Northern Golfer #80 – December 2019/January 2020

The 2020 golf season is on the horizon, I’m sure I can see it through the rain clouds…

By the time you read this, it may have stopped raining… hopefully. We’re well into the winter months and as I write, there seems a little hope of better golfing weather – fingers crossed!

The wet weather has put a great deal of pressure on many clubs. All clubs rely on a steady stream of income over these winter months and cutting off that income makes life incredibly difficult. With that in mind, it’s important to continue to visit clubhouses for Sunday lunch or to watch the football – or even just for a coffee. That little bit of support is really important at this time of year.

As ever, our region’s greenkeepers will continue to work hard to ensure courses are open as much as possible in the coming weeks and months. As noted by columnist Simon Olver this month, greenkeeping can be an incredibly stressful profession and it is becoming increasingly difficult to balance opening courses with the pressure of presenting a high quality product at all times. His column on page 21 is an enlightening piece – please take the time to read it this month.

One of my favourite pieces to write each year is our annual review of golfing achievements. There are so many events to look back on – from club and county events through to national and international ones – and I always have great fun looking back through each edition, picking out the highlights and charting the success of players from across the region. You’ll find this year’s review on pages 29-33. 

Our cover star Rachel Gourley was a player who popped up throughout the journey back through 2019. At just 15, she has spent this season adding to her enviable golfing CV, including making her England debut, as you’ll read on pages 24-26.

Chris Paisley made it to the second event of the Race to Dubai final series this season and his column this month is a fascinating look at his run, as well as an insight into what lies ahead for his 2020 season.

Congratulations to all those who have found golfing success in 2019. This year has been another incredibly successful one for our region – at junior and club level, and on the national and international stage for male and female golfers of all ages, and there’s a lot more to come in 2020. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!