Archive for the ‘Lancashire Golf’ Category

Fleetwood gives youngsters Christmas treat!

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IN THE PICTURE: Tommy Fleetwood in the midst of a crowd of youngsters and, below, gives insights to his techniques

A SELECTION of age group Lancashire junior golfers were treated to a once in a life experience when home grown golfing superstar Tommy Fleetwood returned to his roots and back in the team room where he discussed what it takes to become one of the world’s best golfers, writes Aaron Benson.

The 2008 Lancashire county champion Tommy (pictured centre, winner of the 2017 Race to Dubai European Order of Merit, Ryder Cup hero and world number 9, came through the age group ranks of the Red Rose county in his early golfing career and was keen to take the chance to share his experience with the latest generation of county juniors.

Tommy answered a wide range of questions and also gave unique insights into IMG_1097.JPGtopics including his swing technique, practise secrets, organisational skills and routine for his weekly tournament preparations.

He said: “To be able to talk about my career so far with the youngsters has been a great experience. I hope they have learned so much and benefited from me speaking to them about the game.

“It’s been great to see some old faces who are part of the county and they’ve all helped me so much in becoming who I am today’.

The clinic was held at Formby Hall Golf Resort where Fleetwood is a past member and occasionally plays with his dad Pete when on a break from both the PGA and European tours.

Leading Lancashire coaches Gareth Benson and Ian Lee hosted the event alongside Fleetwood, and they, too, thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Benson said: “Tommy is a role model for all junior golfers and we hope they’ll take a great deal away from this experience and benefit from his advice.”

Lee added: “For Tommy to take time out of his busy schedule to come and speak with the team has been fantastic. We are so lucky to have him associated with the county.”

Tommy rounded off the presentation by highlighting “the key points of having a desire and will to succeed both as a team and individually is paramount.

“We all need world class planning, preparation and organisation. I hope the lads have taken this on board and it’s been a pleasure to speak to them. After all, Lancashire is my county and I always want them to win!”

 

Lancashire’s pledge to grow golf

GOLF enthusiasts in Lancashire are being urged to make a pledge for 2019 – and help grow the sport. A new campaign aimed at players, administrators, ambassadors, volunteers and coaches intends to promote good news stories and the benefits of becoming actively involved in golf – while attracting and keeping newcomers at the county’s 140 clubs.

The Pledge4Golf initiative has been developed by Lancashire’s England Golf development officers – who work with the Lancashire Golf Union, the Lancashire Ladies County Golf Association, the Professional Golfers Association and the Golf Foundation – to encourage those already involved in the sport to think about how they can help protect its future, whether that be at a club, driving range or pay and play facilities.

“It doesn’t matter whether the pledge is big or small, it’s an acknowledgement that that person or group of people want to positively influence further development within the sport, which will be an example to other counties and clubs nationwide,” saHelen Searle.jpgid Helen Searle (pictured), one of two club support officers in Lancashire for England Golf alongside Adam McAlister.

“Anything that makes the sport more appealing to new players, or introduces a new generation of potential golfers, is a positive that can only help all of our clubs secure a sustainable future in the long-term.

“Everybody knows the challenges facing golf around issues like cost, the time taken to enjoy a round, and misconceptions about the sport, but equally there are so many benefits to be had from the exercise and fresh air of playing to the great social life to be enjoyed.

“Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities, and during 2019 the golf development group will be working in areas attracting women and girls, increasing inclusivity and highlighting equality.

“The more people who pledge to make a difference in 2019, the more the sport as a whole will be able to grow and develop – and that can only by good news for all our clubs.”

Helen has pledged to continue to drive women and girls’ engagement from the grassroots up and to support the exciting arrival of the Girls Golf Rocks campaign to the county.

Adam has pledged to help get five new clubs signed up to SafeGolf in 2019, which offers a clear signal to potential members and players that a club has the correct child safeguarding policies in place and is a welcoming environment in which to enjoy the sport.

Anyone wanting to get involved can send their pledge to Adam A.McAlister@englandgolf.org or Helen Searle H.Searle@englandgolf.org

Or use Twitter, with the hashtag #Pledge4Golf – and don’t forget to tag in @playgolfinlancs

Helen added: “Hopefully we can spread the word among the Lancashire golfing community, generate a lot of new ventures – and share in each other’s successes throughout 2019.”

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

 

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.