footsteps of the charity’s Co-Founder Sir Henry Cotton, who started the Golf Foundation by taking golf into schools in the early 1950s.

Through its ‘Golf for All’ ethos, the Golf Foundation encourages young people from all backgrounds and of all abilities to enjoy the benefits of golf, helping to grow participation from schools into golf clubs while offering youngsters valuable life skills through the charity’s programmes.

Graeme Storm now joins Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Felicity Johnson as key Ambassadors for the Foundation, all appointed in 2018. All have already contributed greatly to the charity this year.

When not competing on the European Tour, Graeme Storm still lives in Hartlepool in the North East of England, where he was born and raised. The 40 year-old is a highly popular figure in the area and apart from supporting his own local charities, last year Graeme contacted the Golf Foundation wanting to help create more young golfers in his region.

He has given his expertise to local schools and has been leading enthusiastic class coaching sessions alongside the teachers in PE, with a dynamic ‘Tri-Golf’ theme, the successful Golf Foundation easy-to-play format which now brings golf to nearly 3,000 schools and 300,000 children each year.

Tri-Golf is a key strand of the Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots school-to-club programme which offers a first golf experience to 500,000 boys and girls each year, aiming to create 15,000 extra regular club golfers per year and 5,000 extra junior members per year by 2019.

Graeme was the special guest yesterday (November 15) at the Hartlepool School Games Tri-Golf Festival and was only too happy to offer coaching, encouragement and to play alongside 100 boys and girls from 10 schools in the area. While Graeme’s attitude is refreshing and modern, his approach very much echoes the philosophy of Golf Foundation Co-Founder Sir Henry Cotton, who is believed to be the first professional golfer to offer a concentrated focus on supporting golf in schools.

Graeme has inspired youngsters in 14 primary schools so far, armed with a big new bag of Golf Foundation Tri-Golf kit, already providing an early playing experience to an estimated 420 youngsters. Graeme in turn has been encouraged by teachers to talk to the kids about his experience as a European Tour player and offer his own insights into the positive ‘Skills for Life’ lessons that golf can offer – which is a central tenet of the Golf Foundation’s Golf for All model that supports young people whatever their ability level and circumstances.

Meanwhile, liaising with Foundation Regional Development Officer Ian Harvey, Graeme’s connection with the area’s golf clubs has also helped to link enthusiastic children from schools to local PGA Professionals for continued coaching.

Independently, the European Tour player has for some time helped to mentor a number of highly promising young amateur players while providing competitive opportunities for many young golfers in the region through the Graeme Storm Junior Open and The Mini Storm Trophy. Graeme and wife Sara have also been keen supporters of local children’s charity The Finlay Cooper Fund.

Golf Foundation Chief Executive Brendon Pyle said: “Our team has been delighted to see such a high-profile golfer prepared to roll up their sleeves and support his community. The nature of Graeme’s enthusiastic approach reminds us all of our Founder Sir Henry Cotton’s methods, so it is great that Graeme is following in the footsteps of Sir Henry in this way. We are quite sure that Graeme will be a brilliant Ambassador; he deserves great credit.”

Graeme Storm said: “My collaboration with the Golf Foundation has been a continuation of my passion to grow the game of golf in the North East and beyond. Tri-Golf is a fantastic introduction to golf, engaging children in a fun and inclusive activity which they may not have been able to access unless through school. Although golf is seen as an individual sport, Tri-Golf can be delivered in a team capacity encouraging children of all abilities to take part. I very much hope that I have helped and continue to help to raise awareness of this great game and have encouraged schools to include this sport in their curriculum or as part of an after-school club.”

Golf Foundation RDO Ian Harvey added: “For young golfers in the North East, this new partnership will help Graeme’s work as we’ll be able to support him with more resources, while we can work together to direct discretionary funding to support schools and golf clubs for maximum impact. The net result will be very exciting for children and families new to golf in the area.” 
(Picture courtesy of Andrew Bryson)

 

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.

 

 

Lancs champs after surviving great escape

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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 .