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April 2019

Marsh lands Oman title Wakefield duo impress in US Grim wait ends for skipper John


April 2019 Yorkshire Golfer is published by League Weekly Ltd, 31 Branch Road, Batley, W. Yorks WF17 5SB Tel 01924 470296 for subscriptions & deliveries Contents are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced wholly or in part without permission of the publishers




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PUMPED UP Swish new clubhouse at Baildon pays homage to building’s former life as a waterworks p4

IN GOOD NICK Fixby’s Nick Marsh lands top prize in Oman for his second professional tour win p9

CALL 999! They are all the rage – the 9-hole courses that put time-pressured courses back in the swing. We look at the benefits. p7

YOUNG AT HEART All is well at Cookridge Hall - review

GETTING TO KNOW... Ben Hutchinson. The up and coming young golfer who (thinks he!) bears a striking resemblance to Tom Cruise! p8

PLAIN TALKING The Tyke with a mic is an internet sensation – and James Robinson puts it down to his Yorkshire accent p13

THE MASTERS Mike Smith previews the runners and riders teeing it up this week in the first Major of 2019 at the glorious Augusta National p17-23

WAKEY WAKEY! Two old Wakefield GC pals are making headlines on the ultra competitive US College circuit p12

KENYAN SAFARI Our columnist Chris Hanson goes trekking to Nairobi but is disappointed not to make the weekend p24

Spread your club's good news... email your results, open events, photographs and news items to us on: and follow us on Twitter @yorkshiregolfer THE NEXT ISSUE OF YORKSHIRE GOLFER WILL BE DELIVERED TO CLUBS ON WEDNESDAY MAY 8, 2019

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April 2019

AIMING HIGH Lindrick man will be looking for individual success to open the door to a place in the Walker Cup

No half measures for Gill as he targets first major triumph LINDRICK’S Bailey Gill is going trophy hunting this summer after setting his sights on capturing one of amateur golf’s big titles. His first opportunity will come on local soil when the English Men’s Open Amateur Strokeplay Championship – better known as The Brabazon – is played at Alwoodley at the end of May. The Leeds course is a favourite of Gill’s and one with which he is very familiar thanks to a reciprocal agreement between his home course and Alwoodley. But before he competes against an international field in what is arguably the biggest stroke play event in the world of amateur golf he will once again pull on an England shirt after being chosen to represent his country in the European Nations Cup at Sotogrande in southern Spain from April 10-13. The four-man team will seek their eighth victory in the event following last year’s success when they won by 20 shots. Gill will be joined by Ben Jones of Northamptonshire, and two Tom’s from Somerset, Plumb and Sloman. Gill, 21, said: “I am delighted to have been selected for the Nations Cup. Playing for my country is my biggest achievement in golf so far. “There are a lot of good players in the England set-up and it’s pretty evenly balanced. There are plenty of others who could have been selected so it’s a great feeling to make the team.” He played for England twice last year, at the Costa Ballena Octagonal and in the Home Internationals where he was part of a winning team. He readily admits that he relishes team golf and the environment that comes with it, but there is no hiding the fact that he wants to win a top individual event. “I haven’t won anything big yet, but I’m looking to change that this

Faldo Series’ England North event back at Moortown MOORTOWN will once again stage the Faldo Series England Championship (North), in July. Now in its 23rd year, the series will be played across 11 countries in three continents with the final at Al Ain Equestrian Shooting and Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, in November. Visit to view the 2019 European schedule and find your nearest regional qualifier to sign up. year – it’s slightly overdue now. I finished third in the Brabazon last year and it would be nice to go a couple of places better.” And there would be no more popular winner at Alwoodley. “I take advantage of the reciprocal agreement as much as I can and have played Alwoodley a lot – it’s a great course. Every part of your game has got to be at its best around there and staying out of the heather with your tee shots is absolutely key,” he said. He goes into this year with confidence and a well thought out game plan. “I feel I am a better player than last year both technically and mentally,” he explained. “I put too much pressure on myself last year. This year it’s going to be about one week at a time and making sure I am very well prepared for the big events. “Last year I wanted to play well every week, but that’s just not going to happen, and this summer I want to

make sure I peak at the right times. “I feel more comfortable with my game this year. I’ve been working with my coach Graham Walker [The Oaks] on bringing more accuracy to my long game and improving dispersion with the longer clubs. “I’ve always been good from 120 yards in and my putting is another strength. I bought a Trackman last October and my numbers keep improving so I feel like I’m ready to go.” He and fellow Tyke Alex Fitzpatrick, of Hallamshire, were invited to attend a Walker Cup squad gettogether at Hoylake in December watched by captain Craig Watson and R&A selectors Nigel Edwards and Andy Ingram. Keen observers of the amateur game feel that selection for the match against the USA in September is wide open and a good run in the coming months would put Gill right in contention. “Yes, the Walker Cup is a massive goal for me, but we will see what happens this summer,” added Gill, who started out at Lindrick as a 12-year-old. A Walker Cup cap could also open doors in the world of professional golf, where Gill sees his future. “I’m planning on going to Tour school this year, which will be a new experience for me. I want to be a professional and try to make a living from playing the game and that will be the first step.” He got a taste of the big time last May when his father Rob, who is The Sun newspaper’s Motors Editor, arranged for him to play in the pro-am at the BMW PGA Championship. “It was a great experience and I really enjoyed playing in front of the big crowds,” said Gill, whose golfing hero is Justin Rose. “I love the way he plays and admire how mentally strong he is. I suppose I have modelled myself on him, but I still want to be myself.”

Putting is one of Lindrick player Bailey Gill’s top skills that he hopes will lead to both individual success and a Walker Cup place this year

Yorkshire’s year is up and running YORKSHIRE men’s team opened their season with a comfortable win against Lincolnshire at Crosland Heath. An undefeated morning foursomes performance from the Tykes, pictured with captain Darryl Berry, laid the platform and they went into the singles with a lead of 4.5 points to 0.5. Led out by Lindrick’s Bailey Gill, who beat Jack Diment from Belton Woods 5&4 in the top game, Yorkshire then won the next five matches through Barclay Brown (Hallamshire), Sam Bairstow (Hallowes), Wike Ridge’s Ben Firth, Tim

Special Rate for “Yorkshire Golfer” readers VISITING SOCIETIES ALWAYS WELCOME Package 1: Coffee/Tea & Bacon Roll, 18 Holes, Lunch Brind (Abbeydale) and Rotherham’s Charlie Daughtrey to put the result beyond doubt. Middlesbrough’s Michael Hay wrapped it up with a two-hole margin over Spalding’s Tommy Hull to give Yorkshire a 12-3 win. „ Howley Hall’s Ben Hutchinson was beaten in the quarter-finals of the

Spanish Men’s Amateur Championship at Las Colinas, Alicante. The England A Squad member went down 4&3 to Spaniard MuellerBaumgart Lucena Alvaro in an event won by Koen Kouwenaar, from Holland. Bailey Gill, from Lindrick, made the final 16, before losing on the last.

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Pike Hills Golf Club, Tadcaster Road, Askham Bryan, York, North Yorkshire, YO23 3UW


April 2019

NEW LOOK Old waterworks building transformed and now includes new locker rooms, office, and kitchen

Baildon pumps in funds to club

Baildon’s new clubhouse

Membership available, all categories – no joining fee

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WORK is now complete on Baildon’s impressive new clubhouse, which was formerly an old pump house adjacent to the course. The pump house was built in 1938 as Baildon Waterworks and in a nostalgic nod to the past the new lounge and bar, which will be open to the public, has been branded The Waterworks. Functions will also be catered for with a number of bookings already taken. The ground floor houses The Waterworks as well as locker rooms, an office and a kitchen. Upstairs includes a members’ lounge and meeting/committee room. The pump house was previously used to store greenkeeping equipment and plans were put in place for the conversion in December 2017 when members voted in favour of selling a parcel of land, including the original clubhouse, to a housing

developer. Club President Ian Holmes believes the model could pave the way for other clubs in Yorkshire who are faced with the continued challenge of rising costs and falling revenues. Speaking to Yorkshire Golfer at the time he said: “We needed to look at a way forward as the maintenance costs and work that needed carrying out were putting a strain on our finances.” The old clubhouse was over 100 years old and needed a new roof and windows and was suffering from an ailing heating system. Holmes added: “One of the options we decided to explore was converting the adjoining pump house, which is on a long-term lease from Yorkshire Water, into a new clubhouse and in tandem with that we sought planning permission for five houses on the site of the existing clubhouse, which we

subsequently received. “We will also bank a tidy sum, which will mean golf will continue to go on at Baildon and we can now look forward to celebrating our 200th anniversary.” The moorland layout that sits atop Baildon Moor was designed by five-time Open champion James Braid in 1896 and has stunning views over Ilkley Moor and the Yorkshire Dales. The course remains mostly unchanged and has produced some fine players including Ryder Cup player Gordon J Brand and European Senior Tour player Richard Masters. It is also the home course of European Tour caddie Dominic Bott, who has donated framed memorabilia that is now displayed in the new building. His expert course review on the club’s website is well worth a read before tackling the 18 holes.

„ Eight golf clubs in Yorkshire are participating in Girls Golf Rocks, which encourages girls to learn and play golf in a fun and friendly way that rocks! It is for girls aged 5-18 and offers free taster sessions, girls-only coaching courses and the chance to

get out and play. The clubs involved across Yorkshire this year are: Abbeydale, Bedale, Cookridge Hall, Fulford, Hessle, Meltham, Moor Allerton and The KP Club. Dates and full details are available at

Watts is at full power ADEL WATTS, of Prince Henry’s Grammar School, won the English Schools’ Golf Association West Yorkshire Schools’ Girls’ Championship with a gross 76 at Howley Hall. Watts edged out her Otley school-mate Abigail Taylor by a shot while Nathan Ali made it a clean sweep for Prince Henry’s when he took the Boys’ Championship with a fine gross 71 to win by two from Oscar Land of Allerton High. Watt is pictured with Ray Agar of the West Yorkshire Schools’ Golf Association


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April 2019

JUST WHAT DOCTOR ORDERED Cancelled shoulder surgery leads to Leeds stalwart recording first hole-in-one

Grimbleby ends long wait for ace about which most golfers dream. As well as being a longstanding member and former captain at Howley Hall, he is a country member at Ganton and admitted: “It couldn’t have happened at a nicer place. I love Ganton. “When I hit the shot I actually started laughing as it was the first decent iron shot I had hit all day. The pin was back left, which is a tough spot, and it landed halfway down the green, bounced twice and went in. I almost went into shock.” A one-handicapper in his prime and a regular member of the Leeds & District team, Grimbleby had a near miss early in his career at Gotts Park where he started out. “My tee shot plugged in the back of the hole, but when I took the flag out half the ball was in in the cup and half was out. The rules are different now, but back then I had to repair the plug mark and tap it in for a two. It has been some wait. I have had loads of eagles and even albatrosses, but never an

YORKSHIRE seniors’ team captain John Grimbleby has hit thousands of shots during his golfing life, but one will live with him forever after making his first hole-in-one in 55 years of playing the game. His ace came just four days after his 72nd birthday, the day on which he was due to have shoulder surgery, but was sent home after Dewsbury hospital staff discovered he had a water infection. “The nurse who had just put me on a course of antibiotics said, ‘Enjoy the rest of your week’,” said Grimbleby. “How right was she? I started playing golf at 17 and turned 72 on March 4. I have never had a hole-in-one and shouldn’t even have been playing golf that day.” A category one golfer for more than 50 years, only falling out of that bracket when he turned 68 and his handicap went up to 5.5, his 6 iron from the back tee on the 168-yard par-3 10th hole at his beloved Ganton found the hole and ended a long wait for a moment

John Grimbleby, centre, pictured after his ace at Ganton’s 10th hole with playing partners Steve Mason, left, and John Knott.

ace. I’m even reconsidering having the surgery to repair an old injury, which is a tear in my rotator cuff. I might just keep taking painkillers and wait for the next piece of good luck.” Medical issues aside he is already preparing his Yorkshire golden oldies for the season ahead as they try to regain the English Senior Men’s County Championship, which they captured in 2017. Their opening fixture is against the old enemy Lancashire at Wakefield on May 20 and that will be a cru-

Forest of Galtres Golf Club York

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cial match. With the highest handicap in the Yorkshire team standing at around 1.5 the standard is high and the competition fierce. He will have two new recruits to bolster an already strong squad in Lindrick’s Roy Mugglestone and Hessle’s Andy Woodhead, retiring President of the East Riding Union. “Lancashire were the only team to beat us last year and they went on the win the national title so we will be going all out to recapture that crown this year,” added Grimbleby.

Huddersfield’s Heath is heading for France HUDDERSFIELD’S Charlotte Heath has been selected to represent England in the French Under21 Women’s Championship this month. Heath, 17, won the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and was a semifinalist in the British Girls’ Amateur Championship last year.

The Fixby player is also a member of the England Golf national squad. She will be joined at St Cloud in Paris from April 18-22 by Emily Brennan of Staffordshire, Lily May Humphreys of Essex , Gloucestershire’s Caley McGinty, Mimi Rhodes of Somerset and Caitlin Whitehead from Cumbria.

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April 2019

GIVE IT A TRY Short form of golf is definitely long on fun, enjoyment and competition for men and women

Nine-hole golf is growing into a much bigger deal year by year four in to two, giving a round of 18 still real golf and is fast, fun and flexiNINE-HOLE golf is booming and the holes. Not until 1857, when they decidble rising popularity of this form of the ed to put two flags on the eight double Longer days mean we are coming game is testament to the work being greens on the Old Course, was the 18into the perfect time of year to enjoy done to promote shorter formats as a hole course truly born. the abundance of nine-hole courses in way of enjoying the sport in less time, The trend has not escaped the notice Yorkshire. Many wonder why a course either recreationally or for handicap of the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs has only nine holes, and many assume purposes. who have created a new According to team scratch event for research from the clubs with fewer than 18 governing bodies in holes. Great Britain and The inaugural men’s Ireland there is a sigevent will be played at nificant increase in Crow Nest Park Golf Club, competitive ninenear Brighouse, on hole scores being Wednesday, July 31 2019 submitted, with and the team with the lowEngland Golf reportest aggregate score – with ing a 17% increase all three scores to count – in 2018 in competiwill be the winner. The tive nine-hole club player with the lowest indirounds by males to vidual score will receive a almost 60,000, and a voucher. 6% rise by females Midgley Lodge’s nine-hole course is just one of many that can be YUGC affiliated clubs to 45,918. enjoyed by Yorkshire’s golfers in a format that is booming eligible are Ben Rhydding, Richie Ramsay, a Bradford Moor, Castlefields, Clayton, that land restrictions are the prime three-time European Tour winner, is a Crow Nest Park, East Bierley, Elland, cause. But history tells us that the early big fan. He said: “Nine-hole golf is a Fulneck, Ghyll, Headley, Hanging golf courses in Scotland all had a difshorter form of the game that people of Heaton, Hebden Bridge, Heworth, ferent numbers of holes. all ages and abilities can enjoy together Lightcliffe, Longley Park, Marsden Leith Links had five holes in 1744 and can be played after work, after Masham, Rawdon, Roundhay, Ryburn, when the Honourable Company, as school and at the weekend. South Bradford, Queensbury, they would come to be known, held the “It’s encouraging that golf clubs are Todmorden, Whitwood, Withernsea and world’s first recorded golf competition. now offering their members opportuniWaterfront. Musselburgh Old course had seven ties to play alternative, shorter formats YUGC secretary Jonathan Plaxton holes for many years, and added an of the game in order to meet the said: “We kept analysing the fixture list eighth in 1832 and a ninth in 1870. demands of busy, modern lifestyles. and realised that we engage with a lot St Andrews Old Course had 12 “I think this is important for safeof clubs a lot of the time, but not all the holes by 1764, the holes being laid out guarding the future of the sport, while clubs all of the time so we looked at in a line and 10 holes were played providing a fun and enjoyable means to ways of embracing and reaching more twice – once ‘out’ and once ‘back’, in exercise and socialise with family and clubs in the county and their players making a ‘round’ of 22 holes. Soon friends.” and involving them at county level after they decided to combine the first A survey conducted by the R&A since they are all stakeholders in the revealed that 60% of golfers would Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs. enjoy golf more if it took less time, “We looked at the number of ninewhich led to a nine-hole pilot event on hole facilities across the county and the eve of the Open Championship at decided to introduce an event just for Royal Troon in 2016 During the coming months we them and hopefully we can get a good It is now a permanent fixture and 42 will be running features on a enough response to justify the deciplayers from qualifying events around number of nine-hole courses sion. the country will tee it up at Royal across the county. “During my time as President I got Portrush on the morning of Saturday, To be included contact Lucy to know John Turner from Crow Nest, July 13 in The 9-Hole Challenge Final. Tissiman for details on 07739 which is a great facility, so it was natuThe benefits of nine-hole golf are 709310 or a by email: ral to approach them first about hosting there for all to enjoy. It takes less time, the event and I’m happy to say they can be social and/or competitive, can were only too pleased to accept.” count for handicapping purposes, is

Rawdon Golf & Lawn Tennis Club

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High Wood, Ben Rhydding, Ilkley, LS29 8SB Telephone: 01943 608759 • Mobile: 07709 973455


April 2019

GETTING TO KNOW Q: How did you start playing golf? A: I started golf after I saw my cousin Danny Denison play in The Open in 2006 at Royal Liverpool. Q: What’s the best advice you have ever received? A: Hit it, find it, hit it again! Q: What was the last book you read? A: The Silent Mind. Q: What was your first trophy in golf? A: Howley Hall Junior Open. Q: What was the last movie you saw? A: The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Q: If you don’t choose golf as a career what field would you like to work in? A: Good question. I haven’t got to that point yet! Q: Who is your golfing hero? A: Tiger Woods. Q: Who would be in your ideal fourball? A: Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan.

... Ben Hutchinson Former Yorkshire champion Ben Hutchinson broke into the England Golf squad earlier this year and is preparing for an assault on the amateur circuit. He began the season in impressive style in the Spanish Amateur at Las Colinas near Alicante where he reached the quarter-finals. Yorkshire Golfer got to know more about the Howley Hall star A: A 3 iron to the 4th hole at Royal County Down in the Irish Am last year. Straight into the wind. No place really you can miss the green and if you do, best is going to be a bogey. Hit a stinger 3 iron to 6 feet.

A: You’ve never done a hard day’s graft in your life.

Q: Your favorite course in Yorkshire? A: Alwoodley.

Q: Your four favourite songs? A: Miss Independent, Don’t You Worry Child, Titanium, Not Afraid.

Q: What other sports and teams do you follow outside of golf? A: Most sports and I follow Leeds United

Q: What is the proudest moment in your golfing life so far? A: Representing England

Q: What’s the funniest thing you have ever seen on a golf course? A: A double hit, as it’s a very unique skill.

Q: Which four guests would you invite for dinner? A: Andrew Flintoff, Peter Kay, Jennifer Lawrence and Kevin Hart.

Q: Your favourite pub/restaurant for a night out? A: Revs De Cuba in Leeds.

Q: What is the most memorable shot you have played?

Q: What’s the worst thing anybody has ever said to you?

Q: Who would play you in a movie? A: Tom Cruise.

Q: What was your first set of clubs? A: Ogre Masters Q: What is the biggest issue in golf and how would you tackle it? A: Slow play. I would make the punishment more severe. Q: Finally, who is golf’s greatest player? A: Tiger Woods.


April 2019

SECOND PRO TITLE Former English amateur champion claims two-shot victory in MENA Tour event in Muscat

Marsh’s stunning finishing run rewarded HUDDERSFIELD’S Nick Marsh secured the second win of his professional career in sensational style. Marsh played the last five holes in five under par at Ghala Golf Club in Muscat, Oman, to hold off Robin Rousell by two shots to win the MENA Tour by Arena event. Frenchman Roussel, starting the day four shots behind the eventual champion, shot a course-record nine-under par 63 and had caught up with Marsh with four holes to play. Marsh, playing on a sponsor’s invite, was on the 14th hole at that point and unaware of Roussel’s score. The 24year-old, who was ranked as high as 14 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking before turning pro, then made birdies on the 14th, 15th and 18th, but the killer blow was an eagle on the par-5 16th for a 65. Marsh eventually finished on 18-under par 198, two better than Challenge Tour player Roussel, in the 54-hole tournament that carried a total purse of $75,000. He also earned an invitation to the Andalucia – Costa del Sol Match Play in May on the European Challenge Tour. It was Marsh’s second win as a professional, following the Dawson and Sanderson Classic on the EuroPro Tour in 2017,

and he was delighted with the way he handled the situation. “I just went there with a good mindset and a good game plan and stuck to it,” he said. “I was five under through the last five holes, which was very pleasing because the wind did get up in the afternoon,” said Marsh, who made four birdies in the first 12 holes, but also dropped shots at the seventh and 12th . “I had no idea what Robin was doing in front of us. I just thought that I needed to stay ahead of Max and Gaunty (playing partners), who were playing very good golf as well. “I just love this golf course. I need to wrap it up and take it with me everywhere. I think I have some kind of a love affair with it because I have no idea why I did so well this week on the back nine,” added Marsh, who was 14 under par for the last nine holes during the week. The MENA Tour by Arena is returning to the world schedule after a year of restructuring and will feature 10 tournaments in 2019. It will continue to provide Official World Golf Ranking points, making it another great pathway for ambitious young professional to the bigger tours, and for the players from the Middle East region to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Huddersfield’s Nick Marsh receives the trophy after victory in Muscat, Oman

McCarthy’s spark MOORTOWN’S Nick McCarthy paved the way for his win in the 1836 Tour event at Formby Hall by shooting a stunning opening round of 62. McCarthy, right, added a level par 72 in an event dominated by European Tour players, winning by four shots from Rotherham’s Jonathan Thomson with Yorkshire Golfer columnist Chris Hanson fourth.

Rockliffe Hall doubles up ROCKLIFFE Hall’s Golf team won two accolades at the 59club’s Excellence Awards. The annual awards, held this year at The Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, recognise some of the highest-profile and best-loved golf venues across the globe, and the people who work at them. Ben Hunt, Clubhouse Manager, scooped the Food and Beverage Manager of the Year Award and the golf course also won the Gold Flag Resort Award for the third year running. Davy Cuthbertson, Golf Course and Estate Director at Rockliffe Hall, says: “It’s fabulous that Ben has won this much deserved award.”


April 2019

April 2019


WORKING WITH WEDGES Former Masters champion now only needs to step into his garden to get practising

Willett’s short route to hit lower scores DANNY WILLETT’S wedge play should be sharper than ever after installing a short game area in his back garden. Huxley Golf has built the practice area at his South Yorkshire home to go with the putting green they fitted just before he won the 2016 Masters. Willett came up with a very specific brief that would enable him to work on his wedge play from 120 yards in and the resulting area has been carefully crafted to create the contours and three-hole locations required to give him a wide range of difficult wedge shots. The back tee lines up to the centre of the green so that the front centre flag has exactly three yards either side of it, allowing Danny to work on scoring as he practises. There are a further two tees and a fringe surround of varied width to create an interesting shape that blends well with its surroundings. Measuring 900 sq. ft, the Huxley Golf team created the area using the company’s tournament-quality Premier Nylon

Golf Green, chosen for its superb ball reception and durability. The contours that Willett required were created while constructing the special base for the green. Willett said: “I have been so delighted with my Huxley indoor putting green over the last couple of years that I wanted to build on that experience outdoors. It’s been fantastic. Despite the Yorkshire weather I was able to practise at home to prepare for the DP World Tour Championship and the US PGA Tour.” Will Alsop at Huxley Golf, who worked with Willett’s team, commented: “When we first installed a practice area for Danny in 2016 he went on to win his first major. Shortly after his second Huxley Golf installation, he secured victory at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, so we’d like to think that our amazing golf surfaces had a small part to play in equipping Danny to be the best that he can be! We’re thrilled to have been asked to work on this project and look forward to supporting his future successes.”

Danny Willett has been sharpening up his wedge play on a short game area purpose built for him by Huxley Golf

Westwood hammers the bookies LINDRICK member Lee Westwood had the bookies running for cover for the second successive year at Cheltenham when he scooped nearly £50k on the second day of the Festival. The former world No 1 golfer is a keen horse racing fan with a share in several horses and collected an eyewatering £48,200.91 from a £240 stake. Westwood placed a Super Heinz bet, which is made up of seven selections and requires only two to win in order to make a return. Six horses came through for him at the Festival ensuring

a huge windfall for the 45-year-old. The two-time Masters runner-up was delighted with his success and posted his winning selections on social media. Last year at the Festival Westwood landed £20,768 by picking 11 winners from 12. This year he was reliant on Altior and Tiger Roll coming home, as well as Envoi Allen, Band Of Outlaws, City Island and the appropriately named Topofthegame. His only selection that did not win was Killultagh Vic, who finished 19th in the Handicap Hurdle.


April 2019

STARRING STATESIDE Wakefield GC pair shine in Tennessee and Nevada

LEEDS & District President Charlie Brown hosted the Union’s annual dinner, which was held at Elland Road and attended by over 200 guests. Yorkshire past President Alastair Davidson, Presidents from other districts in the county and Union secretary John Grimbleby were among the distinguished guests. Pictured are – left to right, back row: Graham Anderson (Bradford), Alan Marriott (Sheffield), Andy Woodhead (East Riding), Lea Roberts (speaker), John Grimbleby (Leeds Secretary) and Gary Lent (Teesside). Left to right, front row: Hugh Orr (Harrogate), Alastair Davidson (past President YUGC), Charlie Brown (Leeds President), John Lawrence (Halifax Huddersfield) and Jim McIntosh (York)

WATH Comprehensive made an encouraging first appearance in the British Schools’ and Colleges’ Open Championship by finishing third at Fairmont St Andrews. The team play out of nearby Waterfront Golf where, as part of their golf scholarship programme, they receive regular coaching from Frank Houlgate, who travelled with them to Scotland, Wath’s Charlie Daughtrey finished tied for second in the individual event with 70 on The Torrance and a 76 on The Kittocks layout. He was two shots behind Jack McPhail, from Myerscough College who won the main team event. Pictured, left to right, are Luca Houlgate, Ben Schmidt, Frank Houlgate Jnr and Charlie Daughtrey

Bradbury and North excelling TWO Wakefield lads are making a name for themselves on the ultra-competitive US college golf circuit. Dan Bradbury and George Heath played hundreds of rounds together as juniors at Wakefield Golf Club and are now playing starring roles after taking up golf scholarships at American universities. Bradbury’s Lincoln University Memorial team won an unprecedented third consecutive tournament title when they captured the Bearcat Classic with Bradbury taking individual honours. He led his team – known as the Railsplitters – to victory by winning his second tournament of the season. The sophomore shot rounds of 69, 68 and 71, and was one of only two players in the field along with Georgia

Southwestern runner-up performer Vincent Norrman to shoot under par in all three rounds. Bradbury ended the 54hole event with an eight-underpar total of 208. In the previous tournament, his Lincoln Memorial University team, based in Harrogate, Tennessee, produced their most dominant performance of the season, running away with an 18-shot victory at the Southern Tide Classic with a 15-under-par, three-round total of 841. That win was powered by a South Atlantic Conferencerecord 14-under par 270 in round two, which broke a conference record that had stood since 1997. Bradbury was LMU’s topplaced player, finishing in a tie for third in the 75-player field. Former QEGS pupil George

Wakefield’s Dan Bradbury seen in action for his US College side, the Railsplitters, from Lincoln Memorial University Heath is a freshman at James Madison University in Boulder City, Nevada and helped his team – the Dukes – to their second title of the season, the 2019 Jackrabbit Invitational at the par-72, 7,402-yard Boulder

Creek Golf Club.Their winning margin was 24 strokes over second-placed Texas State in the 14-team field, with Heath finishing in a tie for 10th in the individual event at six over par.

April 2019


ACCENT ON SUCCESS Huddersfield GC assistant is proving a big hit on YouTube with alluring Yorkshire twang

Robinson’s following leads to Augusta HUDDERSFIELD Golf Club GolfMates Travel that will see assistant professional James him go in search of new materiRobinson believes the key to al at The Masters this month his huge following on YouTube during a trip to the USA. is down to his Yorkshire accent. “I love to travel so this He is getting almost a milsponsorship arrangement is a lion views a month and over definite win-win as I get to go 40% of his 40,000 followers are to play and review different from the United States, which courses around the world and he puts down to his South they get great content. Yorkshire twang and the hon“We are going to one of the esty of his reviews. practice days at The Masters Robinson, 27, said: “I think and then driving down to Hilton a lot of people don’t trust an Head Island to play Harbour American accent and find it a Town. Then we have a week at bit false. Lake Nona so I’m hoping to “Maybe it’s not the right pick up a lot of great new conword, but I suppose I have a bit tent during the trip. “ of Yorkshire bluntness about He has been assistant to me and I’m also very honest in Huddersfield head professional my reviews and my followers Alex Keighley for two years seem to like that. having started out at Tankersley “Being based at Fixby, the Park in his native Sheffield, and is grateful for her support. home of Yorkshire Golf for 125 “Alex has been great. I have years, is also a big plus.” had to give up a He started Got a story for us? few shop hours, out with mainly but hopefully tuition- and Then send your club’s news to it’s all going to equipmentbased content be worth it,” he said. that attracted Next up is a the attention of @yorkshiregolfer trip to Australia equipment giants in November before he starts to Callaway, who invited him to work on his next project. do a ‘behind the scenes’ piece “I’ve played golf in six of at the Dubai Desert Classic, the seven continents. That where he interviewed Sergio leaves Antarctica, which is Garcia and Henrik Stenson. going to be a challenge – but His new-found popularity I’m determined to do it somehas also led to a sponsorship how.” deal with Wigan-based

Huddersfield GC’s James Robinson at the Dubai Desert Classic where he interviewed Ryder Cup stars Sergio Garcia – seen in the background on the tee – and Henrik Stenson

Alan and Mavis are the toast of Cobble Hall ALAN and Mavis Cross may well lay claim to be the longest-serving golfing husband and wife in Yorkshire. The couple joined Leeds Golf Club together in 1978, having started their love for golf at nearby Temple Newsam, and have over 80 years combined membership at Cobble Hall. Mavis went on to be the lady captain in 1994 and only

retired from playing last year aged 89. Sprightly Alan continues to play on at the young age of 91, gracing the fairways three times a week, four if there is a Bank Holiday competition. He shuns a buggy and always walks, which is a formula that has clearly worked well as has had two holes-inone, two eagles on the par-5s and a best round of 75 gross

during a storied career. The couple will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in June on the same day that Mavis joins the exclusive nonagenarian group. Leeds GC secretary Paul Mawman said: “They are regulars at all the social events that the club stages. It will be right for Alan and Mavis to be centre stage for once on their anniversary.”

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April 2019

YG Publisher Danny Lockwood finds a friendly welcome in North Leeds


F STAYING young at heart is the secret to a long and healthy life, Cookridge Hall Golf Club members and patrons have plenty to be optimistic about. One of the newer additions to the vaunted North Leeds golfing belt, Cookridge celebrated its 21st birthday last year and all is well in the world. The club prides itself on an open and friendly attitude towards everything and everyone associated with golf, from roll up players who simply fancy hitting balls down the 22-bay covered and floodlit driving range, societies who want to organise a round on the championship course, or potential members who would like to join the Cookridge family. There really is something for everyone and the inclusivity extends to weekend competitions all being open to the full membership, juniors, lady members and men alike. In fact the thriving Cookridge Hall junior section is a source of particular pride, and the envy of many clubs across the county. This year’s junior captain, 17-year-old Harry Hunter-Mapp, is also captain of Leeds & District juniors in 2019 and there are plenty of talented young golfers coming through a system that produced Faldo Series champion and now

Cookridge Hall is young at heart Ladies European Tour player Kiran Matharu. Cookridge believes in starting them young, and under the watchful eye of PGA professional Paul O’Donnell – along with head pro Mark Pinkett and colleague Graham Bradley – golfers as young as five are nurtured through the Tigers nursery coaching system. Paul also has responsibility for the Leeds City Golf Roots programme. It’s a commitment to the grass roots of the sport that saw Cookridge be recognised with the

region’s first Club Mark and Golf Mark awards, which were subsequently cemented with recognition as a Golf Mark High Achiever. It is also part of the Girls Rock Golf programme, Golf England’s ‘get into golf’ initiative which this year will see free taster sessions for girls aged 518 on May 28th. With more than 450 members across all categories, Cookridge is a buzzing place, with the clubhouse bar and restaurant open to the public.

It is located in the Coach House of what was the original 17th century Cookridge Hall, the hall itself being home to the neighbouring Bannatyne Gym and Spa. Under the ethos of providing something for everyone, would-be golfers or people pressed for time can simply take the £95 golf range membership, which provides for 1,800 range balls, two rounds on the championship course, one hour’s half-price tuition from one of the pros, plus further discounts. Adjacent to the range which nestles between the 2nd and 3rd holes, is a chipping and bunker practice area. The pro shop itself is part of the Foremost Golf purchasing group which means not only that equipment is sold competitively compared to internet prices – there is a price match scheme – but golfers can also try the equipment out first, on the latest Flightscope technology. In addition, Cookridge was an early adopter of the growing trend towards reciprocal partnership. Members can also enjoy full playing rights at Sandburn Hall outside York and the Oakdale club in Harrogate. The course itself was designed by American architect Karl Litten, who was also responsible for the highly regarded Emirates Club, Dubai. It lies on undulating terrain and incorporates several lakes and ponds, meaning there is lots of scope for well crafted golfing challenges. Both uphill and downhill doglegs make position every bit as much of a premium as length – and with the ability to ‘stretch’ the layout by more than 800 yards from the yellow tees to the championship blues, there’s a test for every level of golfer. In addition some huge greens mean that pin positions can make a significant difThe short ference to your scoring chances. game Afterwards, relaxing in the sports practice area bar with its two large screen tvs, or with driving having a quick one in the designated range bays spikes bar, a friendly and welcoming beyond atmosphere is guaranteed.

April 2019


Course review – Cookridge Hall Yellow tees 1 – 355yds par 4 Steady opener, downhill and all in front of you, plenty of fairway, mounded left and right. A left-sided lake interests only the biggest hitters and runs up alongside a big circular green, featuring mounds and run offs to the back and sides. 2 - 410yds par 4 Stroke index 1 comes early and would be a great finishing hole on any other course. All uphill, it’s a sweeping right to left dogleg with a sentinel tree on the elbow, plus mounds and bunkers if you bale out too far right. There’s also OB right on your second shot, as you approach a steep sloping back to front green, which will be fun when summer speeds it up! Bunkers feature back and back left. 3 – 522yds par 5 Your card could get wrecked here. A double dogleg par 5, with the driving range providing OB right for anyone tempted to take the corner on. You’ve also got a ditch bordering the range, plus another ditch about 100 yards short of a raised green – and you still might not have a clear view of the flag for your 3rd. There are bunkers and run-offs around a green sloping back right to front left. A toughie. 4 – 153yds par 3 A gently rising par 3 with plenty of room if you miss pin high, on a green with a big front apron plus a mound at the back of the large green helping to stop anything long. The putting surface slopes back to front and there’s a bunker 10 yards short, front right. 5 – 323yds par 4 A gently downhill par 4 with rough mounding if you spray too far right, but when the fairways are running you can leave yourself a short 2nd. Watch out for the two angled bunkers front right at about 20 and 50 yards short of a green that slopes slightly away from you, with run-offs. 6 – 132yds par 3 A very picturesque short hole, over the lake with a big, MacKenzie-like green to take direct aim at – unless the flag is positioned front right and you might think twice about trying to attack it. 7 – 495yds par 5 An uphill hole where left-sided trees create a slight rising dogleg. Only the longest hitters have a chance in two, especially with the refurbished front bunker that runs the width of another green that slopes markedly back to front. Stay below the hole when it’s running fast. 8 – 281yds par 4 A short, uphill par 4 with OB in the trees on the left.

COOKRIDGE HALL GOLF CLUB Cookridge Lane, Leeds West Yorkshire LS16 7NL Tel: 0113 200641

The view from behind the 7th green (above) and (right) early risers enjoy the tranquil North Leeds landscape

There’s a left hand bunker and a narrow entrance to a green that opens up and again slopes towards you.

with fairway bunkering on the left and mounds on the right increasing towards the big, tucked-away green.

9 – 368yds par 4 A real risk or reward hole, literally a 90 degree dogleg left with OB in the trees on the left. Your eye off the tee is drawn to the bunkers straight on and the bale out area around them, but danger lurks long or too far right, and you’ll have a very long shot into the downhill green. Cutting the corner is the shot if you have the carry. Three bunkers protect a plateau-green that’s at 45 degrees to your approach and slopes back left to front right. It’s an attractive hole to finish the front nine.

14 – 126yds par 3 This lovely short hole plays 60 yards longer from the back pegs. It’s a raised, sloping green with mounds and run offs, but a very steep faced left sided bunker, and another not quite as punishing the length of the right side. Just hit the green!

10 – 460yds par 5 Straightforward drive from an elevated tee, slightly downhill. There are trees and trouble on both sides, but plenty of fairway to aim at. A ditch traverses the fairway about two thirds of the way to the hole. A huge bunker protects the left side of the green, with a front right trap leaving a very narrow entrance. The green is typically large but slopes from back right to front left. 11 – 507yds, par 4 Back-to-back par 5s and this is a beast, an extra sharp dogleg. You play down to the corner, careful to avoid the public footpath and OB left, before turning left and uphill with a ditch right side, trees left, and a heavily guarded green you probably can’t see clearly even on your third shot. A real challenge. 12 – 360yds par 4 Out to the far corner of the Cookridge estate, a sweeping downhill left to righter, with the two copses of trees on your right being the main problem. Find the fairway and your approach is to one of the smaller greens sloping front left to back right. 13 – 374yds par 4 Index 2 and particularly tough if the prevailing wind is against. Straight and uphill,

15 – 142yds par 3 A consecutive short hole, which is all about pin position on a huge green. The diagonal ditch shouldn’t be an impediment, but many will find the raised banking on the left. The back bunker shouldn’t affect too many, but there are a lot of possible pin positions. 16 – 364yds par 4 The run for home, all downhill and straight, but favour the left side because you’ll get lots more run, whereas right sided

shots will leak off the fairway. The Hall is beyond the green, which is a big circular affair sloping quite sharply back left to front right, with traps right side and mounds left. 17 – 322 yds par 4 A blind tee shot, your drive is more about direction than length. Clear the ridge and your ball will kick on towards a narrower green. Just be sure to avoid the 7ft deep bunker that runs the length of the right side. 18 – 284yds par 4 Cookridge’s classic finishing hole, a real make-or-breaker. The daring will take on a driveable doglegged (blind) green, which nestles into the ornamental lake in front of the clubhouse itself. Miss right and you could find elevated rough and risk hacking out back towards the water. Others, like me, will take a mid-iron into the fairway, leaving a short shot into another big green with a few undulations and some potentially tricky pin positions.



April 2019

HELPING HAND Applications can be filed for grants towards cost of growing the game

APRIL QUIZ 1 Peter Alliss was the Head Professional at which Yorkshire golf club in the early 1970s? 2 Bernhard Langer famously played a shot out of a tree, in 1981, on the 17th hole of which Yorkshire course? 3 In 1957, which Yorkshire Golf Club hosted the Ryder Cup? 4 Established in 1887, which was the first golf course in Yorkshire? 5 Which former British Prime Minister opened the original club house at Bradford Golf Club in 1900? 6 Which Yorkshire golfer won the Boys’ Amateur Championship in 1971 and was a Ryder Cup player six times? 7 Established in 1902, the oldest trophy in professional golf is still played for at which Yorkshire golf club? 8 Hallamshire Golf Club is home to which news anchor, who got the ‘Mi Amigo’ fly past off the ground? 9 In which former mining town in Yorkshire was Augusta golf architect Dr Alister MacKenzie born ? 10 Who were the two most recent Yorkshire golfers to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup?

Answers on Page 24

YUGC seek quick action GOLF CLUBS planning to seek grants from the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs are being urged to lodge their applications as soon as possible. The purpose of the grant scheme is to provide seed funding to affiliated clubs in Yorkshire to support projects that contribute to more people playing golf, more members of Yorkshire golf clubs, membership retention and overall stronger facilities. Projects that might be appropriate for this funding include schemes to encourage new golfers by delivering taster and follow up sessions, increasing outside awareness and promoting initiatives within golf clubs, better opportunities and facilities for juniors, to support club volunteers to receive training and appropriate accreditation along with innovative membership, recruitment and retention initiatives. Funding is not restricted to these specific areas and each application will be judged on its individual merits and relevance to the main objectives, which are: more players, more members (through both retention and recruitment) and stronger golf clubs. Grants will generally be in the range of £250 to £500. Projects being funded should

Claret Jug on show at Howley HOWLEY HALL captain David Jones marked the end of his year in office with a closing dinner that included an appearance by the Claret Jug. Guest speaker Clive Brown, chairman of the R&A Championship Committee, brought the Open trophy with him and entertained guests with recollections from an interesting career as a top amateur golfer and administrator. One of his finest moments was when he led GB&I to a memorable 14-10 win in the 1995 Walker Cup at Royal Porthcawl, against an American side that included Tiger Woods. The appointment of Brown, a Welshman, as captain, proved to be ideally be timed to be completed by December 31 and the grant will be paid immediately following approval on the understanding that written feedback will be given subsequently to YUGC. A detailed breakdown of the associated costs may be required, together with receipts for external expenditure. Application forms can be downloaded from the YUGC website and any questions can

a masterstroke. The norm is to go for a man who had played in the Walker Cup. The accountant from Gwynedd had not played in the match, but he was an experienced Welsh international and a former captain of the GB & Ireland Youth team. His pedigree was further

be addressed to Union secretary Jonathan Plaxton at or by calling him on 01904 468442 (office) or 07484 730349 (mobile). „ A charity golf day to raise funds for Motor Neurone Disease and to remember former Hallowes member Matt Rowland will once again be held in July. Matt set up the event in 2014 after being diagnosed with the disease and subsequent golf

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enhanced by the fact that his mother was vice-captain of the GB & Ireland Curtis Cup team that defeated the US in 1986 and his grandfather was chairman of the PGA when GB & Ireland (preEurope) won the Ryder Cup at Lindrick in 1957. Instrumental in engaging Brown for Jones’s swansong was Paul Carrigill who has a long association with Howley Hall. The European Tour official has worked under Brown as a referee at the Open Championship on several occasions.Pictured, left to right, are David Jones, Clive Brown and Paul Carrigill.

days raised over £30,000 for MNDA and Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) before he passed away last year. Last year’s raised just short of £8,000.00 and organiser Craig Swift is hoping to break that figure at Hallowes on Friday, July 5. The cost for a team of four is £200 and this includes a breakfast/sandwich on arrival, refreshments on the course and

pie and peas at the end of the round. In previous years the event has been sponsored by many local companies including Gordon Lamb, Perry’s, Gilders and Sytner, and prizes have included the chance to win a new car with a hole in one, which is once again on offer this year. For further details visit: MNDgolfday/photos/.


April 2019

FIRST MAJOR OF 2019 The arrival of The Masters proves the new golfing season is truly upon us at long last

Augusta is on all our minds Who will tame Dr Alister MacKenzie’s masterpiece Augusta this week? MIKE SMITH offers his picks


HE year’s first major is upon us and no tournament evokes sucha buildup. So, as we count down the hours until the world’s best golfers descend on Augusta National, here is a list of contenders to slip on the green jacket – which is made of the finest Huddersfield cloth. The tradition of the Green Jacket dates back to 1937 when members of the Augusta National Golf Club wore green jackets so that fans on the fairways could easily spot them if they needed to ask questions. The first time a Green Jacket was presented to the winner of The Masters was in 1949.

Dustin Johnson says he is closer than ever to getting back to the career-best form he enjoyed just before injuring himself ahead of the 2017 Masters. The world number one was a strong 5/1 favourite for the 2017 Masters after three successive wins only to injure his back falling down some stairs in his rented house in Augusta. He was forced to withdraw without hitting a shot. Johnson says he has struggled to get back to his very best, but believes he is closer than ever to recapturing the form that made him a strong favourite for the 2017 Masters.

Dustin Johnson is getting back to his best form and that is ominous for his rivals at Augusta Picture: PGATOUR.COM He returned to Augusta in 2018 to record his third consecutive top-10 finish in the year’s first major and feels he is almost back to his best. “I’m getting closer, for sure,” the 34-year-old said. “I feel like the swing’s starting to feel a lot better. The shot patterns are starting to get more consistent. “Back then that was probably the best form I’ve ever been in and getting injured, it’s taken

a while to get back to that form. But it’s definitely the closest I’ve felt to that stage of my career.” While he is a worthy contender again Johnson’s best Masters finish in eight tries is a tied fourth in 2016. Also Augusta National is known as a right-to-left course, but Johnson almost exclusively plays a cut. What about a win for England? No golfer is more consistent both week-to-week and

during one particular week in April than Justin Rose. He has played in the Masters 13 times and his worst finish was a T-39 in his debut. He has 11 top-25s at Augusta National and five top-10s, including being runnerup in 2017 and 2015. But despite all his success here and around the world, Rose, 38, remains stuck on one major title, and is still without a Green Jacket. Rory McIlroy’s win at the

Players Championship ended a frustrating run of close calls and saw him installed as the new favourite to win at Augusta. He is also the only player to finish in the top 10 in each of the past five Masters. And statistically he’s having the best putting season of his PGA Tour career while racking up six consecutive top-sixes to start 2019. But McIlroy’s record at

Continued on Page 18

April 2019


FIRST MAJOR OF 2019 The arrival of The Masters proves the new golfing season is truly upon us at long last

Only a matter of time before Rahm wins big

Spaniard Jon Rahm is rated highly by Yorkshire’s world-renowned coach Pete Cowen Picture: PGATOUR.COM Continued from Page 17

Augusta National, where he is always present on the leader board, but never in Butler Cabin on Sunday evening, is similar to his overall record the past few years. Although he nearly made the Masters his first major title in 2011 this will already be the fifth time he tees it up there trying to complete the career Grand Slam. Brooks Koepka is the reigning PGA Tour Player of the

Year and has won three of the past six majors in which he has teed it up in. A cause for concern, however, is that he’s without a top-10 in three trips to Augusta, but this is a bit misleading. He improved from T33 in his 2015 debut to T-21 in 2016 to T-11 in 2017 before sitting out last year’s event with an injured wrist – a wrist that clearly healed before those wins at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship.

The odd, purposeful loss of 22 pounds, which he says has cost him 10 to 12 yards off the tee is a little more concerning. Hopefully the weight is back by the time he tees it up. His short game coach is Yorkshire’s Pete Cowen and the pair may also have some work to do in this department. Cowen believes that it is only a matter of time before Jon Rahm wins a Major and he was in with a shout last year in

only his second appearance at Augusta National before his chances ebbed away when his second shot into the par-5 15th on Sunday found a watery grave. till, the solo fourth place showed Rahm, just 24, has the game to be the next Spanish golfer to slip on the Green Jacket. Even if his will be a bit bigger than the others who came before him. However, he also splashed


away his chances at winning the Players . With a pair of top5 finishes at majors last year, Rahm seems to be over his early struggles in the biggest events. However, he still missed the cut in the other two majors in 2018 and half of his career eight rounds at Augusta National have been 73 or higher. Justin Thomas is arguably the most explosive player in the game and has improved in each of his three Masters starts. With the combination of his iron play – particularly his high ball flight – and aggressive style, this seems to be the Major best suited to him. It has only been three years, but Thomas’ best Masters finish was a T-17 in 2018. A Sunday meltdown at Riviera earlier this year shows he too is susceptible to pressure, in particular with his putting. In returning to the winner’s circle at last year’s Tour Championship and nearly climbing back into the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking, Tiger Woods with four Green Jackets hanging in his closet is one of the Masters favourites and the pick of Sheffield-born Sky Sports’ pundit Mark Roe. Even if he has fully recovered from his neck strain, winning will not come as easily as

it used to for the 14-time major champ. It has also been more than a decade since Woods’ last major win and 14 years since his famous chip-in on No 16 gave him his fourth Masters title. Rickie Fowler would be a very popular winner. He nearly tracked down Patrick Reed last year with a back-nine rally, coming up one shot short. The runner-up was Fowler’s fourth top-12 finish at Augusta National in the past five years, which is not surprising considering his rare combination of power and putting. However, Fowler now enters his 30s still in search of that elusive first major and while he finally won his fifth PGA Tour event earlier this season, let’s just say it was not a convincing final round. Tommy Fleetwood has had a good build-up with a tie for third in The Arnold Palmer Invitational and a top-5 finish at The Players. He has also made seven consecutive major championship cuts, including a T-17 at Augusta National in his second Masters start last year. Fleetwood was the 36-hole co-leader at both Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass before fading over the weekend. At No. 12 in the Official World Golf Rankings he is also the highest-

Continued on facing page

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April 2019

FIRST MAJOR OF 2019 If you are looking for outsiders then Pepperell and Snedeker both look excellent value

Par-4s are the true key to victory Continued from facing page

ranked player without a PGA Tour title on his résumé. But as we saw at the Ryder Cup he is a dogged competitor and has to be considered. Last year Jordan Spieth opened with 66, closed with 64 and nearly won a second Green Jacket. He also arrived at Augusta National in the middle of a slump, but once again found something that has led to an incredible track record that includes a win and two runnerups in his first three Masters. His long game continues to put more pressure on his fantastic touch on the greens, and Spieth’s best finish on the PGA Tour so far is a tied 35th in nine starts. Can he find his way again at the cathedral of pines? Defending Masters champ Patrick Reed is a tempting 401 shot bearing in mind he won his first major by holding off the likes of Fowler and Spieth while playing in the final pairing with McIlroy. So, the guy can get it done under a big spotlight other than the Ryder Cup.

Reed’s win last year was supposed to be a breakthrough, but he has not won anywhere since and following his first poor performance for Team USA he has not looked anything like the player he was last Spring. Bubba Watson has two green jackets and while his driving stats (he is currently second on the PGA Tour in strokes gained off the tee) have been strong the rest of his game has dropped off, particularly on the greens where he ranks 179th in strokes gained putting.


f the outsiders Eddie Pepperell looks a good each way choice at 100/1. Fuzzy Zoeller is the only player since 1935 to have won on debut but Pepperell has been hugely impressive over the last 18 month and has now forced himself into the world’s top 25. What’s more, his skill set seems to be well suited to Augusta, on paper at least. His strengths are his iron play and his short game – both great attributes on a layout where dis-

Bubba Watson has won twice at Augusta but his inconsistent putting could rule him out Picture: PGATOUR.COM tance control on approaches is key and the green complexes are severe. His biggest weakness is his driving, but we have seen examples in the past of people being wayward off the tee and still claiming the Green Jacket. Pepperell is coming off the back of a third-place finish in his first Players Championship and that should give him great confidence as he heads to north-east Georgia for the first time. A few shrewd judges believe Cameron Smith is going to be a world top-20 player for a number of years. He possesses a quality golf swing and seems to have a demeanour

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@yorkshiregolfer well suited to Major championship golf. His stats are solid across the board – and very good on and around the greens – and he tied for fifth last year in just his second start at The Masters. Look out for some big things from Smith, whether at

Augusta or beyond. Brandt Snedeker is another 100-1 shot, which looks too generous for a player who has quietly amassed nine victories on the PGA Tour and his record at Augusta is very good. In his last four starts, he has registered four top-40s, including two top-10s, and he also tied for 3rd in 2008. He consistently ranks as one of the best on the PGA Tour with the flat stick and is top-10 material. In terms of game shape for Augusta National, long, high and aggressive makes very logical sense. Many commentators talk about the set of

par-5s at Augusta being the key to winning, but in fact par-4 scoring in the main is the key to claiming the first Major of the year. Going back to 2013 the scoring rank of champions on the par-4s reads like this: Adam Scott: -5, rank 1st; Bubba Watson: +1, rank T4th; Jordan Spieth: -3, rank T2nd; Danny Willett: -3, rank 1st; Sergio Garcia: -3, rank 1st; Patrick Reed -6, 1st. In essence MacKenzie’s par4s at Augusta National eat players alive. To win the tournament they have to be tamed or even conquered.


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April 2019


MACKENZIE’S MARVELS The White Rose county is home to the world-renowned Yorkshireman’s first courses that

Leeds is where it all started MORE than 100 million viewers will watch the last round of The Masters, played as it has been since 1934 over the iconic Dr Alister MacKenzie designed Augusta National. Augusta is the Normantonborn surgeon turned architect’s best-known work, and on the bucket list of courses to play for every golfer in the world. But unless you are lucky enough to be chosen as a volunteer at the event or win the media lottery, the chances are you will never walk in the ‘cathedral of pines’ with club and ball in hand. Or you could be invited to become a member and join the 300 men and women who also have the right to wear the green jacket, but don’t hold your breath as Bill Gates can testify. The Microsoft founder had to wait over 10 years before

getting the call. So how lucky are we to have no fewer than 50 courses MacKenzie designed from scratch or substantially redesigned courses on our doorstep right here in Yorkshire The short 12th at Augusta is the most photographed golf hole in the world, but we have equally memorable holes right here in the Broad Acres. Before going on to design many more world-famous courses like Royal Melbourne and Cypress Point, the good doctor played his golf and learned his trade as a member of Leeds Golf Club between 1900 and 1910 when he was a surgeon at LGI. His first writings on golf course architecture were recorded in the club’s suggestions book, MacKenzie later recalling: “On my return from South Africa I wrote two or three

The seventh hole at Leeds Golf Club where Dr Alister MacKenzie learned his trade as a member between 1900 and 1910 pages in the suggestion book of Leeds Golf Club, pointing out how the course could be changed by utilizing the natural features, and making others indistinguishable from them and thus creating a greater resemblance to the golf on seaside courses, which in those days everyone admitted to be vastly superior to inland courses, though few knew why they were better.”

He would soon turn his words into actions when the 7th hole became his first creation as a golf course architect. Cobble Hall, as it is better known, is steeped in history and on August 7-8 will again host the Leeds Cup, which is the oldest trophy in professional golf, with a pro-am the day before the tournament starts. The 20th edition of the MacKenzie Chronology that

was updated last October makes reference to Ilkley Golf Club, and mentions that he was a member of Ilkley at their ‘River course’, to which they moved in 1898. MacKenzie wrote about his membership in an article entitled “Water Holes Should Tempt, Not Torture”, published in the January 1934 issue of Golfing magazine (US), so likely written late in 1933. “There




was a club I belonged to more than thirty years ago, Ilkley in England where Tom Vardon was the professional and where a river ran through the ground,” he recalled. MacKenzie is said to have great affinity with the course, and in one article mentioned Ilkley in the same sentence as the world-famous 16th hole at Cypress Point. Further approval

Continued on facing page

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April 2019

still delight thousands of golfers as they challenge their skills on memorable layouts that are visually stunning

Gibraltar, rightly famous the par-3 10th hole at Moortown, left, and Ilkley’s 15th green, right, as it was in the late 1930s Continued from facing page

comes from the fact that the riverside layout ticks 12 of the 13 points in his ’13 Principles Of Golf Design’ which he wrote for the English newspaper Golfing. The short 15th is classic MacKenzie, a small green surrounded by intimidating bunkers, and his legacy lives on through world-renowned golf architects Mckenzie (no relation) and Ebert, who were commissioned to design the newlook par-5 sixth hole and the approach to the fourth.

The immediate success of MacKenzie’s first design at Alwoodley in north Leeds resulted in an invitation to design a course almost next door – Moortown. It shared many design concepts with Alwoodley, but one hole in particular, Gibraltar, brought considerable interest from far afield. MacKenzie used a rocky slope to construct a short hole with contours that would deflect the imperfectly struck shot into an army of bunkers scooped out of the edges of the putting surface.

With a number of different pin positions, playing strategy could be varied daily. Moortown’s equally instant fame soon brought a flood of invitations for MacKenzie to design new courses, mostly in the north of England, and redesign old ones. Like MacKenzie, Moortown would go on to achieve international acclaim and hosted the first Ryder Cup on British soil in 1929. Gibraltar became known the world over and the par-3 10th remains unchanged as one of the best short holes in

the world. Next on his list and also in the City of Leeds was Garforth Golf Club, which had been established in 1912 by a group of local enthusiasts and modified a year later under the “expert guidance of MacKenzie” according to club records. Major features of his crafting are the Cock and Carr Becks that meander through the course and his layout bears all the hallmarks of his work including multi-tiered undulating greens, often long and

angled from the centre of the fairway, large and freely formed bunkers and substantial additional contouring. The course remains largely unchanged, but the rest of the facilities have moved with the times with a luxurious clubhouse and service to match. The introduction of municipal golf in Leeds was down to the long and hard campaigning of Alderman Alf Masser and A. G. (Bert) Baker, the then golf correspondent at the Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper. The Lord Irwin course at

Temple Newsam was the first public golf course to open in the city on July 20, 1923 and 25,000 rounds were played during the first two years. MacKenzie’s great nephew Alastair McManus revealed that the course was built by workers who were part of a scheme introduced by Leeds City Council to train those out of work. McManus told Yorkshire Golfer:” Alister did a lot of work at the time for Leeds City Council and both courses were built by his brother Charlie. “There was a high unemployment at the time and the council ran a scheme to train people how to build golf courses. Charlie and a foreman trained them and they built the courses. They were constructed about 18 months apart and they were so pleased with the first course that they commissioned him to build the second,” he added. Temple Newsam was unique in the world as municipal facility with two 18 hole courses both designed by the legendary MacKenzie. These have been adapted to one 18 hole layout plus a nine hole course but many memorable holes are still intact. The 4th on the Lord Irwin course is the first of the par-3s, but anyone hoping for a little respite after the challenging opening three holes may be in for a disappointment. Not the longest of the one shotter’s at

Continued on Page 23


April 2019

MACKENZIE’S MARVELS Normanton-born architect sadly died before Augusta National staged the first Masters Continued from Page 21 only 163 yards off the back tee, the likes of Peter Alliss thinks it one of the toughest par-3s he has come across. Appropriately named ‘The Plateau’ it is all carry upwards to a long island-type green protected by five bunkers. Only a very accurate tee shot will set up a birdie chance. Anything short, left or right will lead to an uphill chip over a bunker to find the green and potentially a long putt to find the hole on a green that stretches over 20 yards from front to back. Augusta’s founder Bobby Jones and MacKenzie had a mutual love for the Old Course at St Andrews, and the latter was said to have been inspired by the Road Hole when laying out the 17th hole. From the tee you can see all of the hole laid out downhill before you, and beyond that to the cityscape of Leeds and further afield. Visually it appears to be to be an innocent 391yard par-4, straight down to the slightly raised green at the bottom, but danger abounds. Anything right will dice with the out of bounds and the left side is protected by heavy rough. The approach shot will almost certainly be on a downhill lie, and any approach that misses the green left or right will leave an uphill chip over a bunker. Go long and you will be faced with a chip up a steep bank and praying you can hold

Players leave the first imprints on Augusta’s greens, left, during the opening day in 1933 and, right, a view across one of Skipton’s greens the green for the chance of a par saving putt. In July 1924 the Ossett Observer reported that MacKenzie had been commissioned to build a new 18-hole course at Low Laithes and by May of the following year nine holes had opened for play following work by the British Golf Course Construction Co. This most accessible of parkland courses is just off the M1 on the outskirts of Wakefield and the green fee alone is worth it to play the closing hole, and a true risk or reward MacKenzie challenge that can make or break a round. Standing on the tee the questions this hole poses are in full view all the way up to the classically designed MacKenzie green. Different tees offer golfers of varying abilities the

opportunity to make a name for themselves on this par-5, one of the most memorable across the county. From the medal tees the hole measures 540 yards and as it often plays into the prevailing wind only the longest of hitters will have an opportunity of attempting to reach the green in two shots. A generous fairway awaits the tee shot. From there, for most players a decision needs to be taken as to whether to lay up short of the cross ditch and leave a longish third, or take it on and leave a short iron to the green. For the approach shot it is advisable to leave the ball below the pin. With pure greens running at up to 13 on the stimp meter, anything beyond the hole will leave players requiring the deftest of touches. After com-

pleting their round,many golfers take drinks on the patio and delight in watching counterparts come off with grimaces or smiling faces. A great end to any round on a course that bears some of MacKenzie’s greatest hallmarks With the advent of the Haskell golf ball longer courses were required and so in 1911 Skipton Golf Club approached Dr MacKenzie to prepare a new layout for the then 9-hole course, much of which is still in use today. Now an 18-hole course, MacKenzie’s trademark undulating and stepped greens can have no better example than the club’s last hole, the challenge not to just be on the green, but to be on in the right place, an often repeated phrase spoken at Augusta National.

The course over the intervening years has undergone several transformations, but has stayed principally true to his work, particularly around the greens and their contouring. The most recent alteration saw the opening in 2018 of two brand-new holes under the guidance of course architect David Jones, but which again stay true to MacKenzie’s ethos. The result is a course that measures just under 6,500 yards from the championship tees and is a challenge to every level of golfer, with 18 holes that will long stay in the memory. ‘The Course Doctor’ was arguably his most creative between 1926 and 1933, starting out with three Royals in Australia – Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney – before moving on to the US to design

Cypress Point in 1927 and Pasatiempo two years later. He also found time to redesign Lahinch in 1927 before laying his hands on a former fruit plantation in Georgia. The most dramatic features of Augusta National are the sharp change in elevation, in evidence on most holes. This was MacKenzie at his best, plotting the holes around the natural contours to make the most challenging and most visually impactful layout, now famous the world over. Sadly, he never even saw his finished work before his death, which came less than three months before the first Masters tournament was held in March 1934, and reputedly having only received $2,000 of his $5,000 design fee.


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April 2019


I put myself on back foot in Kenya I

THOUGHT I might have a chance to get into the European Tour event in Kenya and anticipated a lastminute phone call and then a mad dash to Africa. So to get the email at close of entries saying I was fifth reserve was a relief as it pretty much guaranteed that I would get to play. They hold spots back for top-10s the week prior and also winners’ exemptions, so with that in mind I got online and booked my ticket with Air France through Paris to Nairobi. It was a huge bonus to find out early I was in the field as it allowed me to plan ahead, sort my visa, manage to find a room-mate (Ben Evans) to keep the costs down, sort a local caddie from a previous year (Carlos aka Francis) and get my flight at a cheaper price too of £600. It also made me focus my practice more, knowing that I had an event immediately rather than in six weeks.

Prior to travParis CDG had elling to Kenya been cancelled I made the jourand that they ney down the Answers to quiz on Page 16 were “seeking M1 to The a solution”. Grove to meet That started 1 Moor Allerton, 2 Fulford, 3 Lindrick, 4 Cleveland, 5 Arthur Balfour, 6 Howard the guys from a few panic Clark 7, Leeds Golf Club (Leeds Cup), 8 Wilson. I wantbuttons and a Dan Walker, 9 Normanton, 10 Danny quick search ed to do some Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick (2016). on SkyScanner, testing with my but in the end V6 irons, and also they were very keen for me it wasn’t needed as Air France had already moved me onto a to test properly both the new fight with a different airline. 2019 Cortex and D7 drivers That turned out to be Qatar with all of their shaft options. Airlines through Doha, two It was definitely worth the seven-hour flights connecting to visit as after playing in Kenya the same plane that most of the I’m pretty sure I will change to players who had played in softer shafts (I’m getting old). Qatar the week prior were The testing made it pretty clear booked on. My new schedule that they were a lot easier to added a few extra hours of travhit. el, but it broke the journey up a So Sunday was my travel lot better. day, a mid-afternoon flight I’ve been to Kenya three from Manchester to Paris, then times before and it’s an interestan 11-hour flight direct into ing place. In one breath it’s Nairobi. shocking for poverty and the Or so I thought until I woke way some people live on and up on Sunday morning to a text around the streets, but then in from Air France advising that another it’s pretty incredible. my flight from Manchester to


Driving down the motorway back to the players’ hotel from the course the road was lined for miles by a metal fence, and on first glance I thought nothing of it. But all of a sudden something caught my eye. It was the equivalent of driving down the M62 and replacing sheep and cows with giraffes and zebras. The safari park was all around and that in itself was pretty speOnly golf shots allowed at Karen Country cial. Club, in Nairobi, Kenya How did the golf go? guess with not having played I felt my preparation was much it wasn’t a great feeling good even though I didn’t hit it and I struggled. great in the practice round, but Near the end I somehow teeing it up Thursday I was found a couple of putts that excited to play. I was a bit cold, clawed me back to four over for and not really match-ready like the day and in with a fighting most of the guys playing, but as chance in round two. ever I was optimistic. As ever I was up for the In round one I got myself on fight, but after a solid start I the back foot pretty early, and I

suffered a big setback making triple on the short 16th, before I bounced back with birdie, birdie to keep my spirits high. I knew the chance to make it through to the weekend was within my grasp with some good birdie chances coming up, but a poor missed green on my 14th led to a double and it was quickly game set and match. I hate missing cuts. All golfers do, but when you travel so far they feel even worse. On the upside I managed to start the journey out of there Saturday night so it was great to walk through the door 24 hours earlier than planned on the Sunday and surprise the kids that daddy was home. I then had a bit of time to practise before heading to Jordan for the first-ever mixed Open, an interesting event with 40 Challenge Tour players, 40 Senior Tour players and 40 Ladies European Tour players all playing for the same money in the same event on the same course. Enough said.

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April 2019

The Manor looking to Tipi tent to prop up their funds THE Manor Golf Club at Drighlington has applied to build a large Tipi tent as a way of boosting revenue and helping to sustain the long-term future of the facility. They have applied to Leeds Council planners for temporary permission for a period of five years for the removable structure. The club already hosts events and weddings using the clubhouse building as a way of helping “subsidise the golf side of the business”. But documents submitted with the application detail how the variable weather in 2018 not only saw a drop off in numbers of golfers using the site, but also increased course maintenance costs. It also states that the business is “looking to diversify and grow to protect its long-term future” against a backdrop of golf courses across the country struggling to stay open. It added: “The Manor has been investigating ways to maintain the long-term sustainability of the business and the Tipi venture is a favourable way to provide shortterm funding to allow investment into the golf course and to sustain its long-term future.” The club was founded in 1992 when the farm land was converted into a golf course, driving range, academy course and clubhouse The clubhouse is currently used

Kirk and Potter delighted with charity donations WOOLLEY PARK captain Mike Kirk, pictured right, raised over £10,000 for charity during his year in office. Kirk, who also had the distinction of being captain of the Heavy Woollen League at the same time, said: “I raised £10,540 to be shared between my two nominated charities, Prostate Cancer UK and Melanoma UK.” He added: “The support I received from all the members and visitors to Woolley Park was immense.” as a bar and restaurant for both members and the public, and is also used for private parties, family celebrations and events. The club plan to use the 321 sq. m Tipi for events with up to 90 seated guests and all celebrations would finish before

„ Wakefield captain Ian Potter, above centre, held his final event in office when he hosted a dinner at the club, and marked the occasion by presenting a cheque for 1.30am. A total of ten new full-time equivalent jobs would be created. The Tipi itself is open plan with timber flooring that is laid directly over the ground. It is created by joining three Tipis in a triangle, pegged to the ground using timber

£3,500 to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. He expressed how much he had enjoyed his year and thanked all those who had supported him and the club in raising money for the charity. stakes and with the sides lifted to create a large open space. It will be located at the far end of the academy course nestled among existing and new trees. The area will also be surrounded by a 3m high acoustic fence hidden by climbing plants and landscaping, according to the documents submitted.

No joy for Tykes at Sunningdale THERE was little cheer for Yorkshire competitors in the Sunningdale Foursomes this year. The last Yorkshire winner was Charlotte Austwick back in 2015 and our best performance came from Lindrick’s Richard Hodgkinson and his partner and home club member Philip Carr, who made it through to the last 16. The Northcliffe pair of Mark Cook and James Darcy suffered a heavy 7&5 defeat in the first round with Hull Golf Club’s Director of Golf Aaron Pheasant and clubmate Steve Robins also finally going out at the first stage after taking their opponents to the 21st. Marshall Newman from Wike Ridge also lost at the first round stage partnering former Walker Cup player Stiggy Hodgson. Alwoodley’s Tom Irwin and his Rudding Park partner John Backhouse did enjoy a 3&2 win in the opening round while fellow Alwoodley member Will Shucksmith playing with Robert Simpson also triumphed 7 & 6, but neither pair could progress further. The event which dates back to 1934 was won by the Swedish pairing of Lynn Grant and Maja Stark.




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April 2019

Get your game in the Groove at new indoor practice facility YORKSHIRE golfers can get their swings in the groove at a new state of the art indoor facility at Pool-in-Wharfedale. Grooves Golf features three hitting bays which all have the latest GC 2 launch monitors and simulators from industry leaders Foresight Sports and there’s expert advice on hand from a team of award-winning PGA professionals. The centre, which is in Pool Business Park on the A659, is the brainchild of golf professionals Rob Watkins and Craig Jones who also operate Grooves Golf at Rudding Park where they are responsible for coaching members and guests. The pair grew up together in Gloucestershire and then worked alongside each other at Celtic Manor where Rob topped his class in coaching as part of his PGA training programme. He said: “As coaches we quite often see golfers spending time hitting balls but without really getting anything out of those sessions. “Here they can come for an hour and get a really productive practice session because the feedback from the software is very detailed and

covers everything from spin rates to club data and delivers feedback that you could never get from hitting balls at a range.” They are also keen to work with clubs and professionals in the area who do not have indoor facilities as an alternative for when bad weather closes courses or makes outdoor play impossible. “We are really excited about the future because we can cater for all types of golfers ranging from those who are very serious about improving their games, to beginners who can feel intimidated about having to go to a golf club to learn the game. “And we are keen to work with local clubs to provide an indoor alternative for their members in bad weather or of their courses are closed.” Grooves Golf is open six days a week and prices to hire the simulators for an hour start at £15 for one player. Pictured – the three indoor bays at Grooves Golf

TONY HOWARTH, Academy Director at Scarthingwell Golf Academy

Don’t start young golfers off with hand-me-downs... A QUESTION I am often asked by parents who play golf is “Can I take my old club and cut down the shaft for my son or daughter?” My answer is always NO! Here are my main reasons and the differences between children’s and adult golf clubs (top image). 1. SHAFT FLEX Flex (how much the shaft bends when swinging) is important for getting distance on a golf shot. Cutting down an adult club to fit a youngster will change the flex of the shaft, so even a soft flex shaft may turn extra stiff if cut down enough. Youngsters tend to have a much slower swing speed, so a shaft that is too stiff for their swing speed will reduce the distance they can hit the ball. 2. CLUB WEIGHT Most adult golf clubs are far too heavy for a child. All the forgiveness built into the 460cc driver and cavity-back irons won’t help if the club is too heavy for your child to swing the club properly. Children’s golf clubs are designed to be much lighter in the shaft and clubhead due to a child’s lack of strength. An adult club even though shorter will be too heavy for most youngsters (images 2 and 3). 3. GRIP SIZE Children in general have smaller hands, so adult-sized grips will make it very difficult for a youngster to maintain a correct hold of the golf club. If the grip is too big, your youngster may have difficulty holding the clubs, causing unnecessary strain and inaccuracy. Children’s golf clubs are designed with smaller grips and lighter, shorter shafts for those grips.

TONY HOWARTH, 2004 Sinclair Award Winner, Academy Director and Golf and Marketing Manager at Scarthingwell Golf Course, has over 25 years PGA experience and has taught all levels of golfers. This experience ranges from European Tour, Ladies European Tour and County players through to club golfers and complete beginners. Tony has appeared as guest speaker at many events including the Junior Golf Partnership seminar held at the Belfry, as Key Note Speaker at the inaugural Golf Careers Convention at the University of Northumbria,

guest speaker at the UK Golf Show, the Turkish Golf Federation 1st Annual Coaching Conference and most recently at the GolfEurope Show in Augsburg, Germany. In his role as SNAG Master Trainer, Tony works with International Golf Development implementing first touch coaching and development programmes across the world including Europe, Africa and Asia. Tony’s simplistic style of coaching has been his road to success and he has become known as an expert not just on the golf swing but especially on the short game and putting.

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Yorkshire Golfer – April  

Yorkshire's dedicated monthly golf publication, available at clubs and outlets across the county and online at

Yorkshire Golfer – April  

Yorkshire's dedicated monthly golf publication, available at clubs and outlets across the county and online at