Archive for the ‘Junior Golf’ Category

Manchester youngsters have final say

allijunbmwwinnersmanc.jpgTOP SHOTS:  Beth Greenhalgh receives the trophy for Manchester from Mike Mason of Williams BMW

MANCHESTER’S young guns called the shots when they won the  BMW Junior Challenge at Lowes Park in  a close encounter decided when Crewe were denied at the death.

Mason Melvin set the ball rolling for the Hopwood Cottage side with a 4&2 win over Josie Cowap but Crewe hit back as Braden Jones overcame Matthew Cuppello by 4&3.

Thomas Walker regained the initiative for Manchester with an impressive  6&5 success  over Alex Peake but George Livesey pulled never-say-die Crewe level again with a 4&3 win against Junior captain and Lancashire girls’ star Beth Greenhalgh.

The outcome was decided after  Manchester’s Max King kept  his nerve to eclipse Jack Malpass  4&2 over to claim the trophy.



Luke tees up dream date in Faldo final

ONE of Lancashire’s up and coming young golfers has landed  a dream date with a legend of the sport.Luke Bartram (pictured) has won through to the final of the Faldo Series – which means a place in the Grand Final in Abu Dhabi and a meeting with Sir Nick Faldo, winner of six Major titles in a glittering career.

The Rossendale GC golfer emerged triumphant in the U18 Faldo Series Northern Championship at Moortown Golf Club, which hosted the first Ryder Cup match held on British soil in 1929, to secure his final spot.

After a slow start to the three-day competition, an eagle on the first hole in

Luke-Faldo.jpg the final round set up Luke’s winning score. His opening 75 was followed by a pair of 71s to earn a place in the final for the first time, at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club (AESGC).

“I am really looking forward to meeting Sir Nick and excited to see where my golf can take me,” said the 18-year-old who plays off scratch.

Luke has represented Lancashire at all levels after being invited along to the Lancashire Golf Union winter training at the age of 13, helping the Red Rose boys team to twice win the Four Counties trophy while on an individual level, he was runner-up in the county championship at both U14 and U18.

“I was fortunate to benefit from some top-quality coaching, both individually and within a group, and was selected for the Lancashire teams at all age groups, something I’m really proud of,” added Luke, who started playing as an 11-years-old after being taken to a Tri Golf session at Rossendale.

“From the first session I was hooked and I spent all the summer holidays practising and playing in junior competitions,” recalls Luke. “Rossendale GC has a very supportive and proactive junior golf committee; it was a great place to start.”

Luke cut his competitive teeth on the ELGA (East Lancashire Golf Association) Junior Golf Tour, winning both the nett and later the gross competitions.

“It was here that I developed a love for competition golf and seeing my name move up the leaderboard,” said the Myerscough College student, who has just completed an extended BTec Diploma in Golf Studies.

“Over the last seven years I’ve been lucky to have played some fantastic golf courses, had some amazing golf experiences and to have been a part of the England U16 North West Regional Training Squad.”

Highlights include being invited along to the Ian Poulter Junior Invitational after winning the Kenilworth Junior Masters, qualifying for and playing in The European Junior Open in Spain, scoring five under in the Lancashire Men’s Amateur at Lancaster GC and earlier this season scoring six under St Andrews GC on The Torrance Course, five under at Fleetwood GC and helping Myerscough College to become National AoC Champions.

Luke added: “I would like to thank everyone within the Lancashire County set up who has coached, encouraged and supported me. I hope my progress and successes over the last few years are a testimony to the many hours that have been invested in me.

“Derek Cropper, the Rossendale junior team manager, has also supported and encouraged me on my journey through unior golf; my coach Craig Lea at Myerscough College continues to guide and support me even after I have graduated from college. And, of course, a huge ‘Thank You’ to Team Mum and Dad, Mike and Jayne Bartram.”

The Faldo Series features 40 tournaments in 30-plus countries worldwide, reaching thousands of golfers each year. Past winners include Major Champions Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy.

Dobson claims Lancs U-14 title

sean dobson u14.jpg

HEAD BOY: Sean Dobson receives the Lancashire Under 14 championship  trophy from Lancashire UGC president Michael Lay

SEAN Dobson erased the memory of missing out on the Under-14 Lancashire county championship by claiming the title at the second attempt. The 13-year-old was pipped on a card play-off 12 months ago by Jack Wallbank, but secured the title second time round with a one-shot victory at Blackley Golf Club.

Even a torrential downpour which interrupted play with the final groups four holes from home could not derail the victory drive of the Royal Birkdale and Dunscar member.

“I’d managed to keep my score respectable even though I wasn’t playing my best golf,” said Sean, who slipped to four-over-par after the tenth.

“I knew I had to drop no more shots from that point,” added the Bolton youngster. “I birdied 11 which gave me some much-needed confidence. I’d pulled my drive in to the trees, but punched an 8 iron under the branches to three feet.”

When the siren sounded for play to be suspended, Sean had hit a wedge to six feet from the pin at 14  – but had to wait an hour before the hard work of the Lancashire officials and Blackley volunteers managed to get the course playable again.

Sean maintained his composure to hole his birdie putt on 14 – but then suffered a setback on the 15th when he hit his second out of bounds.

“Knowing I was leading at two over and then hitting it OOB on 15 made me feel sick inside, especially after thinking I’d hit the shot perfectly,” said Sean, who left his fourth shot 30 feet shy of the pin. A good recovery salvaged a double bogey, but the teenager knew he could not afford any more mistakes.

Three straight pars left Sean in the driving seat to edge out Noah Cambridge (Royal Lytham and St Annes).

“I was so worried I’d lose out on CPO again but when the last group finished I realised I’d won by one,” he said. “I’d lived with the second place disappointment for 12 months so to deliver on the day was so satisfying.

“It was great to be presented with the trophy by Lancashire president Mike Lay, who used to play golf with my dad Peter at Dunscar many years ago.”

The title success marked a return to form for Dobson, after he had started the summer brightly with a superb two under par 70 off the white tees at Hesketh Golf Club in Southport to record the best gross and nett scores in a Lancashire Association team event against a field including players up to five years older than him.

He also returned a two under 70 at Royal Birkdale in his first men’s competition and will now play off for the club’s Jubilee Vase in September.

Further confidence was gained when he came from behind to win the last hole in his singles match against Yorkshire boys to gain a half. He has played for the county three times now.

“I became a member of Royal Birkdale in May this year and the wonderful course and facilities along with the fierce competition have certainly improved my golf,” said Sean, who started golf at Dunscar.

He finished third in the Bolton Golf Association junior championships and won Dunscar Golf Club’s junior championship.

He has been part of the Lancashire Elite Under 14s squad for the past two seasons under the supervision of ex-European Tour player Jim Payne. Sean’s regular coach is Philip Newnes from Chilli Dip Golf Academy.

Sean lives in Bolton and is a pupil at Bolton School and Captain of their golf team. He’s played football and cricket in the top divisions of the Bolton and District leagues, but is now focussed on golf.

He plays off 3.8 and would like to get this down to below 3.0 before the end of the season – with a target of getting as close to scratch as possible in 2019.

RESULTS: 1st, Sean Dobson (Royal Birkdale) 75; 2nd, Noah Cambridge (Royal Lytham and St Annes) 76; 3rd, Charlie Holland (Southport & Ainsdale) 78; 4th, William McGhie (Lancaster) 78; 5th, Freddie Kelly (Ashton-under-Lyne) 78; 6th, Michael Kilgallon (St Annes Old Links) 79; 7th, Ben Barton (Wilpshire) 80; 8th, Zak Sturgeon (Nelson) 81; 9th, Thomas Davies (Rossendale) 81; 10th, Aidan Hartin (Heysham) 83


Hogarth’s final flourish seals U16 title


PRIZE GUY:  Kieran Hogarth receives the trophy from Lancashire president Michael Lay

KIERAN Hogarth conjured up a dramatic  ending  on his way to being crowned Lancashire U16 champion.

The Royal Lytham & St Annes player produced a birdie-birdie finish as he edge ahead of the field over 18 holes at Dean Wood Golf Club.

And it capped a fantastic fightback from the 15-year-old who had slumped to three-over-par after the first five holes.

Birdies at holes six, seven and nine got him back to level by the turn, before dropped shots at 12, 14 and 16 threatened to derail his hopes.

But Kieran’s final flourish to sign for a 72 turned the tables in dramatic fashion to ease out Southport and Ainsdale’s Matthew Jackman by a shot.

“I just tried to stay calm after the first few holes,” said Kieran. “I had played a practice round there, so I knew there would be opportunities to get shots back, particularly on the par fives.

“Even on the back nine, I felt I was still in with a chance. I knew that one over had won the championship in the past, so just wanted to get back to that mark.

“As a 15-year-old this is the big championship for my age group, so I definitely wanted to win it and now I have the chance to defend the title, too.”

Kieran, who lives in Kirkham, Is a member of the Lancashire Golf Union’s county squad under the guidance of Southport and Ainsdale pro and former European Tour player Jim Payne, having made his debut last year against Yorkshire – the county he has also played against this summer.

A pupil at Saint Bede’s Catholic High School in Lytham, Kieran first started playing golf at Myerscough College at the age of six after attending an open day. He continued with weekly lessons there until the age of 11.

“I received great coaching from the team there under John Barclay, who continues to be my coach, based at Lancaster Golf Performance Centre at Lancaster Golf Club,” added Kieran, who moved to Royal Lytham in 2014 after playing in a junior match for Myerscough at the Open venue.

Starting out with a handicap of 21, he played in competitions and inter-club events, with the coaching team under Ben Squires – and the support of junior organisers Alison Maguire and Dai Mistry – helping cut his handicap by more than half.

Kieran continued his development as part of the Lancashire County Academy programme while joining a second club – Fairhaven – to broaden his golfing experience.

Five handicapped Kieran rates his win at Dean Wood as the highlight of his blossoming career, although he is also part of the three-strong team representing Royal Lytham juniors in the English Junior Club Championships at Frilford Heath in Oxford.

Away from the golf course, he plays for both Kirkham Juniors Football Club and Kirkham and Wesham Cricket Club.

He added: “I’m looking forward to continuing my progress with the county golf set-up and would love to play for England one day, but I already owe a debt of thanks to the people who have helped me along the way including John Barclay at Lancaster, all the coaches and organisers at Royal Lytham, Fairhaven and the Lancashire Golf Union.

“I would also like to thank a local organisation, the Richard J Wilson Sports Foundation, who helped to fund my new equipment for this season, which was a fantastic gesture and one which has really helped me.”


RESULTS:  72 Kieran Hogarth (Royal Lytham and St Annes); 73 Matthew Jackman (S&A); 74 Oliver Duck (S&A); Adam Mujahid (Nelson); 75 Andrew Haswell (Dean Wood),  Adam McLean (Formby), Thomas Watson (Hillside); 77  Elliot Tickle (Blackley), Thomas Ratcliffe (S&A), Kieran McCarthy (Dean Wood).


Faldo Series drives off at Moortown

MoortownClubhouse.JPGHistoric Moortown Golf Club

THE Faldo Series UK season begins with a bang on the Alister MacKenzie masterpiece at Yorkshire club Moortown on April 3 – 5. A field of around 80 top juniors will fight for a place in the prestigious grand final.

Moortown, host of the first Ryder Cup matches on British soil in 1929, Moortown is regarded by many as one of the country’s finest inland golf courses. Moortown has hosted many successful Faldo Series tournaments down the years and has become a highlight of the amateur calendar.

The players will be aware of the tantalising prize on offer as Sir Nick Faldo announced the Faldo Series Europe Grand Final will be held at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club (AESGC) in the United Arab Emirates for the next four years. AESGC boasts a superb course and immaculate facilities in the Oasis city of Al Ain.

The competitors will have also taken note of the hugely successful major champions Invitational in Florida last week. The tournament was filled with high quality amateurs including several players whose profile was raised by their participation in the Faldo Series. A Faldo team competed, with current Faldo Series Europe Grand Final Champion Herik Machado among them. The boys at Moortown will be desperate to seize such opportunities.

The tournament will be played over three rounds and is a World Amateur Golf Ranking event. The field will be divided into three age-groups and the winners of each division will again join Faldo at the season-ending 22nd Faldo Series Europe Grand Final.

Some  40 Faldo Series tournaments take place in 30-plus countries worldwide, touching thousands of golfers each year. Past winners include Major Champions Tseng Ya-ni and Rory McIlroy, who took his tally of professional Major titles to four with his wins at the 2014 Open Championship and US PGA Championship.

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







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.