Cheshire Golf round up - March 2016

Golfing round-up

Golfing round-up - Credit: Archant

Geoff Garnett rounds up the golfing news in and and around Cheshire

Margaret Ashworth of North Manchester GC

Margaret Ashworth of North Manchester GC - Credit: Archant

Margaret ready for another top role THE Manchester & District Society of Past Lady Captains was formed in 1959 and has over 60 clubs with over 900 members Clubs within a 25-mile radius from Manchester Town Hall are eligible to join the society and any lady who has been a Captain of those clubs may join the society. In 2016 the Society Captain will be Margaret Ashworth of North Manchester GC (pictured) who will bring a great record of service and success to the role. Margaret said: “My mother bought me a hickory-shafted set of clubs from a friend of hers for the magnificent sum of £6 was back in the early 1960’s. “In 1966, with these in the boot of the car I set off for a holiday with my cousin who lived in Perth. “One morning she suggested that we had a round on the Inch, a municipal course in Perth and from that day on I was hooked on golf and on my return applied for membership at North Manchester GC. “Since then I have enjoyed a very successful amateur career getting down to a handicap of six. “Among my top playing successes are winning the County Veterans’ Championship while I was a member of Sale, the Manchester and District Society President’s Prize, the Dunhill Masters gross championship at Mere the M and D Past Lady Captain’s final, all of the board competitions at North Manchester and several at Sale. “At North I have been secretary, treasurer, Lady Captain twice, Lady President once and I am currently the competition secretary. “My official title is Captain of the Manchester & District Society of Lady Captains and in 2016 we will hold two competitions- the first at Bramall Park on June 14 and the second at Fairfield on July 14 with the winners and runners-up at each venue playing in the final at North Manchester later in the year and I am sure that they will all be great competitions during a year that I am looking forward to with great anticipation.”

Rhys Nevin-Wharton

Rhys Nevin-Wharton - Credit: Archant

Rhys ready for new challenges SANDIWAY Golf Club’s teenage star Rhys Nevin-Wharton (pictured) is looking forward to a very busy and successful 2016 in which he will be the Cheshire Junior Captain as well as playing for England juniors and the full Cheshire team. The 18-year-old had a series of high finishes in 2015 including third place in the Sir Henry Junior Masters and a fine record representing his county and country. His big move towards the end of the season is to take up a golf scholarship at the University of Tennessee. Rhys said: “I have decided to go to the US because of the opportunity to progress my game and play high-level competitive golf all year round and also I can gain experience by playing on the different grasses and conditions over there. “It is also important to me to get a degree so that I have a back-up for my golf career and I am hoping to win multiple events over there and I would like to make the ‘All American’ team. “I was influenced by the number of PGA Tour players that attended US universities and also by older England boy players who have gone over there and been successful.”

John with Steve and Claire

John with Steve and Claire - Credit: Archant

John’s performance programme is a big hit JOHN Watson is one of the most respected golf coaches in the region and the Styal Golf Club-based PGA professional and England coach has enjoyed a very positive response to his new initiative- the ‘Cheshire Performance Golf Academy’. John said: “My work as a coach sees my England squad work within a structured improvement programme based on their goals and needs. “So via various social media outlets I asked if anyone would like to be coached like my England squad as I am the only academy in the country to offer Golf Biodynamics, Boditrak and Trackman. “The response was amazing as golfers want structure to their coaching and practice plus the facts about their game. “I then sent the interested parties an application form to complete and from that invited a select few for an interview so I could see how committed to improve their game they really were and the performance squad handicaps range from two to 22. “They had an initial assessment on 3D boditrak and Trackman and from that I out together a structured 16-week programme to help them reach their goals and they have one-to-one weekly sessions as well as monthly group sessions. “All players received a training diary which includes regular drills and practice exercises to keep them on track and we have regular contact through a personalised and group interactive online/app training space.” Squad member Steve Heaton, a member at Mottram Hall, said: “I have been struggling to play consistent golf and have had various lessons which have helped me short term but not long term. “I love this programme as it is built around what you do away from coaching just as much as it does during the coaching sessions. “John provides us with drills, videos and examples to go away and work with and I am already seeing better results on the golf course. “I am very excited about the coming season in 2016 playing better golf.” Former Styal Lady Captain and single-figure handicapper Claire Whitney added: “I have certainly noticed the new focus I have in my game and I have found it a terrific programme to improve my golf.” To contact John for more info check out

Stamford star is Northern champion THE Fuller’s London Pride Steward of the Year is one of the most coveted awards in English golf clubs, attracting hundreds of entries each year since it was introduced nine years ago. The nominated stewards first compete at regional level with the top four regional winners going through to a final at the presentation lunch at The Counting House in London when the winner was announced. Representing the North of England was Kirsty Glaister from Stamford Golf Club, who was nominated for the competition by Guy Hall, the Stamford secretary. There followed a rigorous judging process at regional level with 2014 winner Samantha Hudson joining the judges to whittle down the entry to three from each region who were then visited personally and judged on commitment, innovation, standard of service and presentation, together with that extra special something which sets them apart. To the delight of Kirsty and everyone at Stamford Golf Club she was declared as the winner of the North of England and received the trophy and certificate. Kirsty joined Stamford five years ago and works alongside her partner Dane Ludlow, who has the catering franchise. She has also taken on some of the club’s administration and her efforts have helped Stamford buck the trend with rising membership, increasing visitor revenue and more social income. Kirsty will take on any challenge at the club and helped hands-on, with the renovation of the main function room and she and Dane overhauled the kitchen and invested in new equipment. They have started Sunday carveries which are popular with members and local residents and Kirsty organises social events ranging from weddings to evening functions for members. Kirsty said: “It was a real surprise to win this! We’re a small team and everyone pulls together. If anyone needs a hand, whether it is us or the pro Mark Smith or the green staff, we all jump in together. “Stamford is such a friendly club and everyone comments on it.” Stamford’s director of golf Mark Smith added: “Kirsty has been a breath of fresh air at the club in the past five years and she has been a terrific asset to the club and her efforts have been appreciated by all at the club and we are thrilled by her well-deserved success.