Page 1


GOLFER Celebrating the best in club and county


Woodsome star lifts England Girls crown Tyke trio make stage 2 of Tour’s Q school County titles decided

Twitter: @yorkshiregolfer



Astroturf and other artificial products available in standard sizes or cut to your requirements.


GARDEN • SPORTS • PLAY AREAS Phone: 01480 493900 Mobile: 07836 325901

October 2019


October 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




Sandra Kirton 07771 885757 @yorkshiregolfer

find us online: IN THE ZONE Hessle pair come from 10 shots back to lift Yorkshire Challenge over Ryder Cup courses p4

UNION GAP Halifax-Huddersfield end long wait for glory as they lift a third Inter-District championship – and now target a ‘grand slam’ p6

SENIORS’ SERVICE The county’s men were on top form to lift the Northern Counties Qualifier at Garforth Golf Club p7

MATCH PLAY CHAMP Dan Thomas from Shipley kept his nerve at Woodsome Hall to prevail in the Yorkshire Amateur match play final p11

BE PREPARED! Low Laithes on the ball for MacKenzie centenary14/15 SWING MAESTRO Winter golf might be on the same course but it can be a different game. Tony Howarth of Scarthingwell has some timely tips p16

GIANT KILLERS ‘Little’ Harrogate do an Inter District double with juniors and seniors bringing home the glory p21 WATH A WIN It was a red-letter day for the Ladies of Wath, when they became County A team champions p21 PING PAIRS Hornsea duo are crowned narrow victors of inaugural tournament at Thonock Park p26

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 TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19th, 2019


October 2019

Hirst breaks new ground with top title LILY HIRST produced a commanding performance to become the first Yorkshire player to win the English Girls’ County Champion of Champions tournament, at Woodhall Spa. The Woodsome Hall golfer and Yorkshire junior champion carded rounds of 72 and 78 over the demanding Hotchkin course to win by six shots from England Girls’ squad member Rafiah Banday, from Surrey. It is the biggest win of a career that started aged five at Outlane Golf Club, which became her back garden when her parents took over as steward and stewardess. She still lives in the clubhouse with mum Caroline and dad Nicholas who has moved on to a similar role at Normanton Golf Club. “I just wandered out one day when I was about five and started to play…having the course right next to the house was fantastic and I soon fell in love with the game,” said Hirst. Her coach is Outland professional Rob Booth, so she doesn’t have to travel far to keep her game in check. Hirst’s decision to plot her way around the testing layout kept her well ahead of the pack. She explained: “I focused on keeping it risk-free throughout the first round and that oneunder-par score really laid the platform for my win. It feels really good to have become the first player from Yorkshire to win this title. “The bunkers, which are deep and extremely dangerous, were very much in play, so I concentrated on avoiding them and putting it in the right place on the greens, which are also tough. I attacked a bit more in the second round

and was disappointed to run up a triple bogey on the front nine and then threeputt from 15ft for a bogey on the 10th by running my birdie putt too far by, but I steadied myself on the back nine.” She didn’t expect to win, but found she wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the result. Hirst said: “It was a massive surprise, I thought I might finish in the top 10 so I’m really surprised to win. I was so shocked [coming off the 18th] I looked over to my dad and he had a massive grin on his face.” “We had talked about trying to finish in the top 10 at the start of the week and my dad said, ‘aim for that and let your golf do the talking for you’.” It proved to be sound advice from the nine handicapper who rarely gets the better of his one handicap daughter during their regular games. “I give him a few shots, but usually beat him,” added Lily. The 16-year-old is studying for a BTech in Business and Sport and Exercise Science at Huddersfield College, but has her eyes set on following her golfing idols Justin Rose and Charley Hull. “I would like to turn professional and play on the ladies circuit, but the coaching side of the game is also very appealing to me so we will see what happens.” The prospect of qualifying for the final of the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Championship in Portugal in November is her next challenge. “I’m currently in eighth place in the girls’ qualifying leaderboard, so fingers crossed.”

Tyke trio progress in Tour Q school YORKSHIRE’S Bailey Gill, David Hague and Ben Hutchinson have progressed to the second stage of the European Tour qualifying school. Hague, who entered as an amateur, went into the tournament in rare form having collected three major titles in August including the Yorkshire Amateur Championship. He finished 11th of 20 qualifiers at Stoke by Nayland with rounds of 72, 68, 70 and 70. Gill and Hutchinson have both turned professional and made it through at Frilford Heath. Gill, 22, who is a member of Lindrick, finished strongly with rounds of 68 and 69. The left hander made his score on the outward nine with three birdies before closing his final round with nine consecutive pars. Howley Hall’s Hutchinson, 24, was one of only two amateurs to make it through to the final stage last year and had to draw upon that experience to earn his place. He was a model of consistency with three consecutive rounds of 70 to lie fifth overall but had to dig deep when he bogeyed the opening two holes and then found himself four over par after 11 holes of the last round. He was well outside the top 20 but birdied at 12, 13 and 16. He said: “The experience I gained from last year really helped and made me realise that you don’t need to shoot the lights out at this stage. It’s all about getting through to the next one and it will the same thought process in Spain.” Stage two will be held at four venues in Spain from November 7-10. Final qualifying takes place at Lumine Golf Club in Tarragona, Spain, from November 15-20, where the top 25 and ties will earn European Tour cards.

Woodsome Hall’s Lily Hirst, pictured in action for Yorkshire in the England women’s county finals at Delamere Forest, Cheshire (Picture: Chris Stratford)

Got a story for us? Then send it to

Otley’s Tomkinson shows tip-top form to scoop up silverware OTLEY member Phil Tomkinson enjoyed his own version of the Glorious Fifth with a run of form that saw him collect an impressive haul of silverware. A fifth-place finish against a strong field in the prestigious Lee Westwood Trophy was followed by a runner-up place in the Yorkshire Amateur Championship at Pannal. Rounds of 70,

68, 73 and 74 led to him picking up two trophies; the Alvin Trophy for the best total at six after two rounds, along with the Alan Sowden Trophy for second place, left. A few days later he combined with Rudding Park’s Jack Ward to claim the Inter District Plate for the best aggregate score achieved from two players from the same union.

TICKETS are still available for the YUGC Dinner at York racecourse on Friday Nov1 and are priced at £38. Speakers include Sky TV presenter and former European Tour winner Nick Dougherty and Clive Edgington, captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. Tickets can be purchased online at the YUGC website.


October 2019

IMMEDIATE IMPACT Shimwell and Greetham claim the Yorkshire Challenge crown over Ryder Cup venues

Hessle pair enjoy instant title lift-off

2019 Yorkshire Challenge champions Rod Shimwell, left, and Andy Greetham

FORMER RAF serviceman Rod Shimwell’s sage advice helped keep Andy Greetham grounded as they tackled the Yorkshire Challenge for the first time – and led to the Hessle duo lifting the prestigious title. They had to come from 10 shots back with a round to play in the seventh staging of the pairs event held over the county’s three Ryder Cup venues, Lindrick, Ganton and Moortown. And Greetham, 55, heaped praise on his partner for sharpening the mental side of his game, regarding it as the main factor behind his drop in handicap from six to three. “He’s got me to realise that it’s not like a game of cricket where if someone hits you for six you bowl it a bit quicker,” said Greetham. “You’ve got to stay within yourself in golf, stay calm, and he’s got me down to three, which I never, ever thought I would be down to that level. “I had a nickname at cricket, ‘Red Haze’, because I was a quick bowler, 6ft 5ins, and I got quicker or more aggressive with the way I bowled - but that’s no good in golf. You only beat yourself up. “The final three holes [at Lindrick, where Shimwell went birdie, net eagle, par at the 210yard par-3 last], Rod was seriously focused. He doesn’t hit a

long ball, but he has such a beautiful swing. He’s been there, done it. He loves it, it’s his sport. He’s a class player. We all hit bad shots, but he taught me that you go down, find it, and play again.” Sixty-nine-year-old Shimwell, who represented the RAF “on and off” for 28 years before retiring from the force at the age of 55, brought his equanimity to bear immediately after the pair returned their only blob of the entire three days, at the par-5 14th at Lindrick when in sight of the finish line. It followed a four-point net eagle at the previous hole. “When we had the blob I turned to Andy after we came off the green and I said, ‘We didn’t have a zero there, we’ve just had two twos’,” recalled Shimwell. A leaderboard at the back of the 11th green had told them they had drawn level by that stage with overnight leaders Gary Varley and Liam Betts, of Normanton, and both pairings finished on 119, alongside Jody Greenall (Woburn) and Thetford’s Richard Scott. Shimwell and Greetham took the title on last-day countback, while Varley and Betts did not even have the satisfaction of runner-up spot, which went to Greenall and Scott, but Varley and Betts did win the Moortown Series. The overall champions also

finished as Ganton Series winners, while Lindrick Series winners were Rudding Park’s Richard Pallister and John MacNamara. “It was our first Yorkshire Challenge and winning was a bit of a shock considering the position where we were after two rounds,” continued fivehandicapper Shimwell. “I think that the wind blowing for all three days probably helped as it helped with us being lower handicaps. “Better ball is all about mixand-match. There were several holes where one of us was out of it completely and the other person managed to get at least a point, apart from that once.” Greetham concluded by reflecting that he almost aced the last at Lindrick - and yet did not get his score down on the card. “I nearly had a hole-in-one, hit a 5-iron, it pitched short of the pin and, we’re not sure, but it looked like it just deviated slightly,” he said. “It was too much club and finished at the back right behind the pin, but Rod rolled his first putt up stiff and, job done.” The champions have already committed themselves to defending their title next year. To register your interest for the 2020 Yorkshire Challenge, email tournament administrator Luke Allen –

The afternoon’s final involved two sides featuring a mixture of experienced players and youngsters of great promise. Melissa Wood, of Woodsome Hall, came out on top 2&1 in the opening match against her Yorkshire team-mate Hannah Holden, and the champions trailed by two when Lily Hirst beat fellow 16-year-old Jess Hosking at the 19th. Huddersfield fielded two Yorkshire Veterans Ladies Golf Association county players in the next two matches, with Pat Wrightson losing by one hole to Woodsome’s Anne Taylor.

Taylor’s daughter Emma was then beaten 2&1 by Veterans captain Sandra Paul. When Pamela Blake overcame Claire Roberts 3&2, Woodsome Hall had the fourth point they required to claim the trophy. The Division 2 Scratch finals saw Crosland Heath triumph with Lindrick, who had won the Sue Johnson Trophy as the top qualifier, runners-up. Pictured is Woodsome’s succesful team , l-r, Anne Taylor, Pamela Blake, Molly Lumley, Emma Taylor, Melissa Wood, Lily Hirst and Beth Prince.

Woodsome end rivals’ lengthy run WOODSOME HALL beat Huddersfield at Harrogate in the final of the Yorkshire Ladies County Golf Association’s Division One Scratch Team Championship to curtail their local rivals’ five-year reign. It also ended a 25-year wait for Woodsome Hall since they had previously held aloft the Silver Trophy. Wakefield annexed the Brough Trophy as top qualifier of the four sides competing at Harrogate. But under blue skies – and battling strong winds – they fell at the semi-final hurdle to Huddersfield, albeit by the narrowest of margins when the reigning champions claimed victory in the decisive match at the second extra hole. The other last-four tie, in which Woodsome Hall faced Ganton, was also a tense affair, the match going the former’s way with victory at the 19th hole in the concluding game.

October 2019



October 2019

UNION GAP Halifax-Huddersfield end long wait for Yorkshire Inter-District success at both senior and junior level

Greaves sets sights on the ‘grand slam’ TEAM MANAGER Frank Greaves has led HalifaxHuddersfield to victory in three of Yorkshire Inter-District Union's four championships in just two seasons in charge of both their teams. And already the Huddersfield GC member has set his sights on completing a YIDU 'grand slam' by annexing the senior sixman team championship in 2020. HalifaxHuddersfield juniors won the YIDU junior league last year, with seven wins out of seven, and complemented claiming that crown for the first time by succeeding in their level's six-man team championship this season – also for the first time in the union's history. The seniors then bridged a 25-year gap last month when they won their league for only the second time. Asked about ambitions for next season, Greaves responded

immediately: “There's one left to win, which is the team championship for the seniors. That's the one, but I've got a squad full of extremely dedicated, talented, tenacious individuals now who are enjoying what they are doing, so you never know what they might win.” His senior side won five and drew one of their seven matches, their only defeat coming against Leeds at Howley Hall, and they placed third in the six-man team championship at The Oaks. The juniors were only denied a double when their Harrogate counterparts – whose senior side won at The Oaks – edged them on game difference. Halifax-Huddersfield's transformation since deciding that Greaves would be in charge of both teams has been

Halifax-Huddersfield pictured after their win over York at Halifax West End that confirmed their YIDU title success. Inset left, YIDU chairman Stuart Dawes hands the league trophy to former Halifax-Huddersfield President John Turner (Pictures: Chris Stratford) remarkable and building a bridge between the two has clearly played a part, as evidenced by the presence of Oliver Caton (Crosland Heath), Matt Holden (Lightcliffe) and Huddersfield's Harry Mowl and Ben Walker in both successful camps this year. Indeed, the formula impressed Harrogate Union so much last season that they adopted it this – and between them the pair have claimed two

titles apiece in 2019. “It's nice that Harrogate have employed what we did last year when we had one guy running both teams,” said Greaves. “They had a restructure and they've obviously gone and won two this year.” One thing about which Greaves is certain is that Sheffield – winners of seven of the last eight senior YIDU league titles and four in a row – will be redoubling their efforts

in an attempt to ensure they do not go trophy-less in 2020. He expects Leeds to feature, too. Halifax-Huddersfield are planning a celebratory evening involving both squads for some time this month when the enormity of the seniors' league win is likely to sink in for Greaves. “I haven't been emotional yet over our league win although I did cry at Bingley [when the juniors won the team championship].

“The President [Gordon Abernethy] wanted me to go up and say a few words, but I said, 'I've got no chance, I'll just break down'. “That junior championship at Bingley, the 35th playing of that, with all the talent we've had – we've had Chris Hanson and Jamie Bower go through, we've had Nick Marsh – and they'll have been in teams and yet we'd never won it. But we did.”

Tibbs returns to grab magnificent seven JUST look what can happen when you practise what you preach. Golf fitness and performance coach Rachael Tibbs collected a record haul of six trophies when the ladies of Howley Hall held their presentation night. Rachael is the founder of Dynamic Golf and is a TPI Fitness 2 Certified and FMS Level 1 Certified strength and conditioning coach. She works with players of all levels including Yorkshire Golfer columnist Chris Hanson, but spent three years away from the game to focus on work and family, She said: “It was great to get back playing golf. It took me a while to find my game again, but I made it my goal to get back to the golf I had played prior to my break. “Thanks to some great tuition from

[Huddersfield GC’s] Alex Keighley and lots of work in the gym I smashed my goal and reduced my handicap to my lowest ever of seven, picking up a few trophies on the way. “Now it’s time to focus on what I want to achieve next year and work on developing my game both on the practice ground and in my training.”

Lindrick masters of all they survey LINDRICK’S 8-15 team are celebrating a rare treble following a narrow victory over local rivals Worksop. Only a countback could separate them from their near neighbours in the Sheffield 815 League Cup Final, which clinched their third trophy of the season. Back in April they won the Yorkshire Grand Final contested by the 8-15 champions of the Bradford, Leeds, North Yorkshire and South Yorkshire leagues. Lindrick’s side then proceeded to retain their South Yorkshire league title with a margin of 14 points from sec-

ond placed Sitwell Park and 20 points ahead of Rotherham in third spot. Captain Dave Hall said: “To win all three trophies is a great achievement and having matches for almost five months we’ve had to rely on a small squad of players who have all performed brilliantly when they were needed. “We have a great morale in the squad and I’m very proud of the team. Winning the Grand Final for the first time was a great start to the season and now we’ve qualified again our first target for 2020 will be to keep the silverware in South Yorkshire.”

Lindrick 8-15 captain Dave Hall with their trophy haul


October 2019

SENIORS’ SERVICE White Rose men’s team enjoy Northern Counties success and England complete fine double

Yorkshire go deep to rise with crown YORKSHIRE is rich in depth and talent when it comes to senior golf and that proved to be the key as the Tykes captured the Northern Counties Seniors’ Qualifying Championship at Garforth Golf Club. Despite being without Rotherham’s Richard Jones and Richard Norton (Beverley & East Riding), who were on international duty with England, Yorkshire won by five shots from the old enemy Lancashire and progressed to the England Golf County Finals at Effingham GC this week (October 8-10). Captain John Grimbleby said: “With two players on international duty our strength in depth was put to the test and I am pleased to say that the team put up a magnificent performance to secure the title by a five-stroke margin after being three strokes behind at completion of the first round.”

The course was in excellent condition with true but fast championship greens that proved testing. However, in the morning session Alan Wright put together a flawless round of 71, which was only beaten by two other players who posted 68 and 69 respectively. This gave Yorkshire a great start as the CSS rose to 74 to reflect the difficulty of the conditions typified by a blustery wind. Lancashire posted an opening score of 371 to lead by three shots from Yorkshire with Cheshire only a further shot behind. But Yorkshire’s top of the order rallied in round two as their first three players combined to build a four-shot lead. Alan Wright finished with 74 after being three under par

Yorkshire seniors, l-r, Steve Mason, Mark Lawson, team captain John Grimbleby, Johnny Lawrence, Alan Wright, Ian Clarke and Andy King. Inset, Wakefield’s Julie Wheeldon (Main picture: Cameron Thomson) after the first six holes before Steve Mason, who was a late replacement for Andy Woodhead, performed with great pride to shoot 75 to add to his first-round score of 74. At 65 it was a fitting end to a week that had seen him attain scratch status for the first time in his career. With the game balanced on a knife edge, and with the best five scores of six to count, the spotlight fell on Moor Allerton’s Johnny Lawrence. The seasoned campaigner knew that if he outscored his Lancashire opponent Yorkshire

would win. Birdies on 16 and 17 and a terrific shot to four feet on the last secured the win even if he did manage to three putt from that short distance to reduce the winning margin to five shots. „ Yorkshire golfers were well to the fore as England’s seniors completed a golden double when they won both the European Senior Men’s Team Championship in Denmark and the European Senior Ladies’ Championship in Bulgaria. The men’s team, which included Rotherham’s Richard Jones and Richard Norton from Beverley &East Riding, started their tournament slowly, finish-

ing in fourth place behind Scotland, Ireland and hosts Denmark after the 36-hole stroke play qualifier at Rungsted. However, they went on to beat both Sweden and Scotland 4-1 in the opening two rounds of the knockout match play before finishing the job with a 3.5-1.5 victory over Ireland in the final. It was England’s first victory in the championship since their win on home soil at Fairhaven in 2010 and it was a huge success considering the team hadn’t made the final for several years: Meanwhile, in south-eastern

Europe, the England Senior Ladies’ Team, which included Wakefield’s Julie Wheeldon, were securing their own success by defeating Spain to claim their first Senior European Championship since 2014. The ladies’ team started the tournament at BlackSeaRama in Bulgaria by finishing third behind Sweden and Ireland in the 36-hole stroke play qualifier and went on to beat both France 3-2 and Ireland 3.5-1.5 to reach the final. There they defeated Spain, looking for their first-ever triumph, by the same scoreline to cap a wonderful weekend for the senior English teams.


October 2019

DARRYL DO NICELY White Rose delighted to retain leader’s services after fifth consecutive Northern Counties win

Yorkshire to be led by Berry again THE Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs has confirmed the reappointment of Darryl Berry as county captain for 2020. Berry, from Baildon Golf Club, had intended to step down after the 2019 campaign, during which Yorkshire prevailed in the Daily Telegraph Northern League for the fifth consecutive year. But a change in circumstances resulted in his continued availability for 2020, much to the delight of the YUGC Executive Committee. Berry, who played in 45 county matches for Yorkshire between 1999 and 2014, was a member of team that won the Northern Counties title In 1999 and 2000. He represented Yorkshire at four English County Finals and was in the teams that were crowned champions in 2001 at Burnham & Berrow and again at La Moye, Jersey in 2002, where he won all three of his singles matches. The 2002 Yorkshire champion, capped by England three times, saw his tail-enders come to the rescue as the Tykes

clinched the Northern Counties League title with a victory over Northumberland at Middlesbrough Golf Club. Yorkshire lost the first two foursomes and halved the third match before clinching the last three games to take a slender one-point lead into the afternoon singles. It didn’t look good in the second session when Yorkshire could only muster one and a half points from the first seven games thanks to a half from Malton & Norton’s David Hague and a one-hole victory from Lindrick’s Sam Rook. With Northumberland seemingly in control, Yorkshire rallied to win the last five games through Oliver Sullivan of Phoenix, Skipton’s Max Berrisford, Abbeydale’s Tim Brind, Josh Morton (Huddersfield) and Rotherham’s Lewis Hollingsworth. The narrow 10-8 victory was good enough to clinch the Norther Counties title which is contested by Cumbria, Cheshire, Durham, Lancashire, Northumberland and Yorkshire.

Yorkshire pictured after clinching the Northern Counties League title for the fifth time in a row

Josh has time firmly on his side as England call once more DONCASTER’S Josh Berry has kept his place in the England Under-16 Boys’ side and will face the Irish at Hunstanton later this month. Fourteen-year-old Berry helped his country to victory over their Welsh counterparts at Newport Golf Club last month, winning both of his singles matches as England swept to a resounding 13-7 victory. Six boys have been named in the squad for

the Irish clash to take place October 12-13 with Berry one of three who are just 14, with four years of boys’ golf still ahead of them. September was a busy month for Berry. He recovered from an opening round of six-over-par by playing the next 36 holes in six under to finish seventh in the Italian Under-16 championship before skippering England Schools to victory over Scotland.

Berry won all of his games for the boys’ side at Irvine as an England side that also included Jack Maxey (Hornsea), Nathan Ali (Cookridge Hall) and Oliver Caton (Crosland Heath) tied 9-9 with the ‘auld enemy’ before the girls clinched victory with a win by 5.5 points to 3-5. Berry is pictured left after captaining the England Schools’ Golf Association Boys’ team against Scotland,.


October 2019

Yorkshire youngsters impress THE SCARS inflicted on Yorkshire by three closing defeats in the England women’s county finals will not have taken long to heal. For as they left Delamere Forest, in Cheshire, captain Heather Muir and the Yorkshire Ladies County Golf Association will have been content in the knowledge that the future looks very bright. The Northern champions fielded four players under 18 in Cheshire in the five-day round robin event – and two senior players whose performances were impaired by illness – and the omens remain good. Opening victories over Buckinghamshire and Norfolk raised hopes that Yorkshire could challenge defending champions Gloucestershire during the week. However, when Lindrick’s Nicola Slater succumbed to the symptoms of a severe cold in the third encounter’s top singles match, letting slip a four-hole advantage to lose, it led to a shock 5-4 defeat to Surrey that increased the pressure going into game four with Gloucestershire. The champions prevailed 5.5-3.5 against the White Rose,

confirming their successful defence of the title with a day to spare and making their lastday 5-4 defeat to Buckinghamshire irrelevant. Yorkshire hoped to claim second place by finishing with a win against Lincolnshire, but were on the wrong end of a 5.5-3.5 scoreline again and finished fifth. Nonetheless the experience gained by the likes of Jess Hosking (Huddersfield), Mia Eales-Smith (Lindrick), Beth Norton (The Oaks) and Evie Cooke (Rudding Park) promises to pay dividends down the line. Hopefully they can emulate the sort of match-play golf that saw Woodsome Hall’s Melissa Wood, pictured left, finish with the astonishing record of having played in nine of the 10 sessions, winning eight and halving the other.

England Home and high

ROTHERHAM’S Ben Schmidt delivered the winning point as England retained the Men’s Home International tournament trophy for a second year in a row when they beat a battling Scotland team 9-6 in the deciding match at Lahinch. Lindrick’s Bailey Gill and Ben Hutchinson (Howley Hall) were also part of an England

team that went into the match with a 100 per cent record having beaten Wales and hosts Ireland in the previous rounds. Scotland also went into the finale unbeaten. Pictured are the winning team with Hutchinson (back row, third from left), Gill (front row, second from the left) and Schmidt (front row, second from right).

Cowen Mini Tour prize winners receive rewards THE 2019 Peter Cowen Golf Academy Mini Tour drew to a close with a prize presentation night at Cowen’s Rotherham golf range and academy. The mini tour is designed to give young academy players, juniors and pre-juniors the chance to gain competitive experience on a golf course, and 10 events were played throughout the year over

nine holes on shortened courses. Organiser Nick Huby reported a huge increase in the number of girls’ competing in the events and confirmed that a similar number of tournaments will be played over courses in South Yorkshire next year. Prize winners are pictured at the Peter Cowen Golf Academy.


October 2019

WOODSOME WINNER Shipley player claims Yorkshire match play title after bold approach to his difficult position

Thomas doesn’t tank under fire SHIPLEY’S Dan Thomas leant on his experience as a former EuroPro Tour player to defeat Fulford 17-year-old George Robson in the Yorkshire amateur match play final at Woodsome Hall. Thomas’s tournament experience surfaced at the 18th when – trailing by one hole – he took the risk-and-reward line over trees on the right with his drive, wedged to 20ft and holed for a birdie that took the battle to a sudden-death climax, in which he won after two extra holes. Both players made four at the first additional hole before Thomas parred the next to claim the championship after Robson had put his drive behind a tree, an error that led to a bogey. The Fulford teenager had shown commendable composure in the face of Thomas’s quick start that saw the latter two up after four thanks to birdies at the second and fourth

holes. Thomas was snared by a fairway bunker at five and then a greenside bunker at six, leading to Robson winning consecutive holes to restore parity, but a superb 35ft birdie putt up the tiered eighth green had Thomas ahead again – although not for long. Robson birdied the next to turn all square and when Thomas failed to get up and down from the edge of the 12th the youngster led for the first time. A sand save at 13 kept him in front but, after the 14th was halved with bogeys, a conceded close-range birdie at 15 enabled Thomas to pull level. Robson found himself in front once more when more sand trouble cost Thomas a shot at 16, but the former professional showed his mettle at 18 to set up his ultimate suddendeath triumph. It was the second time in his five matches that Thomas had

needed additional holes to get the better of an opponent, Otley’s Oliver Young taking him to the 22nd in round three. He had defeated Huddersfield’s James Edwards 4&2 in the first round, Cleckheaton’s Oliver Tasker 4&2 in the second, and another Fixby player Adam Walker 2&1 in the semi-final. Robson, who had a walkover in round one, eased past Halifax-Huddersfield Union team manager Frank Greaves 7&6, defeated Phoenix’s Oliver Sullivan 2&1 and then Ganton’s Jamie Gregory 3&2 in the semi-finals.

Shipley’s Dan Thomas receives the Yorkshire amateur match play trophy from Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs’ President Kevin E Tucker. Inset, runner-up George Robson (Picture: Chris Stratford)

Macfie impresses in royal appointment at Royal Portrush LINDRICK’S Callum Macfie finished runner-up in the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy at Royal Portrush. Battling strong winds throughout the event, Macfie carded rounds of 73, 80 and 75 to finish six shots behind England’s Conor Gough. Yorkshire county player Macfie, 18, qualified for the event, which was contested by a field of 62 players, by winning the Fairhaven Trophy for Boys earlier this year.

Founded in 2001 by The Duke of York and Nick Faldo’s former manager John Simpson, The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy is an international mixed tournament played solely on Open venues. Previous winners have come from Iceland, Thailand and Canada, highlighting the global standing of this prestigious junior tournament, which boasts a hugely impressive array of former competitors, including profes-

sionals Ariya Jutanugarn, Anna Nordqvist, Rory Mcllroy, Pablo Martin, Oliver Fisher, Matteo Manassero and both the men’s and women’s former No 1 amateurs Joaquín Niemann and Leona Maguire. A keen golfer himself, the Duke of York said: “This tournament is an opportunity for young boys and girls from all over the world to play in the UK on some of our best courses, in the most testing weather.”


October 2019

ADVERTORIAL When your regular course is closed due to flooding, Ilkley offers opportunity to keep in the swing

The game of golf keeps flowing at Ilkley alongside River Wharfe A superb Yorkshire golf course on which to enjoy your autumn and winter golf


S THE leaves turn, there is no reason why we still can’t enjoy golf to the full over the autumn and winter, although we will have to put up with the fact we can’t hit the ball the ball as far as we could on the summer fairways. Living in the North of England, rain is never far away and this can quickly lead to courses becoming affected, resulting in dreaded course closures. However, Ilkley Golf Club is fortunate in remaining dry underfoot even after prolonged rainfall. This is because it sits on river sand, due to the fact the River Wharfe meanders through the course, which results in excellent drainage. Indeed, there are many times when local courses are closed due to waterlogging while Ilkley remains open. The other advantage of the good drainage enjoyed by Ilkley Golf Club is the fact the course does not cut up or become muddy. This means there are no winter greens, temporary tees or the need to play off fairway mats. You are therefore able to play the full course all the year round. While it is always good to get out for a round of golf in the winter, we are sure most of us want to keep moving so we don’t get cold. Ilkley is perfectly set up for that too. Although it is a great test of golf, in wonderful picturesque surroundings, it is not overly long and it’s also flat. Furthermore, the greens are close to the tees, so there are no long treks to the next hole, which keeps walking to a minimum. In addition, none of us like to spend ages looking for balls in deep rough either, as it not only puts additional time on your round, but it also gets your shoes and trouser legs wet through too. At Ilkley you will be pleased to discover the rough is kept relatively short so you can see your ball when you stray off the fairway, most of the time. Instead punishment for a wayward shot is via the ever-

present trees lining the fairways, as well as the river, which runs down the left of the first seven holes. This considered design means it is not unusual for a fourball to get round comfortably in three and a half hours. But at Ilkley it is not just about getting round quickly and diving into the 19th. If you haven’t played the course before you will be taken in by its breathtaking beauty, as it sits below the famous Ilkley Moor. Rather than one signature hole it has a number.


or example, the tee shot at the second hole, par-3, is across the river and onto an island. The third then runs down the island, with the river on both sides. You then leave the island with a daunting tee shot back across the river on the par-5 fourth. The recently redesigned sixth hole now provides a testing dog leg with a ‘risk and reward’ theme. The last three holes also provide a great finish starting with a spectacular drive from the elevated tee at the 16th hole, which has out of bounds on both sides, a wetland in the foreground and a beck running across the fairway in the distance. And the last hole, which

was lengthened a few years ago, has a great drive across the river, to provide a perfect end to the round. All in all there is no better course for a really enjoyable round, whether it is at the height of summer or the depths of winter. So if you find your course is closed due to it being waterlogged and you fancy a round, give Ilkley Golf Club a call on 01943 600214 (Secretary’s Office) or 01943 607463 (Professional Shop). You can find out more about Yorkshire’s third oldest club, which includes a flyover of the course voiced by member and former Ryder Cup captain, Mark James, at

The wonderful River Wharfe may prove an occasional hazard as you head out on your early holes, but it’s one reason Ilkley is a magnificent year-round challenge


October 2019

Exciting times at scenic Hanging Heaton GC

Advertorial Feature

FEW golf clubs and courses can match the stunning, panoramic views across the Broad Acres enjoyed by anyone playing a round at Hanging Heaton, perched as it is on an escarpment above the neighbouring towns of Dewsbury and Batley. From the Pennines that range all along the western aspect, to the foothills of the Dales beyond Bradford to the north, Hanging Heaton feels very much ‘far from the madding crowds’ even though it’s very handy for both the M1 and M62 motorways. A friendly club with a buzzing social calendar, and vibrant memberships among all categories, Hanging Heaton has a number of forthcoming landmarks and is celebrating them with a special offer to new members of 15 months for the price of 12 – already a very affordable £640 for 7-day rights and just £480 for the midweek membership. There is also the opportunity to book lessons with resident PGA professional Gareth Moore. And this October is a big month for Gareth, who learned his golf at South Bradford and trained at Northcliffe, before becoming head pro at Hanging Heaton on October 19, 1999. To mark his 20 years in the job, this October 19 Gareth is hosting a 9-hole 4-ball, better ball competition which is sure to be well supported by the membership.

And October also marks the start of the first indoor Winter League competition featuring the club’s state of the art new Foresight GC Quad simulator. Open to anyone with an official handicap – members or non-members alike – competitors will play eight 9-hole rounds on a pairs, better-ball basis. And courses to choose from include the ever-popular Pebble Beach, Royal Birkdale, Wentworth West – which recently staged the PGA Championship – Carnoustie, Quail Hollow and more. Details can be found on the dedicated website at, where bookings can also be made for groups. And for golfers who enjoy the social aspect of the game, it is worth mentioning that the simulator studio is exactly 23 paces from the well frequented clubhouse bar! For visitors who want to experience the real thing out on this testing but fair 9-hole track, there are 13 different tees over the course of the 18 holes, and few first timers will forget their tee shot on the signature 4th, the Quarry hole. At 247 yards it is only just shorter than the next hole, which is a par 4, and golfers have to trust themselves to make the 150 yard or so carry over, as the name suggests, a quarry, to a downhill

Yorkshire leading the way with SafeGolf recognition

Long-serving club professional Gareth Moore tries out the Yorkshire Golf Simulator green. The introduction in recent years of new drainage channels have created strategically placed hazards for anyone thinking they can overpower the course.

YORKSHIRE is the first county in England to achieve SafeGolf accreditation. SafeGolf is a partnership of golf organisations in the UK and Ireland designed to ensure everyone has a safe and fun experience in golf. It is the way to show that golf clubs meet high standards to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. To get SafeGolf clubs must put safeguarding policies and procedures in place and appoint a welfare officer. If your club has GolfMark then you may have already met the SafeGolf standard. If not, clubs need to apply for GolfMark and complete the safeguarding section. However, clubs don’t have to complete the full GolfMark accreditation. Much of the work done towards achieving SafeGolf accreditation for Yorkshire was done by the county’s junior manager Phil Woodcock, and the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs is keen to ensure that affiliated clubs are aware of the importance of adopting SafeGolf and can offer help and guidance on the process. YUGC’s Phil Woodcock is pictured, above left, with Rob Moore, England Golf’s Club Support Officer for the North of England.

Hanging Heaton Golf Club

founded 1922

One of the friendliest clubs in Yorkshire, with panoramic and picturesque views across the Pennines which can be enjoyed from various vantage points. A fabulous 9 hole course with different tees on 13 of the 18 holes

SPECIAL NEW MEMBERS’ OFFER! 15 months for the price of 12 7-day membership, £640 midweek membership £480 Hanging Heaton Golf Club, White Cross Road, Dewsbury, West Yorks WF12 7DT Tel 01924 430100 – Societies welcome website –

Hanging Heaton GC is the home of the Yorkshire Golf Simulator. Play the world’s best courses on the world’s best simulator, the Foresight GC Quad. As used by Rickie Fowler and Bryson Dechambeau. The state of the art studio can be booked by members and non-members. Check the website for details


October 2019

The finishing hole at Low Laithes with the pro shop and clubhouse beyond – a classic MacKenzie green


HEY like to be prepared, the good folk at Low Laithes Golf Club, perched on a sheltered hillside on the outskirts of Wakefield but deceivingly just a minute from the adjacent motorway network. It’s still a way off – six years in fact – but already the club has booked its spot as host of the 2025 MacKenzie Medallion, the annual tournament competed for by members of the great doctor’s society. Club secretary Simon Jones has been in situ for three years and says, thoroughly impressed: “It had already been booked when I got here!” And with good reason, because this testing, undulating track celebrates its Centenary that year – and the forward-thinking committee have been setting aside funds to ensure the anniversary is celebrated in style. “We haven’t quite got into the fine detail yet,” added Simon, “but it’s sure to be a memorable year.” Dr Alister MacKenzie’s unmatched reputation was already well-established and he was in demand around the world, by the time he delivered Low Laithes and the first 9-holes opened in May 1925. It was a topography not without its challenges and he rose to them, with some typically MacKenzie craftings. His distinctive tiered 18th green has more than stood the test of time and is one of Yorkshire golf’s great closing holes, returning back up the slopes towards the club-

Low Laithes has lots of high spots Tucked away on Wakefield’s outskirts, thriving members’ club Low Laithes has plenty to make it proud. Danny Lockwood reports house and PGA professional Adrian Ambler’s shop, behind the 1st tee. The course is unusual in that it’s a modest par 34 going out, but a testing par 38 coming home, with three par-5s in the closing six holes including the two closing holes. Because the land falls away towards Alverthorpe Beck in the valley bottom, shelved and angled greens are a typical feature.

Work on improving drainage over recent years has meant the introduction of drainage ditches which have been strategically positioned to make good decisions from the tee far more important than booming drives. With an eye towards their hosting of the MacKenzie Medal – which started at the doctor’s original course, Alwoodley Golf Club in Leeds in 1999 – further modest improvements are in the pipeline.

Views across the district with Wakefield City Hall in the distance

Charged with restoring some of the holes to their MacKenzie-like glories is head greenkeeper Jonathan Brown, who began his career at Low Laithes and got his first senior position at a club in the Scottish borders, before returning ‘home’ a couple of years ago. Visitors to Low Laithes often comment favourably on the fabulous greens, but work carried out last year on the fairways has also borne fruit in 2019 with the course playing superbly. As a member-owned club, Low Laithes is like many in exploiting its excellent kitchen and facilities for public use, with attractive packages for visiting groups and societies, with buggies for hire – which must be booked ahead of play. An attractive membership package launched this month sees any new golfers able to pay the base price which lasts until April 2021, essentially 18 months for the price of 12 right now. There are also graded membership categories for younger golfers from age 18-to-29, while juniors under 18 able to join for free. Alongside this, pro Adrian Ambler is at the forefront of efforts to attract youngsters with partnerships planned with local high schools. The nearby private school, Silcoates, included golf lessons at Low Laithes as part of its regular Wednesday afternoon sports curriculum. With excellent bar and dining facilities, Low Laithes also prides itself on its event and conference hosting and although the club hosts regular social events for its members, Saturday nights are generally set aside for private functions. One imagines however that particularly special celebrations maybe in store in 2015 if Low Laithes follow in the footsteps of the eight fellow MacKenzie Society clubs who have managed to land the prestigious Medallion on home turf.

October 2019


Course designer Dr Alister MacKenzie – Low Laithes will host the MacKenzie Medal in its Centenary year, 1925

It’s a test - from behind the 6th green – sentinel trees guard tight left, and the fairway runs away right, meaning you’re likely coming in over trees and a parade of bunkers to an angled, elevated green. A par is well earned

THE COURSE – YELLOW TEES 1) 332 yards, par 4 Everything is before you on the 1st, a gentle, downhill start that really shouldn’t need a driver. The church tower is the perfect line off this elevated tee to set this up. Just avoid the trouble down the left and through the green. 2) 396 yards, par 4 OB all down the left but if you spray it right there’s water to contend with, before you hook slightly left towards a green with a drainage ditch short for added protection. Straight is the premium here. 3) 359 yards, par 4 Straight on par 4, again with trouble left and this time a lateral fairway ditch at about 300 yards. It’s a slightly elevated green but the front right bunker is well short, with a flat back left bunker and runoffs to the right and rear. 4) 161 yards, par 3 The first par 3, with a maze of trouble short of the green and bunkers above right – which is where your instincts tell you to hit. Just be accurate – and you’ve no problem!

5) 292 yards, par 4 Risk or reward. Or in other words, play smart to the corner of a sharp dogleg around an imposing stand of trees, leaving yourself an uphill approach to an angled, two-tier MacKenzie green that can really hurt you, depending on the mood of the greenkeeper and his pin placements.

9) 396 yards, par 4 From a very elevated tee, you’re aiming for the hedged gap on the path that traverses the course. If you get away okay, you’re going downhill into a welcoming target of a green, with run offs at the rear. No bunkers on this ‘fair’ green, but try not to overshoot your approach.

13) 545 yards, par 5 Finally, a par-5 and the longest hole on the course with views across to Wakefield Cathedral and City Hall. Easy to get blocked out both sides by the avenue off mature trees. Stay on the short stuff and you come into a narrowing green entrance. Watch out for more run offs, left and behind.

6) 319 yards, par 4 The first of two back-to-back tough holes. There’s OB well left, but the real problem is the parade of trees in your eyeline – and everything runs sharply away to the right. The long, flat green is perched on a ledge with a helpful banking behind it – but four bunkers in front – as you probably come in from the fairway below you. Harder than its allocated index 5.

10) 274 yards, par 4 Short, dogleg right, but not without its perils. Uphill from the tee, but the clubhouse and car park forms the out of bounds up the right to the corner, right where it turns sharp right and uphill to an angled, well protected green. Play safely left – and try to keep your approach below the hole.

14) 391 yards, par 4 Straight on again, back towards the far end of the course. A ditch 40 yards short shouldn’t come into play, but if you get left-sided there’s a big tree to navigate, guarding an undulating green.

7) 424 yards, par 4 Stroke index 1, the longest par-4 on the course is often into the prevailing wind as well. Again, the land falls away right before a nice big target, but well protected. 8) 150 yards, par 3 A pretty hole and the shortest of the par-3s in the top corner of the course, and ever so slightly uphill. You must carry the front bunkers.

11) 277 yards, par 4 This is a classic short MacKenzie hole, an inviting rising fairway, although you can block yourself out on the right. You’re going in to an angled, two-tier sloping green that is well-protected by bunkers and more tricky run offs. 12) 165 yards, par 3 Playing from an elevated tee across the valley, this could be a tough green to hold in summer and running your tee shot in from the right might be a better option. A very attractive hole.

LOW LAITHES GOLF CLUB Golf House, Park Mill Lane, Ossett WF5 9AP Tel: 01924 266067 Pro Shop: 01924 274667 HOLE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Down Winds Low Meadows The Banks The Bends Uplands Devil’s Own The Hummock Signal Box Haley’s Basin Spion High Winds The Gully Undulations The Towers Hell’s Banks The Narrows The Hallows Long Reaches


4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 5 4 4 4 5 5

343 398 389 163 303 344 428 154 402 284 284 176 558 393 390 415 471 544

332 396 359 161 292 319 424 150 396 274 277 165 545 391 361 407 459 512

320 326 358 161 289 258 396 124 349 274 273 139 454 374 296 312 368 456

4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 5 4 4 4 4 5




10-18 3515


Total: 6439





10-18 3391


Total: 6220





10-18 2946


Total: 5527


15) 361 yards, par 4 Straight back parallel to the last two holes, and probably into any wind that’s about. Trees frame the hole but there is plenty of fairway to aim at. Try to stay left side for the best line in to this long narrow green. 16) 415 yards, par 4 Another tough, long par 4, stroke index 2 and if you want par right-handers probably need a draw in their bag. Tree-lined all the way and a sloping fairway. One of the smaller greens is protected by a hidden ditch short and right, plus swales and run-offs if you miss the target which slopes from the

back. If you’re blocked out right you can run the ball into this green ... and hope for the best! 17) 459 yards, par 5 A daunting drive off the tee in terms of picking your line, with trouble especially down the left, but get away well and it’s a shorter par 5. Your approach is into a long green with bunkers front right and left, below left, and run offs at the rear. 18) 512 yards, par 5 A great closing hole, a lovely sweeping uphill par 5, just beware of catching the horizontal ditch on your second. The green is a steeply twotiered MacKenzie-type creation, a daunting thing if you don’t get your yardage right – beware a short ball coming back to you and very good luck if you go long and have to hold your return effort. A beauty.

From an elevated tee on the 12th, downhill to a shelved green with steep run offs


October 2019

Fitzpatrick flies flag for GB&I but America take home Walker Cup THE United States of America won the 47th Walker Cup match after defeating Great Britain and Ireland 15.5-10.5 at Royal Liverpool. Nearly 11,000 fans flocked to Hoylake over the two-day match that ended with the USA claiming the Walker Cup away from home for the first time since 2007 at Royal County Down. Hallamshire’s Alex Fitzpatrick won both of his games on the first day of play to help GB&I to a 7-5 lead, but Nathaniel Crosby’s side responded magnificently on day two to clinch the morning foursomes 2.5-1.5 and the afternoon singles 8-2 to run out comfortable winners. Isaiah Salinda triumphed by two holes against Fitzpatrick in the top singles game. The USA retained the trophy after their 19-7 win at Los Angeles Country Club two years ago and now lead the overall series 37-9-1.

US captain Crosby, a former US Amateur champion and son of legendary crooner Bing, said: “I honestly thought that these guys would let their talent come to the surface. “I liked the idea that the wind was laying down a little bit on Sunday afternoon, but these guys have been over here for seven or eight days. The singles were amazing. The guys played great. “These guys are inseparable, and they’ve got a great memory now. This Walker Cup experience is going to be a memory and a winning memory at that.” Craig Watson, captain of Great Britain and Ireland, said, “Obviously the boys are disappointed. It didn’t go quite to plan, but they can be proud of their achievements to get in the team first of all and of their performance over the weekend. I’m proud of all of them.”

Hallamshire’s Alex Fitzpatrick plays from the rough watched by brother and Ryder Cup player Matt (Picture: David Cannon/Getty Images)

TONY HOWARTH, Academy Director at Scarthingwell Golf Academy

Here’s how to warm to the task of playing winter golf A

S someone once said, winter is coming. Golf in the winter months may be played on the same course, but conditions make it a very different game. The change in temperature can have as much effect on your game as the change in the ground conditions. Swinging in a t-shirt is much easier than swinging while wearing a base layer, shirt, jumper, waterproof and in some cases bobble hat and mittens. Not only is it the number of layers you're wearing that makes a difference to your swing and game, but the winter conditions themselves affect how your body performs. On a freezing cold day your muscles can take several holes to warm up, if they do at all! The overall lack of flexibility means a shorter swing will both aid your performance and protect your muscles from strains or pulls. Striking the ball with a three-quarter length swing may slightly reduce the power you generate, but the improved striking quality will very often result in a shot that travels almost as far as your regular swing. Courses are generally shortened in the winter months so striking the ball a shorter distance throughout winter will not necessarily impact negatively on your scores and will certainly increase your chances of being fit and ready when the spring thaw finally comes around. Winter mitts and hand warmers will help keep your hands warm while playing and walking between holes, but remember that just because your body may feel warm to the touch, your muscles won't be as loose and flexible as they would be in the summer. Before your round, try these quick and easy warm-up exercises to help loosen up

your body. Not warming up before a round, especially in the colder winter months, may well have an impact on your health and your game. Walking A short walk is a great way to warm your body. Walking briskly for a few minutes around the car park will get your blood flowing on your way to the tee. Stretching In addition to helping you avoid potential injuries, stretching may also help relieve any aches you may have prior to playing. Your general golf warm-up stretching routine should last approximately 10 minutes and in the winter months this should be closer to 15 minutes. The neck muscles are hugely important when playing golf. To warm the neck muscles up thoroughly is a very important part of your warm-up. This simple exercise will help loosen the neck and prevent strains. Slowly lower your chin toward your chest, think of making a ‘double-chin’ by pressing your chin directly into your neck. Hold for one deep breath, in and out, allowing the tension to release. Slowly roll your chin out to your right, over your collar bone, then lifting it as you turn until you are facing directly to your right. Hold for one deep breath, in and out, and allow the tension to release. Now slowly roll your chin down and out to your left, over your collar bone, then lifting it as you turn over your left shoulder until you are facing directly to your left. Hold for one deep breath, in and out, allow the tension to release, and slowly return to the starting position.

Quad stretch Stand with your feet close together. Hold your right ankle and pull it up toward your right buttocks until you feel the stretch. You should stand up straight and do not lean forward. Depending on your flexibility level, you should be able to hit your buttocks with your ankle! Hold the stretch for five seconds. Reverse legs and repeat the stretch with your left leg, again hold for five seconds. This exercise should be repeated three times for each leg. General loosening exercises Lunges – at least five to 10 times per leg – are a good way to warm up the joints and muscles in your legs. Make gentle windmill movements with your shoulders to work your upper body’s flexibility. Finally, take your joints through the whole range of movements needed in the golf swing. There’s no need to apply force or strain at this stage, just rehearse your swing moves gently and smoothly.

Yorkshire Golfer Readers’ Offer Tuitional Day Course Day consists of indoor video session, outdoor short game & putting session, lunch and on-course playing lesson. Regular cost: £125 per person Yorkshire Golfer Offer: £99.00 per person For availability and to book, contact Tony Howarth,, tel: 07588 355 588.

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,

It is not only the weather that ensures winter golf presents a different challenge; all the clothing needed to protect us against the cold can impede the swing

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.


October 2019

ADVERTORIAL Yorkshire Golfer readers can take advantage of a special break offer at this top resort and spa

Enjoy Shaw Hill’s golf and Georgian charm THE uncertainty surrounding Brexit and a weak pound may prove to be a shot in the arm for golf resorts in the UK as those searching for a golf break look closer to home. Yorkshire Golfer readers can enjoy an autumnal golf break at Shaw Hill Golf Resort & Spa with packages starting at £95 per person, which includes an overnight accommodation, a full English breakfast and two rounds of golf. Those looking for a longer stay can spend two nights there with three rounds of golf from £170 per golfer, and on both packages every one in 12 is free. And if the weather doesn’t play ball there’s always the option to try out the simulator or take advantage of the leisure facilities that include a pool, newly refurbished gym and a spa. The Georgian splendour of Shaw Hill Golf & Spa Hotel is easily reached via the M6 at junction 28 or the M61 where you can leave at junction 8 and head towards Preston Road on the A6. With 30 on site bedrooms it is the ideal venue for a golf break or a corporate day and has become a firm favourite with golf societies, with tailored packages available all year round.

The mature parkland course is 6,283 yards in length from the white tees, 5,965 from the yellow tees and 5417 from the ladies’ tees, and opened for play in 1925 after being designed by Laurence Allamby, a young golf professional who studied course architecture under Dr Alister MacKenzie. The scenic charm of the golf course belies a stern test for every level of golfer. Several strategically placed ponds, a meandering brook, internal out of bounds and hundreds of trees await any errant shots. With heavily bunkered greens, frequent dog-legs, long par-3s and awkwardly placed ponds, good course management is a must. Yet the curious nature of the course rewards long hitting on the par-5s in particular and accuracy on the shorter par-4s and par-3s. It’s an interesting test requiring maximum focus and concentration. „ Jason Norwood of Rudding Park Golf Club in Harrogate, right, has been named the UK’s top student greenkeeper at the 31st Toro Student Greenkeeper of the Year Awards. The British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association named James Dawson of Oulton Hall Golf Club, Leeds, runner-up.

The Georgian splendour of Shaw Hill Golf & Spa Hotel is easily reached via the M6 or the M61 „ Past Woolley Park captain Mike Kirk, seen left, handed over a cheque for £7,500 at the Prostrate Cancer UK Golf Day. Kirk also raised £3,000 for Melanoma UK during his year of office and in his role as captain of the Heavy Woollen League he sold over 700 Prostrate Cancer lapel badges.

October 2019



October 2019

SHORT BUT VERY SWEET Brighouse layout provides outstanding proof of nine-hole format’s growing appeal

Crow Nest Park on a high NINE-HOLE GOLF is booming and the rising popularity of this form of the game is testament to the work being done to promote shorter formats as a way of enjoying the sport in less time, either recreationally or for handicap purposes. According to research from the governing bodies in Great Britain & Ireland there is a significant increase in competitive nine-hole scores being submitted, with England Golf reporting a 17% increase in 2018 in competitive nine-hole club rounds by males to almost 60,000, and a 6% rise by females to 45,918. Richie Ramsay, a three-time European Tour winner, is a big fan. He said: “Nine-hole golf is a shorter form of the game that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy together and can be played after work, after school and at the weekend.

“It’s encouraging that golf clubs are now offering their members opportunities to play alternative, shorter formats of the game in order to meet the demands of busy, modern lifestyles. I think this is important for safeguarding the future of the sport, while providing a fun and enjoyable means to exercise and socialise with family and friends.” A survey conducted by the R&A revealed that 60% of golfers would enjoy golf more if it took less time which led to a nine-hole pilot event on the eve of the Open Championship at Royal Troon in 2016. And in July, Crow Nest Park was chosen to host the inaugural team scratch event introduced by the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs for clubs with fewer than 18 holes. Waterfront Golf from Rotherham took the spoils fin-

A picturesque par 3 across the boating lake upon which Sir Titus Salt used to relax ishing with a combined score of 218, which was three shots clear of South Bradford Golf Club with the host club Crow Nest Park third on 224. Waterfront fielded an impressive line-up that included Brabazon and Carris winner and eighth-ranked amateur in the world Ben Schmidt alongside Richard Jones, who has represented Yorkshire over 100 times, and in-form Luca Houlgate. YUGC secretary Jonathan Plaxton revealed to Yorkshire Golfer that the Union is keen to

make it an annual event, saying: “We looked at the number of nine-hole facilities across the county and decided to introduce an event just for them. “During my time as President I got to know John Turner from Crow Nest, which is a great facility, so it was natural to approach them first about hosting the event and I’m pleased to say they were only too pleased to accept. “I’m optimistic that this will become an annual event. Shorter formats of the game are

important in attracting new players and we must continue to recognise that.” Situated in Hove Edge, Brighouse, in 63 acres of picturesque parkland, Crow Nest Park Golf Club, at its highest point, is just 450 feet above sea level and is easily accessible given its proximity to the motorway networks of West Yorkshire. The mansion house on the former Crow Nest Estate was owned and occupied in the 19th century by the industrialist Sir Titus Salt. Crow Nest Park Golf Club

opened on the June 1, 1995. In its short history it has become renowned for its quality layout with its USGA standard greens held in particularly high regard. Alternate tees add to its attraction as do the mature trees, which give a real feeling of mellowness that belies the fact that the course is only a “teenager” in terms of age. In 2009 the National Club Golfer magazine listed Crow Nest Park in the top 10 ninehole golf clubs in Great Britain. Further recognition followed in March 2010 when Golf World Magazine identified it as one of the best nine-holes golf courses in the world. The clubhouse restaurant offers a wide range of drinks, snacks and an extensive menu. The hospitality facilities are provided by a very experienced in-house team who take pride in delivering the warmest of welcomes. The outlook from the club house and new patio area is stunning, providing a magnificent vista of the course, the lake and the mature parkland setting with trees that are up to 400 years old. Crow Nest Park Golf Club began its life as a proprietary golf club, but has been a members club since 2011 and club captain Tony Smith said that Crow Nest Park Golf Club had been delighted, proud and honoured to have been asked by the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs to host its inaugural championship for clubs with nine holes.


October 2019

DOUBLING UP Harrogate celebrate dual Yorkshire Inter-District Union success with wins at junior and senior level six matches all went the hosts’ way to put them ahead 14-12. Wins followed for Matt Wharldall (Rudding Park), Harrogate’s George Stevens and James Cornforth, on his home course, as well as a half between Josh Flanagan, also York, and Rudding Park’s Edward Forbes. This set the scene for Hunter to track down the point Harrogate required in the 126th match of the campaign to give them the glory. Meanwhile, Harrogate’s senior team were crowned Yorkshire Inter District Union Six-Man Team champions after an emphatic 17-shot victory at The Oaks. The cornerstone of their 36-hole total of 864 was laid by Jack Ward, who produced the best aggregate of the day with rounds of 69 68. Yorkshire Order of Merit champion and Yorkshire amateur championship runner-up Phil Tomkinson further bolstered Harrogate's cause with 70 69. Fine support came from Phil Kitching (74 71), William Bradley (74 73), Joe Buckley (73 74) and Marc Rice (76 73). Sheffield placed second on 881, two shots better than third-placed Halifax-Huddersfield, who last week secured the YIDU League title. It was announced that next year's YIDU Six-Man Team championship will be hosted by East Riding at Hornsea.

Hunter helps track down top title HARROGATE Union thwarted champions Halifax-Huddersfield’s attempt to retain their Yorkshire Inter District Union junior league title in a dramatic conclusion to the season. Pannal’s Oli Hunter refused to stop playing in Harrogate’s deciding match away to York despite suffering the effects of intense sunshine. And his defiant stance proved decisive as he delivered the final point that earned his side an 18-18 draw at York GC, which saw them crowned champions on game difference after the top two sides each finished with five wins, a tie and a defeat. Hunter trailed Malton & Norton’s Sean Burrows going down the 18th with the contest level at 17-17. Burrows’s game effort to get up and down after missing the green with his approach enabled his opponent to win

Harrogate Union juniors, top, celebrate after a nailbiting tied match with York earned them Yorkshire Inter-District Union League success. Their senior team went on to claim the Six-Man Team Championship at The Oaks the hole with a solid two-putt par, tie their game and the match - and win the title. Harrogate are the smallest of the eight unions, with just 12 clubs from which the management team - ably led

by Jack Backhouse - can pick their side. They appeared to be cruising to the championship when they led York 10-2 after the foursomes, in which they won five out of six matches. The pick of the battles saw Michael

Robson (Oakdale) and Ben Brown (Masham) secure victory at the last, the first occasion on which they had led. However, after Rudding Park’s Jack Ward won the top singles the next

Got a story for us? Then send your club’s news to



October 2019

NOD TO THE PAST Swan Golf Designs help give Huddersfield’s bunkers a new look with a distinctly old feel

Fixby is shaping up nicely HUDDERSFIELD Golf Club hopes that five years’ hard work and planning on a bunker project – which included delving almost 100 years into its past – will lead to an even brighter future for a club that last month staged the English men’s county finals. Fixby, as it is commonly known, is a regular host to county and national events, including England Golf previously visiting just 12 months earlier with its English Champion Club competition. But the restoration and renovation of its bunkers, envisaged and overseen by Swan Golf Designs and carried out by sports turf contractor Profusion Environmental, has pointed Huddersfield towards an even higher plane. Swan Golf Designs was called in by then Director of Green, Pat Wrightson, in the

spring of 2014 as the club knew the golf course in general was much better than the bunkers made it look. After a short initial visit, Will Swan consulted with Fixby member and historian Graham Smith, author of Huddersfield Golf Club, 125 years at Fixby, and aerial shots of the course back in the 1920s and 1930s helped influence a project that was two years in the planning and a further three years in the making. “Having spent time with Graham and having looked at his photos, plans, all the history of the club, we were able to see from some RAF aerial photos from 1926 how the golf course was laid out, how the bunkers were laid out, and how the bunkers looked at that time,” said Swan, “and that’s where we took the inspiration from for the project.

Bunkers in front of and at the side of the 10th green at Huddersfield Golf Club. After five years of planning and on-course work, its bunkers have been transformed “What was clear from the beginning, and it came from Pat and from Ben [Turner, Huddersfield GC Course Manager] at the very start was that this was a practical problem for which they wanted a solution. This wasn’t a restoration project - this was a renovation project, but the opportunity presented itself to restore, not the original layout of the bunkers, but perhaps the style of the bunkers, the traditional, slightly ragged appearance of the bunkers that you would have had in the 1920s, 1930s.

“Fixby had a number of practical problems with the bunkers, that’s where it really started. Ben had all sorts of issues in trying to prepare the bunkers to provide consistent playing conditions for the members. “The golf club had already made significant investment on the rest of the golf course; they rebuilt their greens to a sandprofile, USGA spec 22 years ago, and obviously that allowed Ben to present the greens in more consistent condition, but the bunkers were really letting

it down. “There were issues with washout when it rained, the sand running down the faces. The sand became contaminated with the natural soils underneath, that then blocked up the drains - it was really everything you would expect from a golf course in the UK, which suffers from inclement weather at times, and probably the bunkers hadn’t seen any reconstruction or significant reinvestment for a number of years.” The course layout, which features 20 holes – two par-3s

coming into play in the winter when the 12th and 13th are generally closed – now has 49 bunkers compared to its previous total of 68. But no golfer should tee it up thinking the changes have made the course easier, as Wrightson explained. “It might sound like a big drop from 68 to 49, but because of the age of the golf course it had a lot of cross-hole bunkers,” said Wrightson, “so some of those have been reduced in number – for example there were five crossbunkers on the 6th hole, now there are two. But when we look at the sand area, the square metreage, it’s not significantly less.” Representatives from golfing media and associations around the UK enjoyed the club’s famed hospitality during an invitation event at Fixby and learned that it has no intention of resting on its laurels. Swan added: “I think there’s a few things we left out there; a few more tees, a few more works on the landscape, the tree-work and the like – Fixby is a continuing canvas to work on. “We’d like to shout about Huddersfield, we’d like to shout about Fixby a bit more because it’s probably not recognised enough widely throughout. It’s known in Yorkshire, it’s known in the region - but nationally it’s probably not recognised enough for the quality product, the quality golf club, the quality golf course that we have here.”

Toptracer offers new range of possibilities at Leeds Golf Centre VISITORS to Leeds Golf Centre can now play some of the best golf courses in the world hitting real shots following the installation of game changing Toptracer technology on the range. Unlike indoor simulators, Toptracer measures actual full shots on the range and feeds the results on to a monitor in each bay. Used by many of the leading televised tournaments worldwide, Toptracer is now the most-used ball tracing technology in golf Leeds Golf Centre is the first facility in West Yorkshire to offer Toptracer technology and it is free to use as part of the driving range fee. There are various games on offer including the chance to take on other Toptracer users in a world long drive competition. Golfers can also take each other on in closest-to-the-pin contests, dive into advanced analytics to fine-tune their swing, and virtually tee it up at some of the world’s greatest courses. Toptracer Range delivers

American Golf buy Stromberg

the same ball-tracking technology that track the shots of the game’s best players on TV and offers a fun and engaging techdriven experience that will appeal to seasoned players, range rivals, friends, family members, and even first-time golfers. Guests can use the Toptracer Range Community App to link their personal profiles to access their entire history of shot data, including specific club performance details, as well as how they rank against other players on leaderboards. Nigel Sweet, Leeds Golf Centre Manager, said: “We’re excited to be able to offer this NATIONWIDE golf retailer American Golf has purchased Brighouse-based golf apparel brand Stromberg. Rodney Taylor, Stromberg’s outgoing managing director, commented: “The acquisition not only allows me to

leading technology here at Leeds Golf Centre, which further enhances our commitment to progress as the home of modern golf. Thanks to the Toptracer Range, visits to the golf range can be taken to another level. “The virtual reality courses are incredibly realistic and an excellent way of experiencing many of the leading courses around the world while broadening your experience and skill as a player. This, coupled with the most accurate feedback available on each shot, puts this technology in a different league to anything else on offer.”. retire in an orderly manner, but also gives me gratification to see the legacy of the Stromberg brand continue through my son Richard, a newly appointed Director of Business Development with American Golf Brands.”

October 2019



October 2019

AWARD WINNERS Yorkshire duo recognised for their unstinting work in junior golf

Foundation honours Carlisle and Oliver TWO men from Yorkshire dediPGA professional cated to developing junior golf Ivan Oliver, who has in the county have been hondelivered an outstandoured by the Golf Foundation. ing level of golf proviGarforth Golf Club’s Steven sion across East Riding Carlisle and Ivan Oliver from and North Yorkshire Scarborough South Cliff for many years, colreceived awards when the lected the prestigious national charity staged its Sir Henry Cotton Presidents’ Awards at Award, given each year Wentworth during the BMW to an individual who PGA Championship. has demonstrated meriThe ceremony celebrated torious service to junthe inspirational volunteers and ior golf for a sustained professionals who, through period. Steven Carlisle, second from left, pictured with the trotheir passion and hard work, Ivan is based at are helping to change the lives phy. Alongside, l-r, are Andrew Healey, Steven Carlisle, Scarborough South of young people by introducing Cliff Golf Club, but Gareth Johnson, Aidan Healy and Joe Tait them to golf. also works with Filey, Johnson, assistant professional Steven, who is the junior organBridlington Belvedere, Flamborough Aidan Healey and Aidan’s father iser at Garforth, received the Head and Burstwick golf clubs. Andrew. Gallacher Award presented annually He has introduced tens of thouDreamflight ambassador Aidan to a volunteer who, as a direct result sands of schoolchildren to the game later met up with his friend Ian of his or her efforts, has made a sigand also received a grant provided Poulter, who has raised hundreds of nificant impact in the development by the Stanley Morrison Trust and thousands of pounds for of grass-roots junior golf. an ETIQUS golfer’s watch donated Dreamflight and introduced Gareth During the awards Steven was by Gary Butler. praised for his commitment in supA native of Cold Ashby in and Joe to the Ryder Cup legend. porting the junior section at Northamptonshire, Ivan moved to Dreamflight is a UK charity that Garforth Golf Club. work in golf in Scarborough in the changes young lives through taking He also enjoyed a day at the late 90s and returned to North children with a serious illness or BMW PGA Championship along Yorkshire in 2007 following a spell disability, without their parents, on with Garforth junior captain Joe teaching in Germany. the holiday of a lifetime to Orlando, Tait, joint head professional Gareth He said: “I’m thrilled to receive Florida where Poulter has a home.

such a prestigious award and it is nice to be recognised for these kinds of projects, which have been going on for over 20 years now. “But the award is also in recognition of the hard graft that has been put in by a lot of people to support the work I have done in primary and secondary schools in the area. And these include head teachers, the various golf clubs I work with and county authorities like North Yorkshire Sport.” Thanks to the European Tour and Wentworth Club, the ceremony was held again in Wentworth’s elegant Ballroom, where a packed audience of 200 invited guests heard the stories of ground-breaking golf projects and unique individuals in junior golf. After being welcomed onto the stage by Bishopsgate School Choir, chairman of the Golf Foundation Stephen Lewis congratulated all of the prize winners for their ‘fantastic support in giving their time for others’. Lewis also thanked the core funders for supporting this child-centred charity, making reference to the R&A, which, in the past year, has committed to support the Foundation over the next four years.

Ripon City’s seventh hole

Grab this fourball Ripon City offer LOCATED on the northern edge of the ancient cathedral city in glorious North Yorkshire countryside, the course at Ripon offers spectacular golf in a stunning landscape. The club prides itself on its friendly, welcoming atmosphere and hospitality, offering top quality golf that is a delight for golfers of all abilities. And Yorkshire Golfer readers can take advantage of a special winter offer of a fourball for only £80. Ripon’s greens staff continue to receive accolades, particularly for some exciting greens, which are always excellently presented. The course drains superbly, rarely closes, sees very few restrictions, and does not use fairway mats in winter. Throughout the year a full range of great value Open competitions offer guests the chance to play a wonderful course in top condition, and these are sure to prove popular again in 2020. Popularity is continually growing as the club for visiting golf parties, both large and small. And while great value packages are available, golf days, corporate and charity events can always be tailored to ensure guests enjoy a most memorable visit. The modern clubhouse offers a wonderful panorama of four greens and provides the perfect place to enjoy the very best in Yorkshire hospitality and relax for those post-golf refreshments. Ripon City is simply an experience not to be missed.


October 2019

Wath go one better to get their hands on YLCGA A Team title WATH wore red and enjoyed a red letter day as they were crowned Yorkshire Ladies County Golf Association’s A Team champions at Headingley. Five years ago they defeated Lightcliffe in the semi-final of the competition only to succumb to Moortown. But this time, although the semi-final carried echoes of 2014 as they again overcame Lightcliffe in the last-four tie, they went one better by defeating Hickleton, who had seen off Catterick in the morning. In winds which players estimated as being of two-club strength, one of the most remarkable shots of the day came from the eventual champions’ Jo Wild, who was two inches short of driving the green at the 414-yard par-5 14th hole. Jas Rees, of Hickleton, finished on a high note, chipping in for birdie at the last to win her match against Sarah Chapman by two holes, but it could not stave off overall defeat. Wath received the A Team

trophy while the Huddersfield Salver for top qualifiers went to Catterick. Lightcliffe supporters had turned their allegiances in the afternoon to Wath, who greatly appreciated their support and were delighted to bring home the trophy for fellow member Sheila Wilde – the Inter Club assistant secretary - who had results relayed to her in her hospital bed. Wakefield was host to the YLCGA’s Inter Club B Team finals where Whitby complemented their annexing of the leading qualifiers’ salver by lifting the trophy itself in a competition involving players with handicaps between 19 and 36. Whitby claimed victory in the first two matches of their semi-final against Hainsworth Park, were pegged back to twoall, but had another two-match run to reach the decider. Moortown seemed to have even greater control of their last-four encounter against Woodsome Hall, going three ahead leaving one more win required. However, they were

Wath, Yorkshire Ladies County Golf Association’s A Team champions, pictured after their triumph at Headingley made to wait until match six returned the necessary verdict in their favour. Moortown’s Michelle Satt, who has shaved seven shots off her handicap this season, narrowly lost out to Whitby’s Ali Leslie in the opening match of the final, and wins in matches two and four put Whitby on the brink. In game five, Moortown captain Patsy Mannion took on Penny Cockill, the latter fielded in the final despite a morning loss. She justified the faith shown in her by holing a long

Oulton Hall continues to show age is no barrier TWENTY-FOUR golfers participated in an ‘all-age’ competition at family-friendly Oulton Hall as the Leeds resort continues to develop its ‘grow the game’ policy. Six juniors, six ladies, six men and six seniors combined to form six fourballs, with ages from eight to 76, as the club demonstrated the accessibility of the sport for all. The winning team – Don Crosland (senior), Sarah Wass, Lewis Dickinson and Jacob Moss (junior) – scored 51 points for the nine-hole Stableford competition, with the two best scores counting on each hole. Second, with 49 points, were Alan Paul (senior), Hayley Cooper, Steve Cain and Henry Smith (junior). Thomas Devine, as director

Dan the man A STAR-STUDDED celebrity golf day, hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter and Hallamshire member Dan Walker, raised over £20,000 to help build a new emergency department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Eighteen teams took part with the RG Group team of Chris Broadhead,

personal skills when playing with adults they do not know. “But they offer much more than simply that. For the other participants there’s often a Some of the all-age event contestants realisation that the junof Oulton Hall’s FUEL golf iors are as passionate about the (FUture ELite) programme, sport as they are – and it can works weekly with around 170 help rid them of some preconjuniors, aged between five and ceived ideas about kids. It’s 16. always fascinating, too, to see Devine said: “These sorts of how quickly a bond develops events are hugely beneficial for between the youngest and oldthe children, as it allows them est members of the group. to develop their confidence and “I think the juniors were very pleased to get some tips from some of the adults … or maybe it was the other way around,” smiled Devine. Director of golf Jon Pilkington added: “This is a new initiative designed to help promote ‘golf for all’ at our facilities. We feel it is a hugely important message when trying Dave Dixon, Dean to grow the game and, having Anderson and Louise received lots of positive feedMinchin, Walker’s back from both competitors and Breakfast co-host, emergother members, we will certaining victorious. Minchin and ly be looking to hold further Walker are seen above. such events in the future.”

putt at 17 to close out a 2&1 win that clinched the title. Willow Valley were the victors in the Weekend League, a three-player competition open to any handicap up to 36, when the finals were held at York. Hallamshire were pointed towards a 2-1 semi-final win over Cottingham Parks when Sue Brownett edged the top match on the last hole. Janet Tedstone played a similar role for Willow Valley as Otley succumbed by the same scoreline. There was just one shot difference in handicaps

between all three players in the final. Tedstone won the first match, but with Jayne Conboye three up with three to play and team-mate Sue Gorman chipping in on the 10th to go one up in the third match things looked promising for Hallamshire. However, Willow Valley’s Denise Page pulled things round in the final and decisive encounter and Willow Valley were presented with the winners’ plaque while Cottingham Parks took home the leading qualifiers’ trophy.

Got a story for us? Send your club’s news to


October 2019



Social media trolls can take their toll T

HERE are many reasons on a personal level why I enjoy social media – Facebook is great for keeping in the loop with old college friends, Twitter I love to use as my daily news feed and for keeping an eye on what interests me, along with following the path of fellow golfers, and then I also use Instagram for keeping up to date with things of interest. I know there is so much trash, lies, fake news, and forced marketing etc in the social world, and you really can portray whatever you want, but if it wasn’t for these platforms we would miss out on so many of the amazing, motivational, hilarious and inspiring videos that are filmed around the world. So, you take it with a pinch of salt I guess, as you can’t have the best of both worlds. The only thing I don’t understand, and never will, is why people use it as a platform to belittle people, upset others, and troll people. I’ve had my fair share of trolling over the years; I understand that in this day and age it’s now part of what comes with the job for those times you do

manage to play your way into the public eye, but why? I remember in Sicily missing the cut for the second week in a row by bogeying the last, then five minutes after signing my card receiving a nasty twitter message for again messing up a finish and a tournament. It’s pretty awful to read, and I’m certainly someone who takes it to heart, as you’ve got to be bullet proof not to. Does it really make people that happy? Are some people really so unhappy with their lives that they have to openly laugh at someone else’s failure? It’s a pretty sad world if this is the case – I can’t remember the last time I took pleasure in a friend losing a job, underperforming at work, or just waiting for them to fail in the hope that they crawl back to you saying ‘you were right’ – maybe because I never have. Thankfully the amount of support and good wishes I do receive drowns out most of the crap that I also receive, so thanks as ever for the continued support.

I dread to think how much abuse the top players and celebrities get. I know at one point, through a source, that Ian Poulter was finding it tough to deal with the trolling when he was so active on social media. I guess the best way, like many players, is to not use social media, or have somebody control it for you. It’s a tough call and maybe my days on social media are numbered. Sorry for the rant above, it’s certainly a bit off topic from my normal life on tour updates, but spending a good bit of time on your own means you have a lot of things to think about. Maybe mental health in golf and state of mind is also an area of our amazing sport that is slowly getting some coverage after Chris Lloyd, James Morrison and Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston bravely spoke on camera about their personal struggles off the course. So, it’s now coming to the back end of the year, and it’s obvious my Challenge Tour campaign hasn’t gone to plan, not that you can ever really plan for how an Order of Merit will go; but you can hope!

Following the Hopps Open de Provence in France two weeks ago, and pretty much give or take a few places, I had to be inside the top 53 on the OOM to qualify for the two big money events China. After making the cut in Portugal and finishing T36th I moved up to 64th in the rankings, but a missed cut in France meant I wouldn’t be heading out to the Far East. As it worked out, I probably needed to win approximately 5k euros so would have needed a top 6/7 finish anyway in France so with no China for me this year, what is left? I decided against Morocco on the CT as it looked promising for me to get into the Spanish Open in Madrid on the European Tour. But I’m sure people will have their online opinions on that call – remember though, it’s my decision not yours! I will play in the last Challenge Tour event, the Stone Irish Challenge at Headfort, then start preparations with my team for the European Tour Qualifying School, which starts in November at Stage Two in Spain, an event I’m excited to line up in again.

Hotel putting practice can be a much better alternative to monitoring social media

SO CLOSE Hornsea duo are first winners of pairs event after coming out on top by a point

Guest and Dexter lift PING crown THE inaugural PING Pairs men’s title was secured by a duo from Hornsea Golf Club by the narrow margin of just one point. Lee Guest, a six-handicapper, and Ashley Dexter, who plays off three, saw off the challenge of seven other pairs in the final at PING’s ‘home course’, Thonock Park, in Gainsborough, with 39 Stableford points, enough to leave Shropshire-based Lilleshall GC pairing Jon Spiers (13) and Richard Saxon (13), in second spot. More than 12,500 people signed up for the unique competition through the online community HowDidiDo, which allowed golfers – of any gender or category – to team up. Each player’s top three scores in handicap qualifying competitions at their home course were recorded and combined to establish a position on the PING PAIRS leaderboard, hosted virtually on HowDidiDo. The top eight pairs then earned themselves a place at Thonock Park for the grand

final and a VIP PING experience, including a behind-thescenes tour of PING’s European headquarters; custom-fitting experiences for the brand’s latest putters and drivers; and a guided tour of the impressive PING European Tour truck. The winners each took possession of a PING-fitted driver and putter, while all competitors received a PING ‘goodie bag’, comprising a personalised carry bag, two polo shirts, a mid-layer, belt, hat, glove, towel, umbrella, and ball marker. The grand final was a betterball Stableford competition, off a three-quarter handicap, with finalists’ handicaps ranging from plus four to 30. HowDidiDo spokesman, and chairman of Yumax Media, Barry Dyett said: “Everyone at HowDidiDo is very proud of the PING Pairs and how well the competition has been received by our community of golfers. The format is innovative and has brought together more than 12,500 avid golfers which is a great achievement.” PING Europe’s managing

Ashley Dexter, left, and Lee Guest, from Hornsea GC, after winning at Thonock Park director John Clarke said: “We were delighted to welcome the 16 finalists to Thonock Park and PING for the final of the 2019 PING Pairs event, all of whom did incredibly well to finish ahead of the other thousands of entrants. “The feedback received from all the finalists has been fantastic and really showcases the quality of this event, which is free to enter, requires you to do nothing but sign up through your HowDidiDo profile, and

play well in your club competitions. This was the inaugural running of the PING Pairs and we have been really pleased with the engagement from everyone who took part. “On the back of this year’s final, we’re anticipating significant participation growth over the coming years, as PING and HowDidiDo continue their partnership of this event.” HowDidiDo is Europe’s largest online community, with more than half-a-million club

golfers from 1,800-plus registered clubs using the website or mobile app regularly across the UK and Ireland. „ Belton Park’s Jacqui Barson and Julie Beanland have only been playing golf together since the start of the year, but combined beautifully to win the PING Women’s Fourball Betterball Plate Final. The duo won by two points with an overall score of 44, scoring 25 points going out and 19 on the back nine.

Ganton mark their 70th Ryder Cup anniversary GANTON Golf Club celebrated the 70th anniversary of hosting the Ryder Cup with a commemorative tournament between two members’ teams representing the USA and Great Britain & Ireland. In September 1949 the USA claimed a narrow victory by seven points to five, but this time it was even closer as an American team captained by club professional Gary Brown prevailed by 12.5-11.5. Two Ganton members, Christopher Licence and Philip Bean, were present in 1949. “To have been able to watch the Ryder Cup at Ganton, where I play, was very special,” said Licence. “You feel like you are walking in the footsteps of the greats when you are out on the course.” Following the matches, an evening dinner was held with Yorkshire professional Howard Clark as the guest speaker. Clark played in seven Ryder Cup tournaments from 1977, including holing in one to win one up at Oak Hill in Florida in 1995, to help secure a tight victory.

Profile for The Press Newspaper

Yorkshire Golfer - October edition  

The best of club and county, for Yorkshire's army of golfers. All the news from around the Broad Acres' superb golf courses and clubs.

Yorkshire Golfer - October edition  

The best of club and county, for Yorkshire's army of golfers. All the news from around the Broad Acres' superb golf courses and clubs.