TAKING on the head professional role at Seaton Carew Golf Club is a dream come true for well-known Tees Valley pro Cliff Jackson. Cliff, who lives in the seaside town, first joined his local club as a seven-year-old and over a quarter of a century later he's back at the renowned links course.
The 34-year-old brings a wealth of experience to Seaton Carew and is planning on building up the teaching side while developing the exclusivity of the club shop and competing in NE/NW PGA and other local competitions.
Cliff said: "It's just amazing to be back at Seaton Carew as the club is very dear to my heart. I have great memories of being here as a youngster and I'd particularly like to get more juniors involved, as well as ladies.
"We've set up a junior academy on Saturdays and are about to launch Tri-golf with six local primary schools and Golfextreme with two secondary schools. Hopefully, we'll be able to really build this area up as I'm a strong believer in junior golf."
Cliff was no mean junior player himself, representing Durham County up to the point he turned professional at the age of 17.
He added: "I did try to be a playing pro, particularly when I worked in the US, but I've also been keen on teaching. I started out at Seaton in fact but then moved up to Castle Eden to complete my training.
"After that I thought I'd try my hand abroad and worked at three different clubs in the Umbria region of Italy as a teaching pro for a couple of years before moving to Cincinnati in America.
"I played on the Hooters Tour in the US and also tried out at qualifying school for the PGA Tour. I did OK but it's incredibly tough."
Following a year in the States, Cliff moved back to the north west area of Italy, again in a teaching role, before returning to England as head pro at Hom Manor in West Sussex.
By now, Cliff was thinking about moving back to the North East and so became head teaching pro at Parklands in Gosforth Park in Newcastle.
He was still living in Seaton Carew and so took up the position as head pro at Yarm Driving Range when it first opened six years ago.
Married to Amanda, the couple have a four-year-old daughter, Ella Rose, and Cliff couldn't be happier about his homecoming.
He said: "I really enjoyed my time at Yarm but this opportunity was just brilliant. We only live a short distance away and I think this is one of the best clubs in the whole region with one of the best courses."
Cliff has been joined by assistant Jeff Musgrove as well as mother-in-law Carol Radigan, who helps to run the club shop.
He concluded: "It's a dream come true really. `I'm just delighted to be at Seaton Carew. Now, I want to help make the club one of the most successful there is.
"We'll be stocking the shop with great brands like Ping, TaylorMade, Galvin Green and Lyle and Scott while we have an Explanar swing teacher to complement the excellent teaching facilities.
"In addition to all the work we'll be doing with juniors, we'll be staging special taster sessions for ladies. All in all, there's plenty happening."