Golf News June 2016

Page 37


NEWS | JUNE 2016




ames Ruth will be looking to improve on last year’s top four final spot after finishing joint top of the leaderboard at the Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship West qualifier. Ruth, of Plymouth’s China Fleet Golf & Country Club, carded a three-under-par 66 to be part of a three-way tie with Tom Hanson (Tiverton) and Welshman Toby Hunt (St Mellons). They join 14 other qualifiers from the event held at Exeter Golf & Country Club, who will play in the £32,000 grand final to be held

at Little Aston Golf Club near Birmingham from August 3-5. Ruth finished fourth in last year’s Galvin Green PGA Assistants’ Championship held at Coventry Golf Club. “I played well, but just fell short and didn’t have quite enough in the final round,” said the 31 year old. “It’ll be good to go back there and try to improve on that this time. I’m looking forward to playing Little Aston, it’s not a venue I know, but I hadn't played Coventry last year either.”




oldfinger owned it. Daniel Craig was shot on its steps. And now, the golf clubhouse at Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel in Buckinghamshire, has been named the fifth most iconic clubhouse in world golf., the online portal of leading US publication Golf Magazine, published its list of the ’18 most iconic clubhouses in golf’, and Stoke Park’s was named number five – and number one in England. Not surprisingly, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews took top spot, but the next three were all at US-based clubs – Augusta National, Shinnecock Hills and Winged Foot – meaning Stoke Park was the only one in the top five not to have hosted a Major. Stoke Park’s mansion was commissioned by estate owner John Penn in 1789 and was designed by fashionable Georgian architect James Wyatt, Sir Nikolaus Pevsner, author of the 46-volume series of county-by-county guides, The Buildings of England, wrote that Wyatt ‘made Stoke Park the most impressive of all late Georgian houses in Buckinghamshire’. It remained a home until 1908, when new owner Nick Lane Jackson – who gives his name to the third loop of nine holes at the venue – formed

the Stoke Park Club and took on an initial 50-year lease. Within eight months he had overseen the conversion of the lower floor into a golf clubhouse. The current director of golf at Stoke Park, Stuart Collier, said: “It is a real honour for us to be recognised in this way as the most iconic clubhouse in England and number five in the world. And it is great testament to the work undertaken on the building by the King family since they took possession in 1993, when it was unrecognisable from its current glory. “What’s interesting about Stoke Park’s inclusion in the top five is that, unlike the other four, it’s very easy to become a member here or even just to visit for the day as a green-fee visitor. At St Andrews, you have to enter a ballot or book six months in advance to visit; at Winged Foot, membership is by invitation only; and, at Augusta and Shinnecock Hills, one can play only as the guest of an existing member. “We may have the most iconic clubhouse in England, but we’re certainly inclusive. We have a thriving membership – both men and ladies; an excellent and successful scholarship programme for our top juniors; and visitor green fees from just £85. It’s nice that in England, at least, ‘iconic’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘unattainable’.”


ngland international Josh Hilleard has followed in the footsteps of players such as Rickie Fowler, Hunter Mahan, JB Holmes and Michelle Wie after winning a prestigious American award. His feat in winning four titles in 22 days has been recognised with the Southern Golf Association’s Amateur of the Month Award for April. Other nominations included the amateur world number one Jon Rahm of Spain. The award is decided by a ‘Blue Ribbon’ panel of college coaches, sports writers and golf administrators throughout the US. Hilleard, from Farrington Park in Somerset, won the Berkhamsted Trophy, the Faldo Series Wales Championship, the Hampshire Salver, and the West of England Amateur, in a stunning run which has taken him to the top of England Golf’s order of merit. Buford McCarty, secretary of the Southern Golf Association, said: “Josh’s run comprised an

amazing string of victories; certainly an accomplishment worthy of this award and something he will remember for the rest of his life.” The 21 year old received the award from England Golf Performance Director Nigel Edwards at the recent England international against France, where he was joint top scorer, helping England to a 10-14 win.

“It’s always nice to be recognised on a wider scale,” said Hilleard. “I had no idea that anyone would know about this in the States, so it’s a real honour.” Previous English amateurs to win the award include dual European Tour winner Matt Fitzpatrick, and Alice Hewson, who was in this year’s GB&I Curtis Cup team.

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