If you needed a sign the golf season was upon us, look no further than this packed, 64-page edition of Northern Golfer.
Putting together the April edition of the magazine is always tremendous fun – the excitement for the start of the season brings with it great optimism at clubs right across the region. There are also the earliest events to report on – including Rachel Gourley’s win in the traditional English season opener, the Sunningdale Foursomes, and James Wilson’s win in the NE/NW PGA’s Turkey Pro Am. There are lots more positive news stories throughout Teeing Off – from course improvements at Seaton Carew and Alnmouth to the launch of new junior programmes, a look ahead to the Durham County Ladies Golf Association centenary celebrations, award nominations, and more.
This month we’ve also got the return of the Champion of Champions events to look forward to. They take place at Longhirst Hall on Saturday April 23 (men’s) and Bank Holiday Monday May 2 at George Washington (juniors and ladies). It was fascinating to look back at the history of the events this month – the recent winners of the three titles under the Northern Golfer name and the long history of the men’s event, which began in 1968. Speaking to some of the region’s greatest players – Doug McClelland, David Moffat and Shaun Philipson, and more recent winners including David Clark, Michael Nesbit and Phil Ridden – shone a light on the importance of the tournament and was a fantastic way to spend a couple of March afternoons.
So to was catching up with David Curry, Graeme Storm, Garrick Porteous, Michael Burrow and Sir Graham Wylie to discuss their memories of walking the fairways of Augusta National for our preview to this year’s Masters Tournament.
With more space in this edition, we’ve been able to tell more stories, including the fascinating tale of farmer turned greenkeeper Neil Forsyth. We’ve also got columns from Chris Paisley, Chris Simmons and Simon Olver as well as details of this year’s Match Play Pairs. The entry deadline has been extended to April 29 – see page 53 for details.
A huge thank you to all the businesses and golf clubs that have supported this edition, and those in the past two years. Fingers crossed for an exciting and uninterrupted 2022 season.