Northern Golfer #99 – February/March 2023


The cold and windy British winter is coming to an end and before we know it Augusta National will be back on our TV screens.

Getting back into the swing of things after an extended break over the festive period is never easy, but it has been helped a great deal this year by some of the people I’ve had the chance to spend time with.

Each of our columnists add so much to the magazine and I’ve enjoyed catching up with them and reading their thoughts.

I also had the pleasure of visiting Wilton Golf Club for the first time in January. While winter course walks aren’t high on even my to-do list, the team and members at Wilton couldn’t have made the day more fun. Having watched Rory McIlroy see off Patrick Reed in Dubai, we spent a few hours walking the course, talking about the club’s unique history and putting together this month’s profile. Thank you to Allison, John, Maurice and James for being so welcoming and reminding me that, no matter when or where, working in golf in the North East is hard to beat.

Having visited Wilton, I then got the chance to spend a day with one of the people I’ve wanted to interview longer than just about anyone else. I first met David Moffat as a teenager at Philips Golf in Burradon and since then I’ve been lucky to chat with him, draw on his knowledge and learn so much from him about golf in our region. His encyclopedic knowledge has been a great help for such a long time and I’m delighted he agreed to share some of his stories in these pages. While he’d never want to be placed in the top tier of golfers from our region, he truly deserves a place among them.

On top of all that, there’s a very busy start to 2023 on the equipment side of the game to catch up on and plenty of news in Teeing Off – including a brilliant win over in Portugal for Rhys Thompson. There’s also lots of events to look forward to, including the return of our Match Play Pairs tournaments for its 22nd year.

In theory, there shouldn’t be a lot to get excited about in golf in the North East in January, but writing this note as I put the finishing touches to this edition, I’m as enthused as ever – even if the wind is howling. There’s just a few more weeks to wait until the season begins and I’m writing the welcome to a rather special April edition of Northern Golfer – our 100th. I best get to work!

Dean Bailey, editor, Northern Golfer