An already-special year for four clubs is set to get even more special
It has been confirmed that four clubs celebrating their 125th anniversary in 2016 will host key England Golf championships, men’s and women’s, that same year.
The quartet - Ganton, Hunstanton, Bristol & Clifton and West Lancashire Ladies - were all formed in 1891 so the championships will bring an extra dimension to their respective celebrations.
Ganton, scene of the Home Internationals last August, along with Scarborough South Cliff, will stage the English Amateur Championship; the Boys U18 Championship for the Carris Trophy will be played at Hunstanton; West Lancashire will host the English Women’s Amateur; while the English Women’s Open Strokeplay will take place at Bristol & Clifton.
Although England Golf has staged many events at Ganton, 2016 will represent 40 years since the English Amateur Championship graced the north Yorkshire links. However, the famous venue near Scarborough has hosted the English on five previous occasions, in 1933 when John Woollam was crowned champion, in 1947 when Gerald Micklem won.
Alan Thirlwell triumphed in 1955, while Michael Bonallack collected the last of his five English national titles there in 1968. On the last occasion, in 1976, Peter Deeble came out on top. The opening two days of stroke play qualifying will be shared with nearby Scarborough South Cliff.
The men’s other Blue Riband event, the Brabazon Trophy, will break new ground by visiting The London Club, the popular Kent venue near Brands Hatch, while the qualifiers will be at Hadley Wood for the South and Fulford for the North.
West Lancashire, a sought-after venue for top events, will host the English Women’s Amateur Championship for the second time. It last held this event in 2006, when the champion was decided by match play knockout, and Yorkshire’s KiranMatharu became one of the youngest titleholders, at the age of 17.
Bristol & Clifton, in Gloucestershire, has hosted a number of England Golf events, the most recent the 2013 senior men’s championship, but will welcome the English Women’s Open Stroke Play Championship for the first time in 2016.
As far as junior golf goes, the Old Course at Royal Ashdown Forest will stage the Boys under 16 Championship for the McGregor Trophy for the first time, Hunstanton, the scene of many past England Golf events, will host the under 18 championship for the Carris Trophy, while the Reid Trophy, the under 14 championship, returns to its ‘birthplace’ at Porters Park in Hertfordshire.
Another ‘first’ for 2016 concerns the three English girls’ open championships. These events, for under 18s, 15s and 13s, will be played at the same venue, instead of taking place at two companion courses. The Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club, at Cotgrave, will take care of staging duties.
The two mid-amateur championships also break new ground. The men’s event for the Logan Trophy calls in the Brokenhurst Manor for the first time, having also been staged in Hampshire in 2006 at Hayling, while the women’s mid-amateur will be played for the first time at Holme Hall in Lincolnshire.
Meanwhile, the senior women will contest their amateur championship at Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, before playing their English Open Strokeplay at Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire. Both these events will be making a debut visit to their respective venues.
The senior men return to the Midlands for their open championship which will be held at the Leicestershire and Rutland venues of Kirby Muxloe and Rothley Park.
Some of the county finals venues have yet to be agreed but the boys tournament will be at Cumberwell Park in Wiltshire and the senior mens’ at Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire, which staged the men county championship in 2009.
England will host the men’s international with France at Formby, scene of many England Golf events over the years, while the courses at Woodhall Spa, EG’s headquarters in Lincolnshire, will continue to stage its regular tournaments such as the Schools Team Championship, Junior Champion Club, Gold Medal, and County Champion of Champions.