Some famous names set to go under the tournament spotlight
A STRING of prestigious venues feature on the England Golf 2015 calendar of events, none more so than for the blue riband championships for men and women. The Brabazon Trophy will be hosted by the Notts Golf Club at Hollinwell, the Men's English Amateur by Alwoodley in Leeds, while Hunstanton and Sheringham will be the scene of the Women’s Amateur Championship and the Girls’ Championship respectively.
Hollinwell has staged the Brabazon four times. The first in 1959 saw Doug Sewell beat Michael Bonallack by a shot in an 18-hole play-off. Sandy Lyle (‘75), Charlie Banks (‘83) and Spain’s Ignacio Garrido (‘92) are all past winners.
The Men's English Amateur has been played only once at Alwoodley, in 2003 when Gary Lockerbie beat Michael Skelton when it was a straight matchplay but now there is a 36-hole qualifying competition over two courses and the other course in 2015 will be Pannal at Harrogate.
This will be the sixth time the English Women’s Amateur Championship has been contested over Hunstanton’s classic links. The Norfolk club first hosted the event in 1922, followed by 1956, 1968, 1984 and 2000 when Emma Duggleby (now Brown) of Yorkshire was the winner.
North Norfolk neighbours Sheringham and Royal Cromer will play host to around 250 of the country’s leading girl golfers competing for national titles. It will be 15 years since they played similar roles: Sheringham held the millennium English Girls’ Championship - won by Sophie Walker, now a LET player - while Royal Cromer was the venue for the forerunner of the English U15 and U13 events.
Norfolk will also play host for the Boys County Championship Finals at King’s Lynn, which was the venue for the Men’s Champion Club in 2003.
Apart from the Men’s English Amateur, several more England Golf events are scheduled for northern venues. The Logan Trophy, the men’s over-35 championship, will head for Northumberland Golf Club, near Newcastle; the McGregor Trophy, the boys U16 championship, will be at Wallasey; the Women’s Open Strokeplay at St Anne’s Old Links; and the Reid Trophy, the boys U14 championship, at Preston.
Northumberland and Wallasey have both hosted the Carris Trophy, the boys U18 championship in recent years. In 2004, Pablo Martin from Spain won at Northumberland, while Stiggy Hodgson needed a play-off to win at Wallasey in 2008. Little Aston will stage the Carris Trophy in 2015.
The English Women’s Open Strokeplay will make a return after ten years to St Anne’s Old Links in Lancashire, while the English Women’s Open Mid-Amateur will be played at Trentham in Staffordshire for the first time, as will Preston for the Reid.
Towards the end of the season, England will host the Senior Men’s Home Internationals at Copt Heath near Birmingham, Wychwood Park near Crewe will see the Men’s County Championship Finals, while the Senior Men’s County Finals will be at Robin Hood.