Archive for the ‘Seniors’ Golf’ Category

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.

 

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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

Golf’s vision of a brighter future

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Fredrik Lindgren of the European Tour adds his suggestion to the innovation comment wall. (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography)

GOLF was shown a vision of a bright future today – for those prepared to grasp change and try new ideas which put the customer first.

England Golf’s first innovation conference, #MoreThanGolf, highlighted the way for clubs and golf centres which want to grow the game.

It turned the spotlight on new formats of golf, such as GolfSixes and Speedgolf, which offer shorter, faster – and fitter – ways to experience the game.

It looked at the importance of collecting and using data effectively, to understand customers and the best ways to appeal to them. It stressed the need to connect with customers in the online world. Fact: 16-24-year-olds are online 30 hours a week; 37 per cent of their waking hours.

Clubs were urged to respond to the drive to encourage more people to become more active and to show that golf is a fun, healthy and sociable game for all. They were also challenged to grow by becoming hubs for their communities, benefiting both the club and the local area.

England Golf chief executive Nick Pink welcomed delegates from across the golf industry to Villa Park and urged them to consider and share new ways to put customers’ needs first.

Customer-focus is the most important of the priorities in England Golf’s refreshed strategy for 2017-21 and Nick commented: “If we don’t consider the needs of the customer we won’t grow the game.

“We need new ideas, creativity and innovation to drive this game on and one of the aims of this conference is to hear different ideas and approaches. Please do open your minds to some of the possibilities and ideas that we need to generate growth in golf.”

The conference struck a chord with Oldham head professional Ryan Grumbridge who is particularly interested in different formats of the game “It’s been great,” he said. “We are open to new ideas and this is all about thinking outside the box while still trying to keep traditional values. I’ve also picked up several business cards from people I need to speak to.”

Delegates also shared ideas on an innovation comment wall, with suggestions ranging from running a takeaway service to encouraging health professionals to prescribe golf.

The first focus of the conference was on new formats of the game with Fredrik Lindgren of the European Tour outlining the success of the recent GolfSixes tournament with players, fans and commercial partners.

The theme is being taken out to a young audience by the Golf Foundation, which has a proud record for innovation to encourage children and young people to get into golf. It is now running GolfSixes Academies in 32 clubs, offering team competition for boys and girls in leagues, with the all-important opportunity to track progress via mobile phones.  “We’re embracing technology and change to keep golf inspiring to young people!” said development manager Martin Crowder.

The impact of the digital world was explored by Chris Hurst of Nielsen Sports, who looked at the changing media consumption habits of the UK population and gave an overview of social networks and digital trends in sport, with a specific focus on golf.

Golf’s contribution to good health and wellbeing has been highly publicised over recent months and was discussed by Dr Steve Mann of ukactive and Jamie Blair, England Golf’s disability manager. Pam Painter of British Speedgolf also highlighted the fitness and fun benefits of the athletic format which appeals to golfers and runners.

The opportunities for golf clubs to be at the heart of their communities were considered by Svend Elkjaer  of Sports Marketing Network and Maria Nolan from Mytime Active, whose Hollingbury Park course in Sussex won England Golf’s 2017 Strongest Community Engagement Award.

Svend cited examples which promoted: “A new kind of partnership, in which both the club and the community contribute directly to the strengthening and development of each other.” He urged clubs to be open to all possibilities and to make innovation happen.

Delegates also heard case studies from Boomers and Swingers, Top Golf and Community Golf CIC.

What next? For the immediate future a #MoreThanGolf LinkedIn group has started to create a network of golf innovators and entrepreneurs.

Full steam ahead for Golf Express!

GOLF Express is celebrating a very happy first birthday after a year highlighting that the  game fits into any lifestyle.

England Golf launched the campaign to promote shorter, quicker formats – and it has captured the mood of the moment.

Over the past 12 months, momentum has been gathering across the industry to prove that golf can be short, fun, fitted into a busy lifestyle – and show-stopping. What’s been happening?

More than 25,000 people have been encouraged by Golf Express to play 9-hole golf or other short circuits, with in excess of 200 clubs already using the website to post offers.

Two months are dedicated to promoting Golf Express and England Golf is increasing investment in its national marketing campaign to drive traffic to the website, golfexpress9.org and to create even more interest around 9-hole golf and other shorter formats.

This weekend, the European Tour will hold its inaugural GolfSixes tournament at Centurion Club in St Albans, when two-man teams from 16 countries will compete over six-hole circuits, accompanied by showbiz razzamatazz.

The R&A has introduced a 9-hole competition for amateurs across GB&I, with the final taking place on the eve of The Open.

Top golfers such as Charley Hull, Melissa Reid, Martin Kaymer and Padraig Harrington have all featured on video endorsing the pleasures of 9-hole golf. Click here to view.

England Golf ambassador Justin Rose has said he often plays 9 holes in practice and described Golf Express as: “A great way to play all the game in half the time.”

Claire Hodgson, England Golf’s Head of Participation, commented: “It’s been fantastic to see the growing interest in short format golf and to get the support of top players and celebrities.

“Golf Express has shown many golfers that they really can fit the game in alongside all their commitments – and that it’s a great way for families to relax and have fun together.”

Nine-hole golf has plenty of health and social benefits. It can be played in just two hours while the player walks two to three miles, takes more than 5,000 steps and burns in excess 450 calories.

There’s an even faster, more athletic version, promoted by British Speedgolf, which has recently partnered Golf Express. Speedgolfers jog between shots and can complete a full 18 holes in under 80 minutes, or 9 holes in under 40 minutes.

“It’s been great to reach so many people in the first year of Golf Express and now we’re looking forward to getting even more players and golf clubs involved, showing golf really is game for all,” said Hodgson.

To learn more about Golf Express and to find 9-hole or other short format offers and a directory of facilities visit http://www.golfexpress9.org

 

Murray pays tribute to John Jacobs

ANDREW Murray was among the golfing fraternity to pay tribute to legend John Jacobs OBE, described as the father of the modern day game, who died this morning.

The Cheshire-based former European Tour winner, who regularly visited Jacobs at his Hampshire home, said: “I’d known him for 40 years and I saw him a few times recently and he was clearly not well.

“He touched everybody, not just tour players. When I took my sons Tom and Matt to meet him a few years ago they both connected with him. They were incredible impressed with his people skills. His knowledge of the game was passed on to everybody in the game from greats to ordinary folk.”GettyImages-463940990 (1).jpg

Murray, who regularly took Didsbury pro Peter Barber with him to see Jacobs, added: “He always had time for everybody and he never charged me one penny for a lesson. And he always paid for lunch!

 “I was very fortunate to know his so well and I am still very close to his family. I saw him for the last visit just before Christmas. He’s left me with some wonderful memories. He was 25 years ahead of his time.”

Jacobs’ legacy is that of a true sporting visionary – a player, a teacher, an
innovator, all born out of a passion for golf that consumed his life. To
this day, his influence can be felt in every aspect of the sport and across the globe.

From beginners picking up a club for the very first time to the stars of the European and US PGA tours, few golfers have not been touched by Jacobs’ genius and his overwhelming desire to ensure everyone loved the game and had as much fun playing it as he did.

A tour player of note who competed in the 1955 Ryder Cup in California, Jacobs would later captain the side twice – most fittingly in 1979 when European players competed for the very first time.

However, it was on the practice ground and in the game’s corridors of power where Jacobs had the biggest impact with his innovative thinking.

As a coach he transformed the fundamentals of how you teach t
he game with his revolutionary philosophies based on ball flight, club face alignment and swing path.

Through coaching schools, best-selling books, videos and television series his methods were known in the UK, across America and around the world.

Everyone, from the best to the worst could understand his teaching.

“Make it do-able,” he insisted. “Keep it simple.”

A PGA Master Professional, he wrote the PGA’s first training manual and decades later his principles are still at the core of every professional’s education.

For more than 20 years he was also the driving force behind the development of the European Tour, fighting to expand the season of events beyond Britain.

Within a matter of months of taking control he had increased events and doubled the prize money on offer.

In doing so, he laid the foundations for one of the most successful organisations in sport.

Jacobs, who lived in Lyndhurst, was also the visionary behind the growth of driving ranges, realising their value for both professionals and students who wanted learn and improve day or night, all year round.

            “Golf can be an expensive sport,” he reasoned. “Golf ranges wer
e an inexpensive way to get more people playing the game and enjoying it.”

All from the mind of one man – who loved golf. But home for Jacobs was the practice ground – particularly his golf schools where every day there were new faces, new challenges and different people to help, improve and make happy.

Jacobs was a friendly face for pros on tour, who would queue up f
or his advice, and, thanks to his books, videos, clinics and television appearances, he was a household name on both sides of the Atlantic.

All of which is a long way from his early years growing up at Lindrick Golf Club in Yorkshire where his father was the professional and understanding the swing was simply to “stop myself hooking into the gorse on the left”.

From everyday people to princes and kings, from beginners to tour players – Jacobs taught everyone. He touched lives, changed golf, innovated teaching, made the European Tour thrive – but most importantly he ensured people of all ages and all abilities enjoyed swinging a club.

“Playing golf is simple – it’s two turns and a swish.”

PGA Chief Executive Sandy Jones paid this tribute: “John Jacobs will be fondly remembered by those of us who were privileged to know him. Quite simply he was a legend of the game and his name will sit at the top table with all the golfing greats.”

Dr Kyle Phillpots, The PGA’s Executive Director – Education and Global Development, added: “John’s legacy to golf is well documented.  In addition to his accomplishments as a player, coach and administrator,  he is the person who made the European Tour happen and he is widely acknowledged  as the father of modern golf coaching.

“When I started at The PGA, although not a golfer, I had certainly heard of Jo
hn Jacobs and he lived up to his reputation in terms of not only his knowledge and huge understanding of the golf swing, but also his strength of character.

“However, more than that he was a real gentleman.  He was very kind to me and was always a great source of support to me and the Training Academy.

“The other thing that stands out is hi
s love of life – he took pleasure from so many things, whether it was golf, playing it, coaching it or talking about it.  He enjoyed fishing and also the simple pleasures of eating and drinking fine wine and just being with people.

“I will miss him and his great stories about his amazing life in golf.”

 

 

NW seniors in England teams

LANCASTRIAN Ian Crowther and Cheshire’s David Nelson have been selected for the England teams for two  international championships.

The team for the European senior men’s team championship is: Crowther, Nelson, Stephen East of Yorkshire, Richard Latham of Lincolnshire, David Niven of Berkshire, Alan Mew of Hampshire. Reserve is Mark Stones of Essex.

The championship is at Diners Golf and Country Club, Slovenia, from August 30 to September 3.

The same team, with the addition of Mark Stones, will contest the Senior Men’s Home Internationals at Machynys Peninsula, Wales, on September 20-22.

The players:

Stephen East (Moortown) won the Scottish senior championship this season having previously won Spanish, English and Portuguese senior titles.  He also topped the England Golf senior order of merit in his debut year in 2014.

Richard Latham (Woodhall Spa) won the English senior championship for the second time this year and is a past winner of the Scottish title. He won the England Golf senior order of merit in 2013.

David Nelson (Northenden) was third in the English senior championship, runner-up in the Northern senior qualifying tournament and was 14th in the Senior Amateur Championship.

David Niven (Newbury & Crookham) was runner-up in the English senior championship and in the South East Group’s Alan Hobson Trophy. Last year he tied fourth in the Senior Amateur Championship and helped Berks, Bucks & Oxon (BB&O) win the Senior County Championship.

Alan Mew (Stoneham) was third in the Welsh senior championship, sixth in the Scottish, 12th in the Irish and 19th in the English. He was 16th in the Senior Amateur Championship.

Ian Crowther (Royal Lytham & St Annes) tied eighth in the Senior Amateur Championship and 11th in the Northern senior qualifying tournament

Mark Stones (Boyce Hill) has had top ten finishes in the English, Irish and Scottish senior championships and was 14th in Wales.

The England senior order of merit is used to select the teams withc the top four players qualifying automatically for the European team and the top five for the Home Internationals. Two further players are selected for each team.

Lancs champs as they beat Yorkshire in senior league

LANCASHIRE  have won the Northern Counties Seniors’ League with a match remaining.

And they achieved it at the expense of Roses rivals Yorkshire, beating them by 11.5-6-5 at a testing Fairhaven course.

They trailed by a point after the morning greensomes before stepping  up to the plate in the fourballs.

The top and bottom matches were comfortably won s but the middle four games all went to the last.

And matches two and three all turned one hole deficits with three to play into one hole victories.

Meanwhile,. Cheshire’s win against Cumbria meant  Lancsashire could not be caught.