City Slickers Earn Success

Durham City Golf Club is in the middle of a purple patch they are hoping will continue for some time.

Durham City Golf Club is in the middle of a purple patch they are hoping will continue for some time. The men's team have won the North Durham Union First Division Championship three times in the last five years. During this period the club has also produced numerous county champions, including consecutive county match play titles for county player Graeme Marchbank and the ladies county title for Louise Richardson.

And there's new blood coming through the junior ranks too in the shape of current club champion Richard Mason and Danielle Roseberry, who added the county mixed foursomes title to this haul.

The last time this trophy was brought back to the club was in 1978 by the late lamented Martin Sexton and the well known and much loved Mary Vine (recipient of the Sir Henry Cotton Award for services to junior golf in 2006).

Also in the news was Danielle Brady, who was awarded the Durham County Ladies' Junior Player of the Year title for her efforts this season.

Having hosted the Ladies County Championship in 2006 and the Men's County Stroke-play Championship in 2007, the club will this year host its first prestigious national event, the English Close Girls Championship in July.

Out on the course, development is constant. Despite the unusual weather suffered over the last few years, the greens and fairways continue to improve year on year.

In fact many members have said that last year was the best they had seen the course. This was achieved along with the club's continued practice of playing on the regular greens all year round.

The clubhouse has recently been extended with improvements to accessibility, the men's changing rooms and shower facilities. Refurbishment of the bar and restaurant facilities has just begun with completion scheduled prior to the commencement of the 2008 playing season.

The junior section has a wealth of talent coming through and with the continued junior coaching in summer months there is no lack of future members for the club.

On most summer Saturday mornings, up to 60 juniors are given coaching by trained club members that includes players from the successful men's team, all too eager to pass on their wisdom to keen young learners.

Mary Vine is ever present, providing soft drinks and goodies at the end of the sessions, which the juniors look forward to greatly.

The reward for these efforts saw the junior team bring home the Durham County Junior Five-Man Team Trophy last year and finish second in their league.

The junior section was delighted to play for a newly presented trophy in 2007. Nikki Brass

presented the club with a trophy in memory of her late husband, John Brass. Matthew Gillham, who is also known as Jack and a county under-14 player, won the new trophy in its inaugural year.

During the summer the club hosted officers and crew from HMS Bulwark, Durham County's adopted ship, with a 12-man challenge match. The naval golfers were outclassed by the landlubbers on the tight Littleburn course but are hoping for revenge in a return fixture in Plymouth.

Durham City are looking to build on all of this success as they head into the new season.

New captain Chris Brown, a two-handicap member of the NDU League winning team, has just taken over from Gerry Jones and staged his drive off the first tee on New Year's Day.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer