Archive for the ‘England Golf’ Category

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.

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New caps to challenge for Euro senior honours

NEW caps Sue Spencer, Trevor Foster and Rupert Kellock are named in the England sides for the European senior team championships. Foster, the British senior champion, and Kellock will be joined in the men’s team by Ian Attoe, Stephen East, Richard Latham and Richard Partridge.

In the women’s team, Spencer will play alongside Julie Brown, Jackie Foster, Aileen Greenfield, Helen Lowe and Cath Rawthore.

The championships will be played from September 4-8, with the women competing at Mont Garni Golf Club, Belgium, and the men travelling to Diamond Country Club, Austria.

Last year the women won the silver medal at their European championship while the men took bronze.

THE PLAYERS.

Men, captained by Roy Smethurst (Crewe).

Ian Attoe (Worplesdon, Surrey) won the English senior men’s amateur for the second time in May and is currently second in the England Golf senior order of merit.

Stephen East (Wyke Ridge, Yorkshire) is a past winner of the English, Spanish, Portuguese and Scottish senior titles.  He also won the senior order of merit in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Trevor Foster (Accrington & District, Lancashire) scored a runaway nine-shot win in the British seniors’ at Royal Porthcawl where he was eight-under. He has also won the Irish seniors this season and leads the order of merit.

Rupert Kellock (Sunningdale, Berkshire) is currently third in the order of merit after high finishes in the English and British championships and the Bill Shankland Memorial Trophy at Parkstone, Dorset.

Richard Latham (Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire) was fourth in the British seniors and has twice won the English senior title.

Richard Partridge (Wildernesse, Kent) is a past winner of the Irish and Scottish senior titles and a runner-up in Wales.

Women, captained by Debbie Richards (Burhill, Surrey).

Aileen Greenfield (Pyecombe, Sussex) is the English senior women’s amateur champion and has been runner up for three national titles.

Sue Spencer, pictured right(Whittington Heath, Staffordshire) reached the semi-finals of the senior amateur and took fourth place in the senior stroke play.

Jackie Foster (Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire) won back-to-back senior stroke play titles in 2016 and 2017.

Julie Brown (Trentham, Staffordshire) is a past winner of the British and English senior amateur title.

Cath Rawthore (Sale, Cheshire) is also a past British champion as well as the winner of both English senior titles.

Helen Lowe (Scraptoft, Leicestershire) won the English senior stroke play title this year and is a past winner of the amateur.

Foster storms to senior title glory

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ACCRINGTON legend Trevor Foster lifted the Seniors’ Amateur Championship at Royal Porthcawl  when a closing one-over-par 73 sealed a nine shot win over runner-up Randy Haag.

Finishing on an eight-under-par total of 208, Foster was the only man in the field to finish under par on the sun-baked links which provided a tough and fair challenge for the world’s elite senior amateurs.

Foster’s opening round 63 on Wednesday put the Englishman seven strokes clear of the field and it proved to be a lead that would not threatened over the next two rounds.

In the final round, Foster parred the first three holes before he dropped a shot at the short fourth when his tee shot landed in a grassy swale to the right front of the green and he couldn’t get up and down.

He missed a birdie chance at the long fifth when he was just short of the green in two, then he had two putts from long range at the next two holes to make par. Foster was unable to take advantage of further birdie opportunities spanning four holes from the 8th before one finally came at the long 12th with a driver and a rescue club to the front apron and two putts from 50ft.

A regulation par at the 13th was followed by dropped strokes at the 14th and 15th. He parred the 16th then got a stroke back at the 17th with a drive and a 5-iron to just off the green, holing his birdie putt from eight feet. He finished in style in front of a sizeable crowd at the 18th, skirting the bunker with his second before sending his first putt stone dead from off the left apron.

Foster admitted: “It was a hard finalday and I couldn’t sink a putt until I got my first birdie at the 12th. I had so many putts shave the hole and I dropped a couple of shots on 14 and 15.

“I thought I did it all on the first eleven holes and to get back to level par on the 12th I thought that with my experience I can’t blow this. It was a bit easier coming in because I knew it was mine.

“The people I’ve got to really thank are Bill Bromilow, who caddied for me this week. He could have played in this himself, but said ‘I can’t win it, but I know you can, so I’d rather be on the bag for you’. He’s been a rock all week.

“Ryan Done, the professional at Heysham, who was my caddy in the Open at Royal Lytham when I played in it 30 years ago. He turned pro and has coached me for the last three years and I think I’m playing as good a golf as I’ve ever played.

“Martin Wild, who I played with 100 times for Lancashire, is my biggest supporter who helps me more than anything and made me believe in myself. Any my wife Debbie, who turned up unexpectedly l after a six hour drive down from Lancashire. She’s supported me throughout my career.”

It’s women and girls’ week for golf

WOMEN and Girls’ Golf Week starts today across Great Britain and Ireland to raise awareness of the fabulous female side of the game.

The week, which coincides with the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the English girls’ championship, continues until Sunday and is the inspiration of England Golf.

It is an online campaign to celebrate the successes of women and girls in many different roles in golf – and to challenge misconceptions.

It starts by introducing three amazing career women and inviting women and girls everywhere to join the conversation by sharing their stories with #WhyIGolf,

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The career women, who tell their stories on the England Golf website,  are:

Rebecca Hembrough, England Golf’s Women’s Performance Manager. Her job is to help develop the top players in the game so they can be the best they can. She reflects on golf, career and maternity leave! Read Becca’s story 

Chloe Gallagher is an assistant greenkeeper at Sunningdale Golf Club. She tells how she took a chance on a job and has travelled the world, worked at the Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open – and has a date at the Ryder Cup. Read 

Chloe’s story 

Emma Ballard is a marketing manager and she talks about her career, about changing the image of the game and how social media expertise helped her create a great success story with Get into Golf. Read Emma’s story 

Tomorrow it’s the turn of volunteers and we’ll hear from, among others, Maureen Clarke, a championship referee who has been volunteering for almost 40 years, and Ella Baker, age 12, a Young Ambassador for England Golf and the Golf Foundation.

The week has the support of Scottish Golf, Wales Golf, the Irish Ladies Golf Union and The R&A and is designed to unite the golf industry behind the aim of growing the women and girls’ game.

There will be a different theme for every day with amazing people being featured. Here’s the plan for the rest of the week:

Tuesday: Volunteers, the hidden heroes behind the game

Wednesday: Health & Wellbeing, including celebrities who love the game and why

Thursday: Performance opportunities for young and aspiring players

Friday: Participation focus on key areas of the programme nationwide

Saturday: Championships key events and pathway for progression

Sunday: Round-up the week’s activities and highlights

 

Women and girls everywhere are invited to join the conversation on social media using #WhyIGolf and the response in the run-up to the week has been excellent.

Lauren Spray, England Golf Women and Girls’ Manager, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in the week and by the number of women who want to get involved, either by spreading the message or by telling their stories.

“We’re very excited about this week and look forward to many more women and

girls joining us – and to hearing from clubs which are running events for women and girls.

“We’re also delighted to be joined by the other home unions, making this a truly collaborative campaign.”

England Golf and the other home unions, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have pledged their support for The R&A’s Women in Golf Charter, and this week is one example of their involvement

The Charter was recently launched with the aim of inspiring an industry-wide commitment to a more inclusive culture, enabling women and girls to flourish and reach their potential at all levels of the sport.

Visit www.englandgolf.org for more information

Top amateurs follow their dreams

TOP players from across the country will head to Lancashire next week, following their golfing dreams to the English men’s amateur championship.

The six-day championship starts on Tuesday when the 288 competitors begin two rounds of stroke play qualifying at Formby and Hesketh.

After Wednesday’s second round the leading 64 players and ties will go head to head in the match play stages of the championship, which will be played at Formby. The 36-hole final will be on Sunday, August 5.

It’s an opportunity to see some of the country’s finest golfing talent, with notable players including Gloucestershire’s Mitch Waite (Filton), who  leads the England Golf order of merit.

He’s been runner-up in the European amateur and the Lytham Trophy, a semi-finalist in the British amateur, the winner of the Hampshire Salver – and helped England to a European silver medal.

Another member of the European team was Yorkshire’s Nick Poppleton (Wath) who will seek a rare double, having already won the English men’s open strokeplay – the Brabazon Trophy.

Other names to watch include Yorkshire’s David Hague (Malton and Norton), who was also in the silver medal-winning European team. Meanwhile his county colleague Bailey Gill (Lindrick) and Dorset’s Tom Plumb (Sherborne) are both in the top five on the order of merit.

There’s plenty of young talent too, with Joe Sullivan (Chartham Park) and Dubai-based Josh Hill among those moving straight on from this week’s Carris Trophy, where they are making a low-scoring impact.

The courses will be both a treat and a challenge for the players. Formby is one of the world’s top championship links courses and has hosted the Amateur Championship on more than one occasion, the Curtis Cup and the Arnold Palmer Cup. Hesketh is also highly regarded and has hosted Open qualifying, the Junior Open and co-hosted the Amateur Championship.

 

GPs urge older people to take golf lessons

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HEALTH professionals are being urged to refer older and inactive patients for golf lessons, after a new report showed that golf builds muscle strength, reduces blood pressure and improves life satisfaction.

As the The Open Championship begins this week and many viewers dust off their clubs for a trip to the local course, doctors and patients may also find inspiration in a joint report from ukactive, England Golf and Mytime Active.

Called Golf on Referral, the report is based on two research pilots that saw selected patients referred for a six-week behaviour change and golf lesson programme, with their mental and physical wellbeing tracked over the course of the project.

The programme was designed to take inactive people at risk of chronic conditions and introduce them to golf at the same time as incorporating group support, helping improve patients’ physical, mental and emotional health.

Researchers found that grip strength, a strong indicator of vitality in older people, increased significantly over the course of the study – suggesting improvements in muscle strength and therefore reduced risk of falls or disability.

Life satisfaction levels also rose across the vast majority of participants, along with happiness, highlighting clear benefits from the programme. Anxiety was shown to increase slightly – although it remained below the national average.

Other findings showed that participants:

  • Trebled their amount of vigorous exercise per week
  • Saw reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  • Improved their golfing skills significantly

Steven Ward, ukactive CEO said: “We all know our national activity levels are well over par on where we need to be.

“Golf is a fantastic way to encourage people to be more active, particularly among parts of the population who may not be too engaged with other activities.

“This research shows that there are clear mental, physical and emotional benefits for Golf on Referral – we should look to roll out more of these programmes across the country as part of wider efforts to get the nation moving.”

Abbie Lench, England Golf Head of Club Support, commented: “We’re thrilled to see this scheme developing from our earlier research into the impact of playing golf on health and wellbeing, which we carried out with the support of Mytime Active and ukactive.

“It’s been exciting to see the results of the pilot schemes and to gain even more evidence that golf is good for health. We hope that golf on referral can be made more widely available in 2019.”

Pippa Bagnall, Mytime Active Head of Wellbeing said: “Improving physical strength, enjoying exercise in the fresh air, reducing health risks and developing new friendships is a wonderful way of enjoying life rather than giving in to ill-health.”

Top class field for English women’s amateur

A TOP class field will gather at Wilmslow Golf Club  next week for the English women’s closed amateur championship. Local hopes will focus on Bel Wardle from Prestbury, who already holds the English open title and will be targeting a special double.

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The 18-year-old (pictured, Image copyright Leaderboard Photography) is one of a number of high-profile players in the 72-hole stroke play championship, which runs from Tuesday to Thursday, 17-19 July.

Among them are three members of the GB&I Curtis Cup team: India Clyburn (Woodhall Spa), Annabell Fuller (Roehampton) and Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe).

The trio, together with Lianna Bailey (Kirby Muxloe), will arrive at Wilmslow straight after this week’s European women’s team championship, where they are defending England’s gold medal.

Another five players are representing England in the European girls’ team championship and will also be making the quick turnaround. They are Ebonie Lewis (Long Ashton), Martha Lewis (St George’s Hill), Hannah Screen (Berkhamsted), Caitlin Whitehead (Carus Green) and Amelia Williamson (Royal Cromer).

The championship has attracted a strong entry from Cheshire with 10 players in the field, including six members of the county team. Alongside county champion Bel Wardle are Poppy Finlay (Vicars Cross), Lucy Jamieson (Heswall), Lauren Jones (Mellor and Townscliffe), Charlotte Leathem, who has the advantage of local knowledge as a Wilmslow member, and Emily McBurney (Delamere Forest).

Also playing is Sue Dye of Delamere Forest, who is a past winner of England’s two senior women’s championships.

Wilmslow is one of the oldest golf clubs in Cheshire and has been on its present site for over 100 years. The course is well known as a great test of golf and has hosted regional qualifying for The Open, professional events and those for top amateurs, including the 2013 English Women’s County Finals.

Click here for more championship information, including tee times.