Archive for the ‘Lancashire Golf’ Category

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

 

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Fleetwood fired up for Hong Kong challenge

THE 2019 Race to Dubai has not even started yet but Tommy Fleetwood already has his sights set on maintaining the form that saw him rise to the top of world golf when he tees it up at the HONMA Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi this week.

The Englishman  sits ninth in the Official World Golf Ranking, a career high for the 27 year old, and arrives at Hong Kong Golf Club in excellent form with 15 top 20 finishes pushing him to third on the season-long Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

The Ryder Cup star would dearly love to be crowned European Number One once again and has an impressive track record in this event, finishing in the top six in both of his previous appearances.

Meanwhile, Rafa Cabrera Bello is hoping to make it third time lucky this week. The Spaniard has finished second in his last two starts at the event, losing out by a single shot to Australians Sam Brazel and Wade Ormsby in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

His runner-up finish last term was his best result of another incredibly consistent campaign that saw him record a further five top tens, four of the them in Majors, World Golf Championships and Rolex Series events.

Despite being one of the best performers in golf week in, week out, he has just two wins in the last nine years and would love a victory at a course that has seen countrymen José María Olazábal, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and José Manuel Lara share six victories between them since the turn of the century.

Player Quotes

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Tommy Fleetwood: “It is nice seeing places, and I think as golfers and just the nature of what we do, we don’t get to see places as much as we’d like to, so to do the odd nice little touristy thing is really nice, especially somewhere like Hong Kong. It’s one of my favourite places, so the more I get to see of it, the better.

“I think it was a great follow to what was the season of my life. I would have liked to have won another time after starting so strong and winning, and I think I played well enough to win a lot of the time, but always sort of had one round that cost me or

made me fall just short.

“It’s a brilliant year. You have to remember how well you’ve done, and the two guys that finished above of me in the Race to Dubai were two Major champions. But the good thing to look forward to is I feel like there’s a lot many of improvement out there, so that’s still the exciting part.

“I think just over the course of four days my game just needs to stay a little bit more consistent. I said it a couple times last week, I’ve always fallen like one round short. I’ve always had one round that’s been poor, and I just need to make those rounds better.

“You’re always improving your game and you’re all looking at ways to improve it, so that’s the same.  Week in, week out, everybody does that, and you just have to do that in the smartest way possible.  But my consistency level was brilliant last year, and especially playing two different Tours, as well, so I was very proud of that. But aga

in, winning is what we all want to do, so to do that I need to put four rounds t

ogether.

“We’ve already spoke about the city, but the course, I feel the last two years, it’s set up nicely for me. It is quite a big patience game because you feel like there’s a lot of chances, but the course actually doesn’t give you that much in the end. Especially if the wind is swirling, it makes it very difficult. But in general, ball striking is pretty key. You can’t really play this golf course from off the fairways. You have to be on the fairway to score, and that’s obviously one of my strengths, so hopefully I can keep that up for just one more week.”

Fletcher is Lancashire’s next president

Norman Fletcher (1).JPGTHE Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs has appointed Norman Fletcher as president-elect for 2019-20.

He has been a member of Chorley Golf Club for 58 years and is well-known in golfing circles for his work with the PGA, the Ryder Cup and a number of national golf development projects.

Following an early teaching career, Fletcher worked for the PGA for 33 years before retiring in 2017.

Initially he was the PGA North Region secretary before moving to the National HQ at The Belfry in 1992. He undertook a number of roles and was assistant chief executive from 1997 to 2005.

A move to the role of Director of Regional & External Relations in 2005 provided a little more time for him to continue playing competitive golf at senior level.

His PGA responsibilities have been extensive and wide-ranging. They included his work with the England Golf Partnership, of which he was the first chairman. and partnership manager from 2005-09, working on the whole sport plan for golf 2005-09, and was a director of EGP until 2017.

He was director of the PGA’s of Europe from 1994-2010 and a Trustee Director of the Golf Foundation from 1994-2017.

Fletcher was involved in the Ryder Cup as a referee from 1985-89 while from 1993 to 2006 he was responsible for Ryder Cup ceremonies and co-ordinating all arrangements for the Royal Household, Heads of State and VIP visits to the event, including logistics and liaison with security services.

A member of Chorley Golf Club since 1960, he was captain in 1982, president in 1990 and club champion on six occasions.

He has held a Category 1 handicap since 1966, which he still retains. During his time  at the University of Exeter he captained the golf team and represented the English Universities v Scotland in 1971-72.

Fletcher has also represented the Bolton Golf Association team in five decades, also playing for Lancashire County Seniors from 2005 to 2016, going to three National County Finals as a player, captain and non-playing captain.

He is also a member of Royal St. David’s Golf Club at Harlech since 2000, was chairman of the club in 2017 and is the present captain. He won the Welsh National Teams’ Championship with Royal St. David’s GC and represented Wales in the European Club Team Championship.

He has been married to wife Kathryn for 45 years and they have two children, Sarah and Daniel.

Fletcher said of his appointment: “I was surprised and delighted to be offered the office of president and I hope to represent this great county to the best of my ability in 2019.“Being asked to be president is a real honour and serves as a link back to my grandfather – Norman H Fletcher – who was known as Norrie and represented the Lancashire Union for many years in its early days of the 1920s and 30s.”He will officially take up his new role in March.

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.

 

 

Ashton-under-Lyne pro dies aged 60

PGA North is sad to report the death of former Ashton-under-Lyne professional Colin Boyle at the age of 60.

He retired on health grounds in 2016 after working for 29 years at the Lancashire club.

Boyle began his career as assistant at Withington then was appointed head pro at Fairfield for seven years before settling at Ashton-under-Lyne.

His son Michael, who succeeded him, said: “He made quite a big impact on golf in the local community and although he did not play a great deal he was a big Manchester United fan.”

Boyle is survived by his wife Karen and daughters Lisa and Laura who works behind the scenes in Coronation Street.

The funeral has been arranged for Tuesday, November 13, at 12pm at Dukinfield Crematorium.

Red Rose golfers bidding for more players

GOLFERS in one area of Lancashire are clubbing together to support the drive to encourage more people into the sport.

A new development group has been launched with the intention of providing a united approach to the challenge of attracting and retaining club members.

The idea is based on similar groups in the north west including Merseyside – and sees the existing Bolton Development Group throw open the door to clubs across a wider area in East Lancashire.

Clubs such as Dunscar, Chilli Dip, Harwood, Breightmet, Bolton Lostock, Bolton Old Links and Regent Park have already been pooling their expertise to help grow the game.

Now clubs across East Lancashire are being invited to the quarterly meetings which feature guest speakers and expert advice on topics such as the retention of existing members, marketing and social media, recruitment as well as safeguarding.

The first one is at Dunscar Golf Club on December 4 with the option to atte

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nd in the morning or later in the day.

The group has been established under the umbrella of the Lancashire Golf Development Group and will be looking to support campaigns like Get into Golf, Golf Express and Girls Golf Rocks as well as establishing ways to work together to their mutual benefit.

Helen Searle (pictured), Lancashire GDG club support officer, said: “This is a major step forward to see clubs working collectively and sharing their successes and challenges, and being able to work together with a vision to grow and retain golfers in the East Lancashire area for years to come.

“Not long ago, clubs very much looked over their shoulders to see what other clubs were doing, but now they realise they are all in this together.

“Golf is peaking in so many ways, just look at the record number of spectators we have had this year. People like golf!

“It is important now that we showcase what the game has to offer to give stability to the future of our golf clubs.”

Clubs requiring further information should contact Helen by email at H.Searle@englandgolf.org or by phone on 07710 088 870

 

 

 

 

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