Archive for the ‘England Golf’ Category

England Golf name award winners

ENGLAND Golf has announced the first six sponsors for its prestigious 2019 Awards.
The PGA – Coach of the Year
The Golf Foundation – Young Ambassador of the Year
Players 1st – Innovation Award
HowDidiDo – Most Welcoming Club of the Year
SMS SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC – dinner wine
Derek Burridge Trophies – award trophies

Nick Pink, England Golf chief executive, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome these sponsors and we appreciate their fantastic support for our England Golf Awards. All six were sponsors last year and their decision to return is a huge compliment to the prestige of the awards and our aim to raise the profile of all that’s great about golf in England.

“We look forward to joining them and our other guests on the night to celebrate the people, clubs and counties who make our game special.”

The England Golf Awards 2019 take place at the Royal Lancaster London on  March 21. The black-tie gala dinner will be a must-attend date for everyone who cares about golf and offers a chance to hear about the outstanding achievements of the finalists and to applaud the winners.

Nominations for the awards close at midnight on  30 November. As well as the sponsored awards there are categories for Volunteer of the Year, Lifetime Service Award and County of the Year. Visit www.englandgolfawards.org for more information and to make nominations.

Here’s what the sponsors have to say:

The PGA’s professionals enhance the golfing experience of hundreds of thousands of players across the world. Chief Executive Robert Maxfield said: “We are delighted to sponsor England Golf’s Coach of the Year Award for a second year. Our members play an integral role in helping to develop and grow the game of golf across the world. From teaching beginners at their local club, to instructing Europe’s Ryder Cup stars in Paris, our highly trained coaches remain vital to the growth and development of the game.”

The Golf Foundation is the charity responsible for making golf more accessible to young people and to help them ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the sport. It jointly runs the Young Ambassador programme with England Golf. Chief Executive Brendon Pyle said: “We believe that leadership and volunteering opportunities for young people in the sport can help develop valuable life skills. We are delighted to be associated with the Young Ambassador of the Year Award.”

Players 1st is one of the world’s leading player experience platforms. Chief Executive Morten Bisgaard said: “To quote Steve Jobs, innovation is not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you are led, and how much you get it. So, what I am looking for in a winner of this category is a club or organisation which have succeeded in establishing a leadership culture where the staff are empowered to continuously make small everyday innovations to drive exceptional customer experiences.

HowDidiDo is one of the largest online golfing networks anywhere in the world. Chief Executive Richard Peabody commented: “HowDidiDo is delighted to be sponsoring the Most Welcoming Club of the Year Award at the 2019 England Golf Awards. These Awards are a great celebration of some of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes at golf clubs that people don’t usually see. It’s also a great opportunity to meet the people benefitting from the HowDidiDo system.”

SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. is a sports research business with a strong focus on golf. Director Richard Payne said: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the England Golf Awards and support an event that has become a highlight of the golfing calendar. We believe the work that England Golf undertakes is critical to the long-term health of the game and are delighted to play our small part in helping them achieve their objectives. We hope you are all able to join us in raising a glass and celebrating the many golf achievements that have taken place over the last year in England.”

Derek Burridge Trophies is a leading trade price supplier of golf awards. Sales Director Mark Burridge said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the golf community to recognise the outstanding winners and we are delighted to support the England Golf Awards. So much good work goes on within the industry and this evening brings everyone together.”

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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)

 

No joy for Lancashire in Belfry showdown

LANCASHIRE gave it their best shot but Essex made a successful defence of the PGA in England and Wales Inter-County Championship at The Belfry to become the first team to win the tournament twice.

In doing so, they relied on the same line up of Jason Levermore, Brett Taylor and James Scade to claim the trophy and £4,000 first prize.

And the stage for their victory, the PGA National course at the four time Ryder Cup venue, was also the same.

The manner of their triumph, however, was at odds with the way the tournament reached its conclusion 12 months ago.

There was no need for a tension-laden play-off this time as the seven-shot advantage Essex established in the first of the two rounds proved decisive.

The tournament was theirs to lose and although Nottinghamshire and Surrey both posted better scores in the second round than the winners-elect, retrieving the deficit proved beyond them.

With the best two scores from each trio counting, Nottinghamshire, inspired by another sub-par round from Lee Clarke posted a two-under-par total to finish on one-over for the tournament. That was matched by Surrey who were level par at the start of the day.

The Essex response of three-over-par was in sharp contrast with the high-octane golf they produced in the first round.

Once again Levermore was their main man. His round of level par took his score for the tournament to five-under and, in tandem with Clarke, its best performing individual.

Meanwhile, Taylor executed the shot of the tournament – a hole-in-one at the par three 11th.

Despatched by a seven-iron, the ball bounced once before landing in the hole for the 16th  ace of Taylor’s career.

SCORES: Essex -4; Nottinghamshire, Surrey +1; Devon +4; Lancashire +14

 

Bernard Gallacher to become PGA captain

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Bernard Gallacher OBE (right) receiving The PGA Recognition Award from the then PGA captain Nicky Lumb free to use courtesy of Tom Dulat, Getty Images

FORMER Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher has said he is “honoured and humbled” to have been invited to become captain of The Professional Golfers’ Association.

The 69-year-old, who played in eight Ryder Cup matches, captained the European team in 1991, 93 and 95, and won 22 professional tournaments, will succeed Peter Hanna as PGA captain in April 2021.

He was also the head PGA Professional at Wentworth for a quarter of a century and membership of the Association has been a constant and important thread throughout his career.

“Despite my success in tournaments and involvement with the Ryder Cup as a player and captain, first and foremost I have always regarded myself as a club pro,” said Gallagher who turned professional in 1967.

“I am a proud PGA Member and I am honoured and humbled to have been asked to captain the Association.”

In doing so Gallacher will join the select band comprising JH Taylor, Ted Ray, George Duncan, Henry Cotton, Bernard Hunt, Dai Rees, and Eric Brown, who have captained both The PGA and a Great Britain and Ireland or European Ryder Cup team.

The roster of PGA captains also includes Fred Daly and Max Faulkner, Open Championship winners in 1947 and 1951 respectively, the ‘Voice of Golf’, Peter Alliss, and Tommy Horton, a close friend of Gallacher.

All, like Gallacher, were PGA Professionals of a bygone age who combined their roles as traditional club pros with competing at an elite level.

In Gallacher’s case he found time during his tenure as head PGA pro at Wentworth to win 10 European Tour events, 11 other professional tournaments, and a solitary success on the European Senior Tour.

He also played in eight Ryder Cup matches and represented his native Scotland in the World Cup on five occasions.

Gallacher took over the reins at Wentworth from Tom Halliburton, his mentor, in 1972 and, reflecting on his dual role as club pro and tournament player, he said: “There’s no chance that could happen now.

“The demands on Tour players make that an impossibility. Similarly the role of Ryder Cup captain is a full time one – that wasn’t the case in my day.

“I was still head pro at Wentworth when I captained the team and some of the members came out to Kiawah Island in 1991 to support us.”

Gallacher was awarded the OBE in 1996 and was so highly thought of at Wentworth that, following his retirement a year later, a statue of him was erected at the club.

Since then he has worked in the media and been in-demand as an after-dinner and motivational speaker. It was during one speaking engagement in Aberdeen that he suffered a cardiac arrest and was revived by a defibrillator kept in the building.

This inspired his wife, Lesley, with his support, to launch a successful campaign that encouraged golf clubs to raise funds to have at least one defibrillator on site.

Commenting on Gallacher’s nomination as PGA captain, the Association’s chief executive Robert Maxfield said: “Just as Bernard is honoured to become captain, so are we that he will take on the role.

“Although he has been one of the most high-profile and respected figures in golf for almost 50 years and still is, he has never forgotten his roots and calling as a PGA Professional.

“As a result he has been a loyal and superb ambassador for the Association and we look forward to him continuing to do so as its captain.”

Cheshire’s Elaine Ratcliffe appointed captain of GB&I Curtis Cup team

CHESHIRE’S Elaine Ratcliffe has been appointed captain of the Great Britain and Ireland Curtis Cup team for the 2020 match and will also lead the teams in the Vagliano Trophy and the Astor Trophy next year.

Elaine, who hails from Sandbach, i enjoyed a distinguished amateur career as a player and won the Finnish Amateur Championship in 1997 and the English Amateur Championship the following year.

She was a member of the GB&I team which defeated the United States 11½- 6½ in the 1996 Curtis Cup at Killarney and played for GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe, who won the match 12½-11½ at Royal Aberdeen in 1997.

Elaine also represented GB&I as a player in the Espirito Santo Trophy and England in the European Amateur Team Championships. After turning professional, she was named Rookie of the Year by the Ladies’ European Tour in 1999 but was reinstated as an amateur in 2008.

She has since captained England in a number of international matches, including the Ladies Home Internationals and the European Amateur Team Championships, and has twice led the European team in the Patsy Hankins Trophy against Asia-Pacific.

“It is a real honour to be appointed captain and I am looking forward to the challenge of preparing the team for the international matches,” she said Ratcliffe.

“There are a number of amateur events to be played over the coming months and we will be monitoring the performances and results of golfers from Great Britain and Ireland to determine who has played their way into contention for team selection next year.”

Maria Dunne has also been confirmed as GB&I captain for the Junior Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe at Royal St George’s in 2019.

As a player, Dunne featured as a member of the Great Britain and Ireland team which beat the United States to win the Curtis Cup in 2016 at Dun Laoghaire and also played in the Vagliano Trophy against the Continent of Europe at Circolo Golf Bogogno last year.

She represented Ireland in the Ladies Home Internationals and European Amateur Team Championships and won the 2017 Irish Open Stroke Play Championship.

This year Dunne was appointed Women and Girls Development Co-ordinator in Ireland following funding provided to the Golf Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies Golf Union by The R&A.

 

North West players in world title bid

THERE’S a strong representation of  North West players in the England teams  announced for the World Amateur Team Championships which start next week at Carton House, near Dublin.

The women’s team for the Espirito Santo Trophy is Annabell Fuller, Sophie Lamb and Hollie Muse. The championship will be played from August 29 to September 1.

The men’s team for the Eisenhower Trophy, from  September 5-8  is Matthew Jordan, Gian-Marco Petrozzi and Mitch Waite. England won the silver medal when the championship was last played in 2016.

The players

Annabell Fuller, 16, (Roehampton, Surrey) is England’s youngest-ever Curtis Cup player. She reached the last 16 of US women’s amateur, losing only on the 19th hole, and was runner-up in both the Portuguese and English women’s amateur. She has just been selected for the European team for the Junior Ryder Cup.

Sophie Lamb, 20, (Clitheroe, Lancashire) also played in the Curtis Cup and joined Fuller as runner-up in the English women’s amateur. She was also second in the Welsh women’s open and currently leads the England Golf women’s order of merit.

Hollie Muse, 18, (West Lancashire) is at college in the USA and during her summer break at home she reached the semi-finals of the British amateur, qualified to play in the Ricoh Women’s British Open and had a top ten finish in the English women’s amateur.

Matthew Jordan, 22, (Royal Liverpool, Cheshire) is fifth in the world amateur rankings, played in the 2017 Walker Cup and has won both the St Andrew Links and Lytham Trophies.

Gian-Marco Petrozzi, 21, (Trentham, Staffordshire) led the individual scoring in qualifying at the European men’s team championship, where he shot 10-under 62 in the first round. He won the New South Wales amateur at the start of the season.

Mitch Waite, 23, (Filton, Gloucestershire) leads the England Golf men’s order of merit after finishing runner-up in the European amateur and the Lytham Trophy and reaching the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship. He won the Hampshire Salver early in the season.

Petrozzi and Jordan helped England to a 20-shot win in the European Nations’ Championship and, with Waite, were in the side which won the silver medal at the European team championship. All three represented GB&I in the St Andrew’s Trophy match against continental Europe.

 

Cheshire’s Fisher is England’s champion captain

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CHESHIRE’S Bill Fisher is England’s champion golf captain – winning the title in a national final at Frilford Heath Golf Club, Oxfordshire.
He scored 39 stableford points on the Blue course to win the final of the England Golf Captains’ Series by two and commented: “I’m delighted, it’s huge achievement in a very competitive field.”
The final was played as part of England Golf Week and Bill’s closest rivals were Ian Gwinnell (Brocton Hall, Staffordshire), George Grant (Leaside, Middlesex) and Ken Sargent (Haydock Park, Lancashire), who all scored 37 pts.
The players all qualified through the series of tournaments held for members of the England Golf Captains’ programme, which is open to county, club and lady captains as well as vice captains and past captains.
Bill was the 2017 captain at Alderley Edge Golf Club, where he has been a member for 32 years and where he enjoys the competitive golf. “At our club the golf is competitive, everyone is trying to win, but not at any cost,” he said.
Last year he was the first winner of the inaugural Cheshire nine-hole county championship, which was held at Alderley Edge, and he’s looking forward to defending that title next week.
He took great pleasure in his year as captain, remarking “The people made it fantastic.” He’s also enthusiastic about his membership of the captains’ programme. “It’s about meeting people who have been through a shared experience,” he commented.
England Golf Week is a five-day festival of handicap golf, featuring a host of finals of team and individual events.