North of England Youths

Middlesbrough Golf Club hosts the 43rd North of England Open Amateur Youth Golf Championship in association with Northern Golfer, August 8-10

The best young players from around the UK visit the North East in August for the 43rd North of England Open Amateur Youth Golf Championship at Middlesbrough Golf Club – an event which has played an important part in the careers of major champions and European Tour winners.

The event, which is open to players under the age of 23, awards World Amateur Golf Ranking points and has welcomed a number of the UK’s finest players in its history.

A total of 136 players will tee off on Tuesday and Wednesday before a 36-hole cut reduces the field to 40 players and ties for the final two rounds on Thursday. The leading player will be awarded the MacGill Challenge Trophy, while the leading player under the age of 18 will earn the Fairweather Salver.

Some of British golf’s biggest names have competed in the event in the last 42 years, including three Masters champions – Danny Willett, Sandy Lyle (the third winner of the tournament) and Ian Woosnam. Ryder Cup legend and eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie went home empty handed from Middlesbrough, as did European Tour winners Ken Ferrie and Graeme Storm, while two-time senior major winner Roger Chapman (1979), David Horsey (2006) and Richard Finch (1998) are all present on the MacGill Challenge Trophy.

Richard Boxall, winner of the event in 1982 – when his hunt to break the 72-hole scoring record of 255 was halted by bad weather, said: “I have good memories of playing in the tournament, and of Middlesbrough and its members who were wonderful hosts, especially David Hunter with whom I stayed,” said Boxall, now part of the Sky Sports Golf commentary team.

“I did have a chance of setting a world record and I reckon I would have done it. It was a shame about the fog, but I did win the tournament which meant a lot to me – as did setting a course record in each round.

“Hopefully the players taking part this year will enjoy it as much as I did and I wish the club all success and long may it continue.”

In 2016, Haider Hussain from Kendleshire Golf Club lifted the MacGill Challenge Trophy with a four-round score 267. Barclay Brown from Hallamshire Golf Club was awarded the Fairweather Salver for the leading player under the age of 18.

Ahead of the event, we’ve taken a look at where the action will take place over the three days and met with the men tasked with delivering one of our region’s biggest amateur events…

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Where to watch the action unfold over the stunning James Braid-designed Middlesbrough Golf Club at Brass Castle


  • Where to watch – no.8
    Stand behind the green at the par three seventh where you can then follow players up onto the eighth tee, the signature hole at Middlesbrough measuring more than 400 yards
  • Where to watch – The halfway house
    A great place to catch up with a group or to get a feel for the action, the halfway hut near the green at the risk and reward par four 10th gives you a chance to watch players take on the green at the short par four. You can also walk the 20 yards to the 11th tee and watch the players tee off at the par five
  • Where to watch – no.16
    Stand behind the 16th tee and you can watch the players approaching the 15th, the toughest hole on the course, before they play the par three 16th
  • Where to watch – The tournament decider
    Having tackled the tricky par four 17th, players will head to the tee of the par four. Pick a spot on the clubhouse terrace and watch the action – and you can also keep an eye on the scoreboard
  • Timings
    Tuesday August 8 – tee times from 7.30am-3.30pm
    Wednesday August 9 – tee times from 7.30am-3.30pm
    Thursday August 10 – third round tee times from 8am, fourth round tee times from 3pm, presentation from 7pm
    *Free entry for spectators. All times approx.

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North of England Open Amateur Youth Golf Championship winners


1975   A  Jackson  – Burnham Beeches
1976   N M  Chesses  – Shirley
1977   A W B  Lyle  – Hawkstone Park
1978   J  Cuddihy  – Ratho Park
1979   R  Chapman  – Langley Park
1980   J G  Bennett  – Walton Heath
1981   J  Heib  – Sutton Bridge
1982   R Boxall  – Camberley Heath
1983   M Stokes  – Maylands
1984   W A  Farrow  – Stoke Poges
1985   F  George  – Beaconsfield
1986   J G C  Robinson  – Woodhall Spa
1987   J  Cook  – Leamington County
1988   C  Cassells  – Murcar
1989   S J  Bannerman  – Cruden Bay
1990   R  Walker  – Brancepeth
1991   S M Green  – Ashford
1992   R  Walker  – Wearside
1993   S Taylor  – Hillside
1994   J N Hepworth – llkley
1995   G Jenkins  – Kenilworth
1996   O  Cousins  – St  Neot’s
1997   M S King  – Toft Hotel
1998   R Finch  – Hull
1999   S J  Young – Seascale
2000   J W  Lupton – Middlesbrough
2001   P  Wheatcroft – Worksop
2002   P  Richardson – Eden
2003   J  Mason  – Fulford
2004   G  Jackson  – Garforth
2005   S  Uzzell  – Hornsea
2006   D  Horsey  – Styal
2007   D  Whitnell  – Five Lakes
2008   D  Whitnell  – Five Lakes
2009   B  Loughrey  – Wrag Barn
2010   I  Winstanley – Formby
2011   J  Bower – Meltham
2012   J  Bower  – Meltham
2013   A  Wilson  – Darlington
2014   W  Whiteoak  – Shipley
2015   J  Hilleard – Farrington Park
2016   H Hussain  – Kendleshire


Who’s who?

Name: Geoff Wilson

Position: Championship Committee chairman

Time at Middlesbrough: 41 years

Age: 76

Handicap: 12

Tell me about your role for the event?
My work starts building up three weeks ahead of the event, getting the tournament set up and getting the players organised. We’ll draw the tee times the Monday of the week before the tournament and from there it’s into the final push – organising the volunteers, setting up the scoreboard and getting ready for the opening day. It’s a lot of work but we have a fantastic team of people for the event which makes it a lot easier.”

Where will you be during the event?
“I’ll be in the clubhouse registering the players, handing out the cards and getting them set up for their rounds. I’ll be on-hand for any committee decisions and working with the team of volunteers to keep the leaderboard up-to-date.”

What will you be doing once the
event finishes?

“I’ll wrap up the event the following week, send off the scores to England Golf and the players’ home clubs and then try to relax as much as possible!”

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Name: Bryan Sloper

Position: Middlesbrough GC chairman

Time at Middlesbrough: 30 years

Age: 69

Handicap: 15

Tell me about your role for the event? “My main role is to support the Championship Committee as they help prepare for the event, giving particular emphasis to marketing and publicity activities. The Championship has an enviable reputation among competitors for the support given by our members in marshalling and other activities.”

Where will you be during the event?
“I’ll be around the club most of the week. Come Sunday, I’ll be standing by the 18th green, probably accompanied by representatives of the Yorkshire Union and Teesside Union of Golf Clubs, who always give excellent support to the event.”

What are you most looking forward
to seeing?

“Obviously I will be interested to see how James Swash, a home-grown star for the future, performs. Michael Hay from Hunley Hall has also taken membership at our club and will be a force to be reckoned with.  They will, however, have to contend with last year’s outstanding winner, Haider Hussain, who will be defending his title.”

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Name: John Talbot

Position: Course manager

Time at Middlesbrough: 12 years

Age: 43

Handicap: 15

Tell me about your role for the event?
“Our preparations are mostly the same throughout the summer with getting the greens up to speed and then keeping them there. With the club championship the weekend before the event, the course will be at its absolute best in August with the final preparations starting in mid-July.”

Where will you be during the event?
“We’ll be starting early and finishing late most of the week, working before and after each day’s play. On Monday, we’ll cut the tees, fairways, approaches and greens in the morning then head back out at 4pm and do it all again ahead of the tournament. For Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we’ll double cut and iron the greens each morning and each evening to keep them up to speed.”

What will you be doing once the
event finishes?

“Go on holiday! It’s a busy summer here so I’m heading off to France with the family to relax before we come back for the final weeks of the season and get ready for our autumn maintenance work.”

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Who to watch

James Swash
(Middlesbrough Golf Club)

James is the leading home player in this year’s event and will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Jonathan Lupton, the only Middlesbrough player to win the event over his home course.

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Haider Hussain
(Kendleshire Golf Club)

Haider blew away the field in 2016 to lift the trophy. His four round total of 267 was nine shots clear of his nearest rival. He will be a strong favourite to defend his title in August.