New man in charge

Whitburn appoints new pro as club continues to develop facilities

Whitburn Golf Club has appointed Kevin Gow as new club professional.

Gow takes over from Neil Whinham, who has moved to Ryton Golf Club.

Gow, 52, brings a wealth of experience to Whitburn having spent 15 years at Houghton-le-Spring Golf Club and also been involved, at various times, with Cocken Lodge, Seaton Carew’s Mayfair Centre and Morpeth, Bedlington and Blyth golf clubs.

He also spent seven years in Sweden at Stockholm Golf Club as teaching pro where Jarmo Sandelin, who went on play on the European Tour and in the Ryder Cup, was among his pupils.

“I’ve spent 35 years as a pro,” said Gow, “and I like to think I know a bit about teaching and coaching golf along with everything else that goes with being a club pro such as custom fitting and giving club members good service.”

Kevin’s wife Jacqueline and daughters Samantha and Georgia will be involved in Kevin’s new venture – much as they were when he was based at Cocken Lodge.

Gow’s appointment is another step forward for Whitburn, which embarked some time ago on plans to improve the course and clubhouse.

The club has installed a biomass boiler to reduce heating costs and investigated installing solar panels and a wind turbine, as well as recently building a new toilet and shower block. Discussions are ongoing regarding plans to remodel the clubhouse to improve the pro shop and the add a spike bar.

This past year has seen the club concentrate on improving the course, which overlooks the mouth of the River Tyne and Marsden, and Frenchman’s Bay.

Following work by greens chairman Jim Simpson and his team working alongside head greenkeeper Eddie Hackett and his staff, the club is reaping the benefit of a rolling programme of improvements to greens drainage.

Holes one, two and six were improved last winter and more will be worked on this winter while further work has gone into improving the putting surfaces.

Improvements have also been made to the club’s practice areas along with new tee signs, course furniture, paths and bunker work, and the planting of 400 new trees to improve the overall appearance of the tricky, coastal layout.