North East women’s and girls’ golf is in a great place, as this edition of Northern Golfer proves once again.
As Jess Baker says in a fantastic interview following her victory in the 119th Women’s Amateur Championship, she is proud of the trail girls like her, Whitley Bay’s Rosie Belsham and Cumbria’s Caitlin Whitehead blazed as youngsters.
While Jess, Rosie and Caitlin have gone on to great heights having come through county and England regional coaching, the girls following behind them – including Rachel Gourley and Maggie Whitehead, who make their England women’s team debuts in August – are reaching levels even greater than the first group of girls did at their age.
Following hot on their heels, the next cohort is proving the systems in place continue to work, as Charlotte Naughton proved with her victory in the English Girls U14 Championship at Formby Ladies.
Add in the success of girls including Jess Hall and her Durham teammates, and the youngsters winning titles on the Northern Junior Golf Tour and at county level, and there is a lot to celebrate.
Meanwhile, the men and boys are not to be forgotten. This month we’ve seen success for the region’s PGA professionals in NE/NW PGA majors and pro ams; county titles awarded to individuals and teams in Northumberland and Durham; father and son duo Stuart and Chris Brown represent Durham; seniors’ championships; and lots more – see Teeing Off for all the details.
Our columnists have once again provided a fascinating insight into what they’ve been up to as well – with Chris Paisley reflecting on the emergence of LIV Golf, Chris Simmons looking back at The Open, and Simon Olver discussing tournament course setups.
We’ve also got a Round With Newcastle United legend Shola Ameobi – who joined me for a highly entertaining afternoon at Longhirst Hall.
Plus we’ve visited Morpeth Golf Club for this month’s Course Profile, and taken a trip west to Cumbria for this month’s Special Focus. We’ve also put together the latest Gear news for you, got an update on this year’s Match Play Pairs tournament, learned a fantastic driving tip from Doug Brolls, and lots more. Last but not least, be sure to enter this month’s competitions.