England’s Hugh Adams held his nerve to win the Reid Trophy on the fourth hole of a sudden death play-off at Reading Golf Club.
The 13-year-old from Hagley Golf Club in Worcestershire defeated Spain’s Angel Ayora with a par and said: “It just felt great. I was just excited to lift up the trophy.
“I didn’t come here expecting to win, I’m only 13 and I’ve still got another year so I was just trying to play well.”
However, when he got within four shots of the lead after two rounds he was determined to go for it – and secured his place in the play-off with his three-under 67. It gave him a level par total and a tie with Ayora who closed with 66.
“I tried to get off to a quick start,” he said. “I didn’t really know anything until about the 14th or 15th, but when I birdied the 16th I knew I had a chance.
“Everything just started to go my way, I had a couple of nice bounces, took advantage of my luck and holed some nice putts.”
Adams actually had a 10-footer on the 18th to win outright, but it slid past the hole and he was into the play-off.
He’d been involved in sudden death once before and although he lost that time – on the eighth hole – the experience helped him.
“I was quite relaxed, quite calm, but definitely determined,” he said.
The first three play-off holes were halved in par, but on the fourth Ayora’s drive went behind a tree and his next just slipped out of bounds.
Adams, who plays for his county, has been in good form this season, with high finishes at both the Midlands U16 championship and the Douglas Johns Trophy. “It’s been going well,” he said.
Four other boys were in the top ten: Stuart Reis (Welwyn Garden City), Manato Nakatini (Hendon), Harley Smith (The Rayleigh Club) and Luke Perkins (Frilford Heath).
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- To continue to help develop the skills of a very strong golf membership and teaching facility for members and the public at Bransford golf club.
- To increase membership both male and female, but especially targeting juniors.
- And to maintain what he feels is already an incredible relationship with the members.
Rugby Golf Club in Warwickshire has won a national award from England Golf, in recognition of its drive to grow the game
The club, which is actively recruiting new members and widening its community links, has just received the GolfMark Award for the second time. This is an official seal of approval for clubs which successfully work to develop the game.
Rugby is a private members’ club with an 18 hole golf course in Clifton Road and an established partnership with Leam Valley Golf Centre. It has recently attracted 26 new members – in various categories – by holding an open day for the local community.
The event was so successful that another open day will be held in September and it will become an annual event.
Club Secretary Andrew Leech, who led the club’s push to GolfMark, commented: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award. It not only recognises our aim to provide challenging golf for golfers of all abilities, but to be an asset within the Rugby community.
“We are doing all we can to encourage juniors and adults to take up or return to golf. This award will help RGC, drawing on all its 127 years of history, to continue to offer a warm, friendly, safe and secure environment for golf, retaining our traditions whilst modernising and adapting our offer to members, visitors and societies.
“We will use this platform, in partnership with Leam Valley Golf Centre, to take golf into schools and the wider community and will do our best to attract under-represented groups into golf.”
The award was presented to club Captain Karl Walker by Hayley Noel, England Golf’s Club Support Officer for Warwickshire (pictured).
Hayley said “I’m delighted that Rugby Golf Club has achieved GolfMark and that its efforts to grow the game can be nationally recognised.”
The GolfMark award was developed by England Golf and also integrates Sport England’s Clubmark award – a national standard for quality sports clubs recognised across the country.
Successful clubs develop the game by:
- Attracting new members and encouraging existing members to play more
- Using practical business planning to develop the club
- Offering coaching and playing opportunities for all golfers
- Ensuring safeguarding policies are in place
GolfMark brings a number of benefits to clubs including raising awareness, access to funding, business and marketing support and training opportunities for staff and volunteers. To find out more visit www.golfmark.org
GOLFBUDDY ADDS TO MOST ADVANCED GPS WATCH WITH THE WTX+
GolfBuddy, the world-leading developer of distance measuring devices made exclusively for golfers, is upgrading its most advanced GPS watch with the introduction of the WTX+.
The WTX+ takes the market leading functionality of the WTX and adds in technical and aesthetic features that elevate it further. The primary technical development for the WTX+ is the improved antenna strength which speeds up the time for it to find a course or, heaven forbid you stray off your own fairway, the time to work out distances to the hole from your angle of attack. This improved functionality builds on market leading features such as touchscreen, full hole view with golfer’s position, distances to front, centre, back and hazards, shot distance measurement and pin position selection. WTX+ also offers smart phone compatibility with on course updates available for download automatically via Bluetooth and fitness watch features such as odometer and GPS tracking.
The second area for upgrade is the new look of the WTX+. The watch has a stylish new strap and a new metallic finish for the bezel which improves the aesthetic and makes it a very wearable everyday watch when not in golf mode. The new look combines superbly with the extra skins that can be selected for the watch face and with an extended battery life, the WTX+ is perfect for everyday use.
With GolfBuddy’s renowned accuracy, some of the most advanced features on the market, great pricing and U.K. dedicated customer support WTX+ is set to build on the success of the WTX and give GolfBuddy a great finish to the season
The second playing of The Raven Scratch Open was held at The Herefordshire Golf Club on Saturday 11th August. A strong field comprising of 47 competitors from all over the Midlands and South Wales battled out for the honour of being crowned champion on what proved to be a testing day.
The course set up from Jeremy Browne and his team was fair but challenging, with perfect putting surfaces combined with a few tricky pin placements making for unusually high scoring.
In the first grouping of the day, local member Michael Bayliss carded a solid 74 gross, making the most of the freshly cut greens to post a marker for the rest of the field. Throughout the day, many of the later starters threatened to better that score but the blustery winds made for a tough finish and one by one they fell away leaving Bayliss, a 6 handicapper, to secure the biggest win of his career to date. The win secured him a cut crystal trophy, the £250 first prize and the bragging rights amongst his peers for the next 12 months.
Afterwards Bayliss praised the condition of the course, adding that it was great to see such a well supported event in only its second year, especially with 25 competitors visiting from other clubs. Speaking about his round he added that he thought he might be a couple of shots short, even for the net prize, when he finished, so he was shocked and delighted when it proved to be good enough for the main prize.
There was a four way tie for second place on +7 with Graham McMonagle from Southerndown GC taking second spot and Tom Mansell from The Herefordshire Golf Club in third, both on card countback.
In conjunction with the Gross prize, a net competition was also played. First prize went to local member Rob Waring with a net 70, winning by one from Burghill Valley’s John McQuillan with a 71.
Competition organiser Jonathan Devereux commented that he was delighted with the number of entries, especially from club members and also those who traveled from further afield to support the event. The target is to gain Shropshire & Herefordshire Union of Golf Clubs accreditation for The Raven in order to add more gravitas to both Golf locally and also to the county set up.
It wasn’t just the temperatures that were soaring this week as some of the longest drivers in the country sent their balls flying down the runway at RAF Honington. American Golf challenged some of the Long Drive stars who’ll be appearing at its 2018 U.K. Long Drive Final this August to set various Long Drive World Records and in doing so help celebrate the anniversaries of On Course Foundation and the RAF.
First up on the temporary tee positioned at the end of the 900 yard main runway at RAF Honington was On Course Foundation beneficiary and Gecko Tour player, Mike Browne. Despite never taking part in Long Drive before, Mike, who is a single leg amputee, belted a staggering 564.65 yard drive using Callaway Epic Driver to record the longest ever golf drive by a single leg amputee.
What is most remarkable about Mike’s World Record is that before his leg was amputated in 2013 he had never hit a golf ball. He commented, “I have never done anything like this before so I can’t believe how well I struck the ball! I was at my lowest ebb when I came across the sport for the first time with On Course Foundation. Since then it has taken me to some incredible places and enabled me to do some amazing things, but setting a World Record, whether it’s official or not, has to be one of the highlights.”
Using her Callaway Rogue Driver, current American Golf U.K. Long Drive Champion Ilona Stubley hit a remarkable 460.94 yard drive to set a new (unofficial) Long Drive World Record for women. Since winning the American Golf U.K. Long Drive Championship last year Ilona has been training for the sport and her consistent performance today bears testament to that.
She commented, “I’ve worked really hard this winter to make sure that I am in great shape to defend my title at Chester Racecourse in August, so when American Golf invited me to try and set a Long Drive World Record in the meantime I was obviously delighted to take part. It’s been a fantastic day and it was great to see everyone else perform, including the golf team from the RAF.”
The biggest hitter of the day was Long Drive European Tour Champion and American Golf staff member Matt Nicolle. He smashed his Callaway ball 657.44 yards, which is shorter than some of the unofficial records out there, but is the longest drive on a flat surface using conforming golf equipment and will be submitted to Guinness for their consideration alongside the other two records.
All the records were documented and verified by independent adjudicators including members of the RAF, who kindly donated their time and their runway as part of their own 100th Anniversary celebrations. Matt Bacon, Head of Events at American Golf, thanked them for their assistance, “It’s been a pleasure to be here with the RAF and OCF today. We can’t thank them enough for arranging the loan of their runway and for helping us collect all the evidence we need to submit the records to Guinness. I can’t think of more reliable witnesses, so we’re confident the applications are in safe hands!”
Photograph Credit: Mark Newcombe/visionsingolf.com
Golfing prodigy Abhay Kapoor stunned onlookers by recording a hole in one during a golf lesson at 3 Hammers Golf Complex in Wolverhampton this weekend.
Abhay, who attends Mayfield prep school in Walsall recorded the feat on the 14th with a 7 iron, emulating his golfing hero and fellow 3 Hammers alumni Aaron Rai who had holed out for an Ace only the day before at the European Tour’s BMW International.
Abhay’s dad Shiv couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing, especially after seeing Aaron hole out the day before, “Me and Abhay’s coach at 3 Hammers, Kyle Cooper, were speaking about Aaron Rai’s Hole in One at the BMW just before Abhay’s lesson. For him to then go and emulate his hero and do the same in that very lesson is incredible. I’m so proud of him.”
Abhay took up golf a year ago aged 3 and has proven to be a natural. He’s received coaching at 3 Hammers Golf Academy from Kyle but has also been greatly inspired by Aaron Rai, as Shiv continues, “Abhay’s met Aaron Rai a few times and was recently at a Q&A with him at 3 Hammers. Aaron spoke about focus and discipline and Abhay’s worked even harder on his game ever since. Straight after he got his hole in one he turned to me and said ‘Daddy, see! I work hard for you!’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!”
Abhay’s Hole in One comes straight off the back of his first ever tournament win the week before. He secured top spot in the regional qualifier for the ‘Wee Wonders’ Golf Tour the previous week playing against 5 and 6 year olds, and while a tournament victory at the age of 4 might seem unlikely Kyle thinks that it will be the first of many for Abhay, “Seeing Abhay follow in his hero’s footsteps comes as no great surprise. Winning his regional at the Wee Wonders and getting a Hole in One in the same week are fantastic achievements, but Abhay’s love of being on the golf course shines through as much as his ability. It’s exciting to see him achieving great things so early, but even more exciting to see the enjoyment and confidence he’s getting from the game.”
Next on Abhay’s radar is the Regional Final of the Wee Wonders on 25th July where he will take on the best 5 and 6 year olds in the area. With his first Hole in One in the bag and brimming with confidence, the last word goes to Abhay on his achievements, “I’m really happy I got a hole in one like Aaron and I’m going to work hard to get better at golf!”
The American Golf Junior Championship in association with PING has announced its rosta of Championship qualifying events for 2018, and with PING once again on board as tournament sponsor, the event is set to be one of the highlights of the year’s junior calendar.
John Clark, Managing Director of PING Europe, said, “Over the years we’ve been involved with the American Golf Junior Championship, we’ve seen some fantastic golf played by hugely talented golfers but, more importantly, we’ve seen sportsmanship and camaraderie from some inspiring young people. We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with American Golf and being part of this fantastic event yet again, and we’re looking forward to welcoming all the qualifiers to Gainsborough Golf Club for the finals.”
2017 saw impressive golf played in the Scratch, Boys and Girls Handicap and Future Stars (under and over 8) categories with Aaron Mohun (featured image) from Chester coming out on top in the overall Championship. With the 2018 qualifying competitions set to begin at Roganstown G.C. near Dublin on 11th of July, players from all over the U.K. & Ireland will be lining up to qualify for the opportunity to take on Aaron when he returns to PING’s H.Q. at Gainsborough Golf Club to try and retain his title.
Matt Bacon, Head of Events at American Golf concluded, “Some of the best junior golfers in the U.K. & Ireland have played in the Championship over the past few years so I’m excited to see how the event develops for 2018. PING have been fantastic supporters of our drive to get more Juniors of all abilities out hitting balls so I’m delighted to have them on board again for our celebration of the best of junior golf.”
The American Golf Junior Championship will be shown on Sky Sports in October. The event is free to enter and players with and without handicaps can take part in different categories. For more information on entries please visit:
Ireland – Roganstown G&CC – Wednesday 11th July
South England – The Shire London – Monday 30th July
Midlands – Gaudet Luce GC – Tuesday 31st July
North England – High Legh Park GC – Wednesday 1st August
Wales – Glamorganshire GC – Thursday 2nd August
Scotland – Leven Links – Wednesday 8th August
Mankert, from Cosby Golf Club, Leicestershire, was recognised at the England Golf Awards at the Royal Lancaster London, which highlighted all that’s great about golf in England.
Mankert was celebrated for the difference he has made to blind and visually impaired golfers and to young players making their way in the game.
Guests at the glittering, black tie event – including influential figures from across the sport, volunteers, coaches, clubs and counties – applauded Mankert for his remarkable volunteer contributions which span more than two decades.
He was nominated by blind students who put him forward for “being a unique inspiration and primarily for introducing us to the sport which has changed our life!” The judges agreed, commenting: “Anders has literally given time, expertise and selfless dedication over 20 years, helping to extend the game’s inclusivity.”
Mankert said of his award: “It’s not why I do it, but it’s a lovely, lovely thing to be recognised for your efforts and to know that people actually care. It’s quite humbling and it’s the most amazing thing that has happened in my career.”
His story begins back in the mid-1990s when he saw a group of blind and visually impaired players making weekly visits to a golf range. He realised he could help them, tentatively offered his services and has been working with them, and others, ever since, without charging a penny. “We have just carried on for the next 20 years!” he said.
Mankert, an Advanced Fellow of the PGA and an honorary life member of the England and Wales Blind Golf Association, does far more than teach the technical skills. When one of his students was unable to find an all-important guide to accompany him on the course, he persuaded a local newspaper to feature the blind golfer – with the result that 17 people volunteered to help.
When other students, often unable to work, cannot afford golf club subscriptions he contacts local clubs to ask if they will waive their fees. Some willingly open their doors, but it can also be a tough task – Mankert wrote to 15 clubs on behalf of one player and didn’t receive a single reply.
But the setbacks are far outweighed by the achievements. The player who was very depressed after losing his sight overnight and is now British No 1, has competed in world championships and counts Mankert as a personal friend. The visually impaired girl who is now able to play weekly golf with her dad. The young offender who almost blinded his victim with a shot from an air rifle and was ordered by a judge to act as a blind person’s carer for a week. “It was genius,” said Mankert, who described how the surly, unhelpful young man transformed into a phenomenal carer.
There’s also satisfaction achieved by player after player. “It strikes me that golf must be the hardest possible game for a blind person to take up,” said Mankert. “But I think they feel that if they can play golf and see some progress they can pretty much have a go at anything and you can see their confidence growing.”
There’s also satisfaction for Mankert. “I get masses out of this. I have really enjoyed it, it’s very rewarding to see how something small on my part, giving up a little bit of time, has had such a tremendous impact. It’s unbelievable.”
Mankert also runs a scholarship programme offering young golfers the opportunity to work like a tour pro for a year. They receive unlimited coaching and mentoring from Mankert together with support from specialists such as a physiotherapist and a dietician.
He’s just awarded his sixth scholarship, selecting the winner from 387 applicants from across the country. One of his former protégées, Ryan Evans, is now a European Tour player, and another is a PGA professional, while all have improved their golf and grown personally and in confidence.
“When I was young lots of people helped me and so it’s quite important to give a bit back, it just feels the right thing to do,” said Mankert.
Main feature image: Anders Mankert (left) receives his award from Stuart Attfield on behalf of event sponsors Bridgestone.
The Rushcliffe Golf Club has recently appointed a new Club Manager. Marc Valentine, 27 years old from Loughborough, has been tasked with building on the fantastic work that has taken place at The Rushcliffe Golf Club over the last few years.
Alongside a fantastic course, The Rushcliffe Golf Club has a brilliant set of staff members with passionate Greenstaff and Golf Pro who work tirelessly for the good of the Club.
Having previously worked in a business development role for a leading University, Marc brings with him a skill set focused on business engagement, social media marketing and events management. In his previous role he was responsible for engaging with some of the largest organisations in the world and directly contributed to the organisation and running of the UK’s largest university careers fair, an event which catered for over 240 organisations and 7,000 students.
Marc is passionate about developing the The Rushcliffe Golf Club brand and embracing technology in order to do so. His aim is to secure the long-term future success of the Club by continuing to develop the fantastic golfing product and facilities available.