As we say farewell to the summer and hello to the onset of winter, our thoughts are already turning to next season.
It is fantastic to be able to report that the British Masters – featuring some of the world’s best players – will be in the region around this time next year thanks to Lee Westwood, Close House, the European Tour and Sky Sports.
Far too few tour events make their way this far north, despite the magnificent courses, facilities and enthusiastic supporters we have here. To have so many familiar faces staying and playing in Northumberland is a great opportunity to show those who make the decisions what this region has to offer.
The Ryder Cup proved to be a big disappointment for Westwood, and Yorkshiremen Danny Willett (bet he had something to say to his brother) and young Matthew Fitzpatrick but at least they were there to take part in what was an enthralling contest, deservedly won by the US.
Speaking of familiar faces, Briony Bayles just can’t keep herself out of Northern Golfer. Having won the St Andrews Junior Ladies Open and featured on the front cover last month, the teenager has won our Junior Champion of Champions event. It proved to be a great day at Chester-le-Street, bringing together some of the best young talent from clubs across the region – congratulations to Briony.
She and her fellow competitors got to see the extensive changes going on at Chester-le-Street first-hand and you can find out what is happening to the course on page 28.
We are also delighted to be able to reflect on the success of Chris Paisley, who came so close in the Italian Open but did more than enough to secure his card. A particularly nice touch comes from the man who founded the Northumberland Junior Golf Association – of which Chris is a graduate – who sent in a letter of congratulations. Read what Chris Robinson has to say in From the Bunker.
Meanwhile, Paisley joins our own Alan Hedley in paying tribute to the King – Mr Arnold Palmer – who passed away in September. Mr Palmer is credited with bringing golf to the masses, arguably setting the wheels in motion to make the game what it is today. Thanks Mr Palmer.