Golf Manager John Glendinning continues his column outlining what goes on behind-the-scenes at Close House.....
September has been the busiest month to date for Close House Golf, so the question is where to start. The month kicked off with the Golf North East Gents Amateur Classic Tournament, and a first time for Close House to have the honour of staging this prestigious tournament.
Unfortunately the weather didn't quite play ball, which is usual for any major sporting event in the North East. But despite the wind and constant drizzle the course was in top condition for the players to fight it out, and a very respectable nett 70 won the competition, which considering the conditions was a worthy score.
We were very proud to have hosted the event and the positive feedback about the course from the players was very much appreciated.
After this event we then held our NE-NW PGA Pro-Am, which saw the weather change again to probably one of the warmest days we have had this summer. With the top PGA professionals coming to play from around the region the competition again was set to be fierce.
With our own playing professional Jonathan Lupton defending his title and course record, scoring was always going to be good with the warm still conditions. Jonathan played well to come in a respectable 2nd position with a 2 under par, but with a staggering round of 5 under par and a new course record, George Cowan of Westerhope was a worthy champion.
Again, the condition of the course was applauded by all the players and I must congratulate our greenkeeping team for all their work.
We could not however rest on our laurels, as the very next day we held the Pro-am for the TSG European Long Drive Championships, another first event for us.
This was a great opportunity for our amateur teams to see these players pulverise balls, although not necessarily in the right direction!
The Texas scramble format worked out well with the amateurs able to take advantage of the long drives from positions on the course they have never been before.
I had the pleasure of playing with Kevin Savage, who managed to reduce three of our lengthy par 4s to par 3s, but the majority of feedback I have received was what good fun all the players were as they all seem to have flamboyant personalities and clothing!
The event itself was a great success with the first day seeing players taking advantage of the breeze behind to see a maximum of 382 metres reached (420 yards).
The finals day saw distances reduce with the wind change into the faces of the players but Tom Hollingworth, a first time entrant into the event, beating the Scandinavian contingent with a final hit of 337 metres to win, and now progress to the world finals in Las Vegas.
I would like to thank all our sponsors for the event especially TSG the title sponsors, and hope that all spectators enjoyed the new experience of long driving to the North East.
As a quick update to the development of golf at Close House, we are now progressing well with the seeding programme of the new course, with several holes now beginning to turn green which is very exciting.
The definition of the course is now clearly evident as we have 13 holes shaped up and the final few well on the way. The course is looking better than we expected and I am sure it is going to be a real asset to the North East.
Please feel free to have a look on our website to see the latest construction photographs.
The driving range is now under construction with the steel work going up, and this will be another area of focus for us over the next few months to try and get this in use for next year.
The clubhouse plans are also nearly all finalised with decisions now being made over internal fit out etc. We are hoping to start construction over the next few weeks with fingers crossed the weather will be kind to us over the winter period.