Archive for the ‘England Golf’ Category

Topgolf quest to grow the game


ENGLAND Golf has announced its partnership with global sports entertainment leader Topgolf in a bid to grow the game.

The two organisations plan to work together and learn from each other to attract more people into golf, to improve the image of the game and to make the sport more inclusive and accessible.  The partnership will also be an opportunity to swap information, test new ideas and to learn from each other.

The Topgolf formula has proved hugely successful and aims to put the fun into the golf range experience.  With target games for all – golfers and non-golfers alike – and a good time which includes music, food and drink, Topgolf attracted an average of just over 30,000 daily visits globally in 2017.

Abbie Lench, England Golf’s head of club support, commented: “We’ve a lot to learn from Topgolf about introducing people to golf by providing what the customers want and giving them a great experience.

“That knowledge will help us to give even better support to our clubs and supplement our advice on understanding the market and creating centres which are customer friendly.”

Claire Kendrick, head of marketing at Topgolf UK said: “We are thrilled to be teaming up with such a prestigious group as England Golf and to work together to make the game more accessible for everyone.  As a brand, Topgolf is constantly looking for ways to grow the game of golf and to encourage people of all ages and abilities to get involved.”



Glory for Wardle in final round fight-back

Isobel Wardle - resized.jpg

PRESTBURY ace Isobel Wardle staged a stunning final-round comeback to claim a dramatic play-off victory at the 2018 Portuguese Women’s Amateur Golf Championship at West Cliffs Golf Links.

The 18-year-old began the last day five strokes behind Annabell Fuller but coped best in the difficult, windy conditions, carding a five-over-par 77 to first catch her fellow England international, then beat her on the first hole of sudden death.

Named as the World’s Best New Golf Course at the 2017 World Golf Awards, West Cliffs has quickly established itself as one of the new stars of global golf since opening last summer, and provided a fitting venue for the 88th edition of the prestigious event – which featured competitors from 15 countries including China.

Wardle, who plays off a handicap of +4.2, opened the event with a level-par 72 – the joint-lowest round of the week in a tournament that was played in cold and windy conditions throughout – but Fuller looked to have victory in her sights as she started the fourth and final round with a three-shot advantage over the field.

The 15-year-old from Roehampton still held a two-stroke lead as she stood on the 18th tee, but she double-bogeyed the hole after tangling with a bush on her way to a disappointing 82, before being beaten by Wardle on the same hole in the play-off.

“It’s amazing to win,” said Wardle, who was playing in her first competitive event of the year after winning the English women’s and English girls’ ope

4th hole from behind the green - resized.jpg

n championships in 2017. “This golf course throws everything at you, it is so tough. If you spray the ball left or right you are struggling to make a bogey.

“I had no idea what anyone else was scoring but I just tried to keep myself as low as possible. Holes 16, 17 and 18 are really tough and I knew if I could hang in with some sort of score it would make those holes even tougher with the pressure.

“I was very, very nervous, I had never been in a play-off. But I had my friend Jess Hall on the bag, she was calming me down and we went through the strategy I had in place and just played the hole.”

Bel of the ball! Portugal win for Prestbury ace


PRESTBURY and England star Bel Wardle came from five shots off the lead to win the Portuguese women’s amateur championship in a play-off.

The 18-year-old international caught and then beat fellow England player Annabell Fuller on the first play-off hole – the 18th – on the difficult West Cliffs course.

“It’s amazing to win,” said Wardle, who was playing in her first competitive event of the year and adds this title to the English women’s and English girls’ open championships of 2017.

Fuller, 15, took a three shot lead into the final round and Wardle was five behind her – but knew anything could happen. “This golf course throws everything at you, it is so tough. If you spray the ball left or right you are struggling to make a bogey.

“I had no idea what anyone else was scoring but I just tried to keep myself as low as possible,” said Wardle “Holes 16, 17 and 18 are really tough and I knew if I could hang in with some sort of score it would make those holes even tougher with the pressure.”

In the final round, in which strong winds added to the challenge of the course, Wardle posted five-over 77 and declared herself: “100 per cent happy. I was five-over through nine and heading in to the tougher nine, so I was so pleased to come back in level par.”

It put her in the play-off after Surrey’s Fuller tangled with a bush and double bogeyed the 18th in regulation play. “I was very, very nervous, I had never been in a play-off,” said Wardle. “But I had my friend Jess Hall on the bag, she was calming me down and we went through the strategy I had in place and just played the hole.”

This was Wardle’s first competitive event since the World girls’ championship last September – and she was ready for it. “I have done a lot of work over the winter with my coach, Richard Green at Bramhall Golf Club. My swing was feeling great coming into the week and I just wanted to get back competing again. I have done all the practice, I just wanted to get out there.”

The championship was a great showcase for England talent – with English players capturing not only the first two places, but also the Nations Cup by 10 shots. Annabell Fuller, Sophie Lamb (Clitheroe) and Lily May Humphreys (Stoke by Nayland) combined to win the team prize. Lamb had her first hole in one during the championship and was eighth overall.

Ffion makes history thanks to Girls Golf Rocks

GIRLS Golf really Rocks for Cheshire teenager Ffion Jones who is about to make history as the first female junior captain at her club.

Ffion, who only started playing golf 14 months ago thanks to the Girls Golf Rocks campaign, will be the 2018 junior captain at Eaton Golf Club in Chester.

The 17-year-old got into golf after her mum spotted an advert for Girls Golf Rocks, the recruitment campaign run by England Golf and the Golf Foundation which inspires more girls to take up the game. At first Ffion was reluctant to go along to the taster session at Eaton

Ffion-Jones.jpgas she didn’t think she would know anyone. But when she arrived she found she knew several of the other girls and in her own words “golf was a lot better than I thought.”

In fact, she enjoyed golf so much so that when her Gran offered to buy her a junior membership at Eaton for Christmas she jumped at the chance to join the club. She’s since been followed by her 11-year-old brother and the two of them can be found practising together at the club on most days.

Over the last 12 months Ffion has lowered her handicap from 36 to 21.8 and was the most improved woman golfer of the year for 2017. She has also played for Eaton in matches against other local clubs, is  playing in Eaton’s junior

winter league and recently, along with her brother, their friend and one of the clubs pros, won a night golf competition where they were the only juniors playing.

Ffion is studying for her A Levels at Christleton High School and then will take a gap year when she plans to work and play as much golf as possible to achieve her aim of getting her handicap down to single figures.

She will also be carrying out her role as junior captain throughout 2018 and hopes that this will help her to get to know the other juniors better and encourage more girls to become members of Eaton Golf Club. She would especially like to se

e more girls playing in the winter

junior league next year to redress the balance in the league which this year has three girls and 19 boys taking part.

Eaton’s Head PGA Professional Bill Tye, commented: “I could tell from the start that Ffion was a talented ball player and she has excelled. She’s really, really keen, completely hooked on the game and we thought we would give her this honour.”

Ffion’s mum Hilary Jones – who is not a golfer – said: “All the members a

nd the staff at Eaton Golf Club have been really good to the juniors at Eaton and I’m really pleased that I signed Ffion up for Girls Golf Rocks. It’s also great for me to see Ffion and her younger brother enjoying an activity together, golf is good for them as a physical activity but it also teaches them other things such as honesty and respect “.

Ffion said:  “I really wish my mum had signed me up for golf years ag

o, I enjoy it so much and am really excited to be Eaton’s first female junior captain.’

Alison Lysons, England Golf Club Support Officer in Cheshire commented “It’s exciting to hear that someone coming through the Girls Golf Rocks programme has developed such a love for golf and is becoming her club’s first female junior captain. Eaton Golf Club has a great junior programme and Ffion’s experience will be invaluable in encouraging other young girls to take up the game of golf there”.

Lauren Spray, Women and Girls Participation Manager at England Golf adde

d: “It’s fantastic to see how quickly Ffion has progressed through the programme, attaining a handicap in such a short space of time and getting it down to 22 is fantastic to hear.

“As part of Girls Golf Rocks we ask girls to become county ambassadors to inspire new girls who come into the programme. By being appointed junior captain Ffion will now be one of those vital role models to new girls coming into the programme and at Eaton. This is a fantastic success and we wish Ffion all the best with her A Levels and her year as junior captain!”

For more information about Girls Golf Rocks visit

For more information about junior golf at Eaton Golf Club contact Bill Tye at 


North West clubs in running for England awards

THE shortlist of outstanding finalists for the England Golf Awards 2018 has been revealed – and there’s a healthy number of North West clubs and players in the reckoning.

They’ve been selected by the judging panel from a record-breaking entry which shines the spotlight on fantastic achievements in golf in England by volunteers, coaches, clubs and counties.

England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink said: “We were thrilled by the number and quality of nominations we received and delighted that so many people are helping us to tell golf’s great stories to the wider community.

“Our finalists are all outstanding and we are looking forward to highlighting their successes at our gala dinner and to applauding our winners.”

The winners will be announced on February 22 at the awards dinner at the Royal Lancaster London. Tickets for the glittering, black tie event are just £85 each and include drinks on arrival and a three-course dinner with half a bottle of wine per person. Visit to book.

The finalists are:

Club of the Year sponsored by HowDidiDo

Burghill Valley Golf Club, Herefordshire

Garforth Golf Club, Yorkshire

Leeds Golf Centre, Yorkshire

Styal Golf Club, Cheshire

Coach of the Year sponsored by The PGA

Phil Akers, The Belfry, Warwickshire

Aaron Lansberry, Hatchford Brook Golf Centre, Warwickshire

Anders Mankert, Cosby Golf Club, Leicestershire

Matthew Turnock, Mottram Hall Golf Club, Cheshire

County of the Year sponsored by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC.




Most Welcoming Golf Club sponsored by American Golf

Burghill Valley Golf Club, Herefordshire

Garforth Golf Club, Yorkshire

Golf at Goodwood, Sussex

Norwood Park Golf Centre, Nottinghamshire


Volunteer of the Year sponsored by Players 1st

Jean Hooper of Bramley Golf Club, Surrey

Sue Robertson of the Disabled Golf Association

Richard Ward of Wrag Barn Golf Club, Wiltshire

Jenny Winch of Test Valley Golf Club, Hampshire

Young Ambassador of the Year in association with the Golf Foundation

Megan Field of Hatchford Brook Golf Centre, Warwickshire

Jess Pinnell of Hatchford Brook Golf Centre, Warwickshire

Liam Ridgill of Drax Golf Club, Yorkshire

Georgina Wrixon of Ashley Wood Golf Club, Dorset

Championship Venue of the Year

Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club, Suffolk; hosts of the English women’s county finals.

Goswick Golf Club, Northumberland; hosts of the English senior men’s county finals.

Manchester Golf Club, Lancashire; hosts of the Reid Trophy, the English U14 boys’ open championship.

Performance of the Year

England women’s team; winners of the European team championship for the second year in a row.

Tommy Fleetwood, winner of the 2017 Race to Dubai, helped by two European Tour victories.

Lily May Humphreys of Stoke by Nayland Golf Club, Essex; the British girls’, English women’s and European Young Masters champion.

Alfie Plant of Sundridge Park Golf Club, Kent; European amateur champion, silver medallist at The Open and a Walker Cup player.

The Lifetime Service Award sponsored by Bridgestone: the outright winner of this ninth category will also be recognised at the Awards dinner.

Watch out for our series of New Year articles featuring the finalists.

England bid to reign in Spain

THE six-man England A squad will take on the challenge of seven other countries in the extended Costa Ballena match in Spain next monthJosh-McMahon.jpg.

The players are: George Bloor of Derbyshire, Bailey Gill of Yorkshire, Ben Jones of Northamptonshire, Josh McMahon of Cheshire (pictured), Nick Poppleton of Yorkshire and Tom Sloman of Somerset.

The match takes place at Costa Ballena Golf Club from 23-26 January and has been extended from a quadrangular to an octagonal match. The other competing countries are Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands and Spain.

The players:

George Bloor, 22, (Cavendish) represented England in the 2017 Costa Ballena Tournament.

Bailey Gill, 20, (Lindrick) won the 2017 Bernard Darwin Salver.

Ben Jones, 18, (Northamptonshire County) won the 2017 England Golf boys’ order of merit.

Josh McMahon, 22, (Wallasey) was runner-up in the Portuguese amateur and the Duncan Putter. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography.)

Nick Poppleton, 23, (Wath) was a semi-finalist in the English amateur.

Tom Sloman, 20, (Taunton & Pickeridge) won the U21 Dutch junior open.

England Golf sign up new sponsors

ENGLAND Golf has announced that Bridgestone, its partner for the club golfers’ Chase Your Dream Trophy, has become the first event sponsor of the England Golf Awards 2018. Another six sponsors are welcomed for their support of individual categories.

Bridgestone’s event sponsorship includes supporting the prestigious Lifetime Service Award which will recognise someone who has made a remarkable contribution to golf over many years. The 2017 winner, Jenny Hobbs of Bath Golf Club, received a standing ovation at the Awards dinner.

The latest category sponsors are:

The PGA, new sponsors of the Coach of the Year Award

Players 1st, new sponsors of the Volunteer of the Year

American Golf will once again sponsor the Most Welcoming Club category

SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. return to sponsor the County of the Year Award

The Golf Foundation is again associated with the Young Ambassador of the Year

Derek Burridge Trophies, sponsors of the winners’ trophies

HowDidiDo has previously been announced at the sponsor of the Club of the Year Award.

England Golf chief executive Nick Pink commented: “We are thrilled to be joined by these sponsors whose support is hugely valued and adds enormously to the prestige of the England Golf Awards.

“We have had a tremendous response to our request for nominations for the Awards and we are looking forward to a great night when we hear the inspirational stories of our finalists and applaud our winners.”

The England Golf Awards 2018 will be made at the Royal Lancaster London on February 22 and will celebrate the people, clubs and counties who make the game great.

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.

Tickets cost £85 per person and include drinks on arrival and a three course meal with half a bottle of wine. Visit for more information.

Here’s what the sponsors have to say:

Bridgestone is the world’s largest tyre and rubber manufacturer and an official International Olympic Committee Partner, promoting the concept Chase Your Dream, No Matter What. Andy Mathias, marketing communications manager, North Europe Region, said: “Bridgestone is proud to sponsor the Lifetime Service Award which acknowledges outstanding, selfless work over many years. Bridgestone has already aligned itself with similarly impressive performers through its Chase Your Dream Trophy, run in partnership with England Golf. This competition couldn’t have been better named as so many dreams were realised during its various stages.”

The PGA has more than 7,000 members who enhance the golfing experience of countless players. Chief executive Robert Maxfield said: “The PGA is delighted to sponsor England Golf’s Coach of the Year award, especially as many of our members play key roles in teaching the game to golfers of all abilities. These include beginners, enthusiastic club members looking to improve, as well as Ryder Cup stars, many of whom are coached by PGA professionals.”

Players 1st is one of the world’s leading player experience platforms, helping golf clubs grow their business through data. Chief executive officer Morten Bisgaard said: “Players 1st is proud to sponsor the Volunteer of the Year Award at the England Golf Awards. Volunteers are highly committed people who show a deep love of the game and they put a lot of hard work into ensuring consistent, high-quality player experiences that keep both guests and members happy.”

American Golf is Europe’s largest golf retailer. Director of marketing and communications Daniel Gathercole said: “We are delighted to support England Golf again. By acknowledging the fantastic contribution made by these clubs and by individuals, we encourage more people to follow in their footsteps.  I am really looking forward to hearing the stories behind this year’s winners and will be proud to present our award.”

SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. is a sports research business with a strong focus on golf.  Director Richard Payne said: “We are again delighted to sponsor the County of the Year Award and recognise the initiatives, hard work and dedication of those working to grow the game at a county level. We believe it is vital to tailor your service to your target market and it is fascinating to see how successful counties are adapting their strategy for growth based on market demands.”

The Golf Foundation is the charity responsible for helping more young people to enjoy the playing and personal benefits of golf. Chief executive officer Brendon Pyle said: “The Golf Foundation is delighted to be associated with the Young Ambassador Award as it works closely with England Golf to provide opportunities for young people to volunteer in golf.  Leadership and volunteering are key aspects of the Foundation’s drive to help youngsters develop Skills for Life through their involvement in golf.”

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.”