The 2019 golf season is finally here, the clocks have changed and my handicap will probably be back up to 12 by the time you read this.
While there is a lot to look forward to, which I’ll come on to, hitting the opening tee shot of the year with my handicap perched at 11.4 isn’t going to be a highlight of the year! I suppose it can only get better…
Elsewhere in the golfing world, things are looking a lot brighter. There is a lot to celebrate across the region already, particularly towards the elite end of the game. Three of our region’s best girls have been named in the England squad for 2019. Caitlin Whitehead, Jess Baker and Rosie Belsham will all compete for the national girls squad this summer. Meanwhile, the next generation of girls is chasing them down, as you’ll read on page 12.
The boys have been making plenty of their own news too. Matty Lamb has been globetrotting as he prepares to play the biggest amateur events of the European summer while Will Skipp has taken the next step on his own golfing journey by becoming Durham Boys captain.
In the professional ranks, we had the chance to enjoy a Round With Graeme Storm this month as he continues his recovery from a wrist injury, plus we have a Tour Life update following Chris Paisley’s trip to the desert.
While Chris enjoyed the desert, I fear I’ve spent too long watching golf from the Middle East, as I’ve decided to talk about it in my column on page 27 this month.
Also in the pro ranks, John Harrison is continuing his remarkable record of winning in each year of his professional career – he’s now up to 42 in a row and has his eyes on more in the future.
Following on from our last cover interview with Andrew Scrimshaw, we’ve caught up with his coach Andy Paisley in this month’s cover interview. As well as coaching Scrimshaw, Andy works with his brother Chris, many of the region’s most successful amateurs, the North of England Regional Boys squad and many more players who have featured in our pages. It was great to hear his thoughts on coaching at the elite level when we sat down with him at Hexham Golf Club and I’m sure everyone can learn something from what he has to say on pages 28-30.
Here’s to a successful year on and off the golf course for all our readers, clubs, advertisers and greenkeepers. Good luck out there.