It really couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.
Chris Paisley’s win in South Africa and his scintillating early season form is down to hard work, determination and belief, all packaged with genuine humility.
Anyone who regularly reads his column in Northern Golfer has had a proper insight into his form and thoughts over the past year thanks to his refreshingly honest assessment of life as a European Tour player.
So it is with great pride that we feature Chris on this edition’s front cover – made all the more remarkable by the fact this time last year we were celebrating victory in the same tournament by fellow North East golfer Graeme Storm.
The part Keri Paisley played in her husband’s success should not be overlooked, so she takes over Chris’s regular column this month to give her reaction to caddying him to victory.
Caddies rarely get the credit they deserve so it was equally satisfying to see Northumberland Golf Club’s Michael Burrow enjoy the winning feeling caddying for China’s Li Haotong in his European Tour victory at the Dubai Desert Classic.
Such tales of great wins will hopefully inspire future generations to leave their electronic games at home and take up the game we all love.
Unfortunately there has not been much chance for that to happen this winter – at least outdoors – as the coldest spell for some time has left fairways covered in snow, greens frozen and courses waterlogged.
It is more important than ever to support our clubs through the pro shop and food offerings – whether that be your home course or another in the region – until the weather improves and there are plenty of offers within this magazine to tempt you to do so.
Having said that, at least the nights are starting to get lighter and hopefully we have seen the worst of what Mother Nature has to throw at the green staff as they gear up for another season.
As a final thought, wouldn’t it be great if one of the region’s professionals followed in the footsteps of Danny Willett and became Masters champion?