Archive for the ‘Seniors’ Golf’ Category

PGA to partner with One Golf Network

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THE Professional Golfers’ Associationhas announces a strategic partnership with One Golf Network in a new golf club marketing, golfer loyalty programme and tee time distribution company.

The main aim of the company – now known as PGA One Golf Network – is to better connect and engage with golfers.  This summer will see the launch of two core products; GoPlayGolf.co.uk, a golf marketing and tee time distribution website, providing golf clubs with more control when selling tee times, including setting their own pricing, and The Golfer Card, a data registration system for all UK golfers, with the focus on assisting clubs in collecting the data of the estimated 1.5 million independent golfers.

PGA One Golf Network was formally launched at the start of the year by Jane Carter, who has worked in the golf industry for more than 30 years, with more than a decade working directly with golf clubs. Work to date has been in the development of technology – a tee time booking system and a digital data collection model – and a pilot test in golf clubs.

Jane Carter, director of PGA One Golf Network is delighted to have such key industry support: “Having the investment and backing of the PGA is an enormous vote of confidence in the company. We couldn’t wish for a better partner. With more than 6,000 Members working in golf clubs throughout Great Britain and Ireland, they are at the centre of driving participation.

“While The PGA Professional is at the heart of the relationship with golfers, independents and members, PGA One Golf Network will provide the tools and support to help them play an active part in promoting the golf club, their own services and the game.”

The PGA is giving its backing to the company which it sees as a key foundation in helping the industry take better control of its relationships with golfers. By supporting PGA One Golf Network, it underlines The PGA’s commitment to facilitate a change in the industry and support PGA Members who play such a key role.

Robert Maxfield, chief executive of The PGA, said : “By partnering in projects such as PGA One Golf Network, we can assist our Members and the wider industry grow the game. The PGA Professionals have a vital role to play in supporting their golf clubs in a commercially driven marketplace where discounted tee times are becoming too dominant.

“Jane has enormous industry knowledge through working closely with golf clubs and PGA Professionals for many years. Golf clubs face some major challenges in relation to managing tee times and we believe PGA One Golf Network provides the solution.”

As the green fee market is evolving, golfers are more and more found online and mobile, increasing the importance of online tee time marketing. GoPlayGolf.co.uk will offer clubs the opportunity to control their pricing structure and build relationships directly with the customer.There are no barter tee times and the key focus is on convenience and added value. Tee time booking technology can be provided or it will work seamlessly with existing tee time booking systems.

The Golfer Card has been developed to meet the long over-due challenge of building a database of independent golfers in the UK. It is a seamless, GDPR compliant, one-time mobile registration system and loyalty programme. Golf clubs will no longer have to continuously collect email addresses and manage marketing preferences as The Golfer Card manages all the data for them. It offers a simple software installation for each club, so golfers can sign in using their smartphones. PGA Professionals at the point of sale will be educated to use the system, designed to free their time to serve their customers.

Industry support for PGA One Golf Network is growing and includes Wales Golf, who have been working with Jane since the inception of the company. Richard Dixon, chief executive of Wales Golf, said: “We are delighted the PGA is now a partner in PGA One Golf Network. PGA Professionals have enormous influence in the marketplace. There can be no better ambassadors to help us in our goal of supporting golf clubs and growing the game.”

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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.”

Champion Flanagan fights way back to fitness

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TOP MAN: Tony Flanagan receives the trophy from Lancs UGC president Mike Lay

TONY Flanagan capped his return from major surgery by being crowned Lancashire Seniors’ county champion for the first time.

The Clitheroe man’s entrance into the over-55 ranks had been delayed by a back problem which required an operation and intensive physiotherapy to even return to the golf course.

With the 58 year-old also suffering problems with the tendons in his right arm, it looked like his chance to be part of the thriving seniors’ scene in the Red Rose county was passing him by.

But at Blackpool North Shore, the months of hard work, both out on the range and on his rehabilitation programme, paid off in style as he claimed the title for the first time with a three-shot victory.

Flanagan paved the way for his success with an opening 70, one under par over the challenging seaside course, which was matched by Karl Bowker of Bolton Old Links.

And he held off the chasing pack with a second day 74 to leave last year’s winner, Trevor Foster from Accrington, in second place.

But the outgoing champion paid a fulsome tribute to his rival and friend, saying: “I have always said football is the best game in the world, but golf is the greatest – and one of the reasons for that is the friendships you make. So I am not disappointed to be runner-up because I am chuffed for the man who has won.”

Flanagan, too, paid tribute to the backing he has received as he battled back from surgery. “To be honest, I was a bit choked,” said the Whalley man, who is playing his first full season in the senior ranks.  “I have received so much support from people.

“This was a championship I always felt I could win, but that doesn’t mean it was going to happen. So I am delighted to have come out on top of a high quality field.”

Flanagan had clubmate Mark Ashworth, a former Lancashire county champion, on the bag for the first round and it proved a successful combination.

“Mark is a good friend of mine and he felt that the course would suit my game,” said Flanagan. “He helped me plot the right lines round the course and then on the second day it was a case of getting round safely to post a total.

“I must admit I had a good feeling about the course when I arrived. I have worked hard on my game and have been striking the ball well. And I holed some important three or four footers on the last five holes to make sure I didn’t drop any shots late on.”

Flanagan will head north for the Scottish Seniors as his next assignment while he is also hoping to play his part in Lancashire’s bid to become national champions again.

Rob Godley (Hillside) finished third behind Flanagan and Foster, while the age group category winners included former Lancashire county captain Cliff Bowman, who took the honours in the over 70 group at the age of 77.

 

 

Winner: Tony Flanagan (Clitheroe GC) 70-74=144 (+2)

Runner-up: Trevor Foster (Accrington GC) 74-73=147 (+5)

Third: Rob Godley (Hillside GC) 75-73=148 (+6)

Category A (55-59 years): Gross winner, Gary Byrne (Clitheroe) 149; Nett winner, Ian Owens (Burnley) 145

Category B (60-64): Gross winner, Martin Wild (Wilmslow) 152; Nett winner, Clive Appleby (Fairhaven) 144

Category C (65-69): Gross winner, Mike Gray (Lancaster) 155; Nett winner, Stuart Coupe (Pleasington) 141

Category D (70 plus): Gross winner, Cliff Bowman (Blackpool North Shore) 162; Nett winner, Len Walker (Denton) 147

Best nett day one: Karl Bowker (Bolton Old Links) 70-2-68

Best nett day two: David Hughes (High Legh) 77-9-68

 

Foster steps up to the mark

LANCASHIRE legend  Trevor Foster has marked himself out as a man to watch when the English senior men’s championship gets under way next week.

He heads to Sherwood Forest and Coxmoor Golf Clubs in Nottinghamshire with his first major senior title tucked under his belt.

The Accrington man won the Irish seniors’ championship with a fighting final round of two-under 70 at a very windy Concra Wood. “When I woke up it was blowing a gale and that’s just what I wanted. It was quite a long course and the greens were quite fast but I manged to handle it all right so I was happy,” he said.

Foster came from four shots back to snatch the title, finishing two clear of another Englishman, Littlehampton’s Steve Graham  “To win was massive,” said Foster.

It was a fine result, especially as he was three-over par after two holes of his first round. He contrived to turn in a two-over par score and improved by two shots in each of the remaining rounds.It gave him his third win in four starts – and he was runner up in the other event – making him very much a man in form with the Englishseniors’ due to start next Wednesday, June 6.

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But Foster (pictured) insisted: “I’m still the same old Trevor Foster who can have a bad day like anyone else. This game can bring you down to reality.”

In any case, his motivation is not the titles, but putting in the performances that will earn him a place in the England senior team. “That’s my big goal, to play for England,” he said. “There can’t be anything finer than to walk on the tee representing your country.”

There’s also the small matter of a little teasing from his daughter, Nikki. Both of them have held plus-three handicaps, both have played their respective Open Championships… but Nikki has played for England.

Next week Foster will be one of 288 players who set off in pursuit of the title. The field includes many of the internationals he’d like to join, including the defending champion, Doug Cameron, (Henley, BB&O).

Fellow Lancashire players include Ian Crowther (Royal Lytham & St Annes) who last year won both the Welsh and Italian senior titles, and Bryan Hughes (Hesketh) the British senior champion.

Local interest will focus on the three Sherwood Forest players – Christopher Powell, Clive Graham and David Brown – and the two Coxmoor competitors, Derek McJannet and Trevor Ryan.

All competitors will all play one round on each course before the field is cut to the leading 80 players and ties. They return for the deciding third round at Sherwood Forest on June 8.

 

PGA launches new senior pro-am

A NEW pro-am sponsored by Staysure, the insurance specialists for over 50s, is offering PGA Professionals and an amateur partner the chance to play at some of Great Britain and Ireland’s finest courses.

Known as the Staysure PGA Trophy, the competition carries a £30,000 prize fund and will be contested by professionals and a male or female amateur partner aged 50 or over.

Seven regional qualifiers, played across Great Britain and Ireland, will determine the pairs taking part in the Grand Final from July 31 to August 1 at the London Golf Club near Sevenoaks, Kent.

Maxstoke Park, on the fringe of Birmingham, will host the first qualifier on Tuesday May 22 and the final place will be decided at Kings Hill, Kent on July 16. There will also be qualifiers staged in Scotland and Ireland.

The final will be contested before the Staysure Seniors Championship at the London Golf Club and the winner will earn £7,500. Dozens of prizes will also be up for grabs for amateurs.

In addition, all amateur finalists will also be given the opportunity to compete alongside a leading Staysure Tour player in the Staysure Seniors Championship which follows on August 2.

The new event was created as part of Staysure’s major investment in golf which saw the company becoming the first title sponsors of the European Senior Tour in late 2017.

Ryan Howsam, Staysure chairman and founder, commented: “Staysure is the leading provider of travel insurance for over 50s in the UK.

“Our ambition is to become synonymous with senior golf across the UK and Europe and the launch of the Staysure PGA Trophy is something that epitomises that vision.

“We aim to provide golf club members and our customers a unique opportunity to play in a national golf tournament with the ultimate goal of playing alongside Staysure Tour professionals such as Paul McGinley at the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship at London Golf Club in August.

“We also have hundreds of money-can’t-buy golfing prizes to be won throughout the season.”

Tristan Crew, PGA executive director – members services, added: “We are delighted to welcome the Staysure PGA Trophy to the PGA tournament calendar.

“We are always looking at ways to provide more playing opportunities for our Members, and the introduction of this new pro-am is another example of how we are fulfilling that pledge.

“The London Golf Club has a reputation of staging top class international competitions and we are delighted to be working with a brand new title sponsor Staysure for this event.

“We wish all players the best of luck in their club competitions and we look forward to welcoming all eight finalists to London Golf Club for the Grand Final this summer.”

Full details on how to enter can be found through the Staysure PGA Trophy online entry pack.

Bramhall and Didsbury in Super 60s’ battle

BRAMHALL pro Richard Green and amateur partner Joe Kirwan upstaged their local rivals, Didsbury’s  Peter Barber and Paul Dalby. by overtaking them late in the day in the first round of the Super 60s’ Championship at Woolaton Park.

But there’s only a shot between them going into today’s final round with the Bramhall duo also having a slight advantage over Waterlooville pairing John Hay and Rob Dench who match their eight-under total were lying were second on countback.

Heavy downpours throughout the morning made conditions unplayable at Wollaton Park Golf Club.

 

Open springboard to grow the sport

 GOLF clubs across Lancashire are using this week’s Open Championship as a springboard to growing the sport.

The world’s best golfers will be heading to Royal Birkdale in Southport from July 16-23 with the dream of becoming the latest player to lift the coveted Claret Jug.

The event attracts worldwide attention, and now clubs in the region are hoping to raise awareness of local opportunities to give golf a go.

A Road to The Open campaign has been organised by England Golf, the Professional Golfers’ Association and the Golf Foundation with a range of activities to promote golf in schools, the local community and clubs.

It is being supported by the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs and the Lancashire County Ladies’ Golf Association.

Aintree Grand National Golf Club set the tone for the project with a special family community open day.

As well as the more traditional

RoadtoOpen.jpgfree golf taster sessions, putting challenges and the chance to use the driving range, supported by US Kids Golf, families could enjoy bouncy castles, craft and food stalls with local businesses as well as live music.

A further community event took place at Speke Hall in Liverpool.

Sixteen clubs around the Red Rose county are hosting special events while the Road to the Open project has connected with 10 primary schools and four secondary schools in the Southport area.

Each school now has a link to a local golf club, equipment has been provided and teachers trained alongside Young Leaders so they can deliver golf in PE classes or at schools sports events.

The Golf Foundation’s Andy Leigh (pictured above with Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber) said: “We’re already hearing great things from the teachers as they have started introducing their youngsters to golf and this should only intensify when ‘Open fever’ starts soon.

“Many of the schools in the area are arranging trips to The Open to watch the best golfers in the world. During the visit, the school groups will spend time with the Golf Foundation development team in the ‘R&A Swing Zone’ playing fun Tri-Golf and StreetGolf challenges.

“Don’t forget! It’s free admission for under 16’s at The Open, when accompanied by an adult.”

As part of the build-up to the Open, the final of the National Street Golf competition will take place at Formby Hall Golf Resort on Monday, July 17.

A special brochure has been produced highlighting the Get into golf work going on at the 16 clubs – Accrington and District, Aintree Grand National, Blackley, Burnley, Fleetwood, Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, Haydock Park, Lancaster, Lee Park, Longridge, Myerscough, Mytton Fold, Oldham, Rossendale, Southport Old Links, and Stand.

Statistics show that sports enjoy a two-week spike in interest following a major event and Lancashire Golf Development Group county officers Adam McAlister and Debbie Barber will be working with clubs to help capitalise on this potential surge in participation.

England Golf regional manager Jason Budd says: “The Open is a great shop window for golf and a chance for the sport to kick football off the back pages of the national newspapers.

“It is golf’s Olympic moment and we want to make sure that those people who are interested in trying golf or returning to it as a result of watching or reading about The Open can find the right opportunity to suit them at a local club.”

Road to the Open organisers have launched a new Twitter handle, #roadtotheopen2017, which they are encouraging clubs to adopt on social media.

Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends.

To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

You can follow Get into golf on Twitter twitter.com/getintogolf or on Facebook at facebook.com/Getintogolf