How Good Is Your Short Game?

Golf North East is to challenge our region's golfers with the introduction of a brand new competition aimed at players of all ages.

Golf North East is to challenge our region's golfers with the introduction of a brand new competition aimed at players of all ages. Matfen Hall has agreed to sponsor the competition, which will run between May 2009 and September 2009 over their nine-hole par 3 course. There are to be three leagues for Gents 16+, Ladies 16+ and Juniors under 16. Competitors will play two rounds each month, a total of 10 from which the two worst scores can be discarded.

This new fun competition is ideal for families, veterans, seniors, ladies and the more serious golfers who want to tune up their short games.

It only takes about an hour to play and with the longest hole being 136 yards, the premium is on accuracy and putting. As the course is 9-holes, handicaps will be reduced by 50% and then a further 50% to give everyone a chance - eg, an 18-handicapper will be allocated a 9 handicap and this will be reduced to 4.5 for the competition - he or she will then receive 5 shots. The maximum handicap is 24 for the gents and 36 for the ladies. Proof of handicap will be required. There is a relaxed dress code although players will be expected to wear golf shoes.

Players do not have to book their rounds. Simply turn up on a day and time of your choice with your friends or family, play the course and post a score - the overall winners of each league will receive a trophy and 12 months membership at Matfen Hall.

And to add a little further interest, resident PGA Professional and the 2007 PGA Northern Region Champion John Harrison is to post a score at the beginning of each month and any player beating his score (gross) will receive a free fourball on the championship course at Matfen Hall - John's record is 20, a total of 7-under par!

Craig Parkinson, the Golf Director at Matfen Hall, said: "I think this will raise the profile of the par 3 course. Sky Television has screened proper par 3 tournaments with the pros taking part and it looks great fun.

"A championship like this, run through the summer months and with good prizes at stake for the winners can only increase golfer's awareness of the course."

Craig added: "It's not only that, the course is great for your short game. A lot of people don't realise how good the greens are, they probably think it's just another pitch and putt with awful greens and shabby holes. And that couldn't be further away from the truth - the course is maintained to the same standard of the main course.

"There are lots of families where both mum and dad play along with their kids but they can't play together competitively. I believe this format would work very well and a whole family can come here and enjoy what we have to offer. In addition, there are a lot of older golfers who struggle with length but they possess pretty good short games and I think they would enjoy playing in something like this."

The par 3 course is great fun to play and the small excellent greens are as good as the greens on the main course.

So talk it over with your playing partners, friends and family and register your interest in playing by sending your personal details including handicaps to:

Par 3 Challenge, Golf North East, Trinity Mirror, 2nd Floor Advertising, Groat Market, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1ED. The cost of entry for this competition is Adults £15, Juniors £7.50 with no further costs attached. Please make cheques payable to Matfen Golf Limited.


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