SANDY Twynholm has retired from Northern Counties League golf after 30 years and 112 caps for Northumberland, but might Son of Sandy one day pick up the baton handled so skilfully by his father?
A 48-year-old IT business analyst with Newcastle City Council, Twynholm has been a member of two title-winning sides under the matchplay format of the NCL plus another in The Big Six, the annual strokeplay tournament.
He has amassed a record seven Northumberland strokeplay championships and could add to that total as he will continue to play individual county events, although fewer of them now his priorties are a young family and his career.
Twynholm’s final NCL game was against Cumbria 12 days ago, his first against Yorkshire in 1983.
Both matches were hosted by Hexham where 30 years ago Colin Montgomerie was the bright young thing of White Rose golf, although he was taught a thing or two that day in losing to Northumberland’s David Curry, now the teaching pro and club manager at Blyth.
Twynholm’s six-year-old son, Cameron, is among the three dozen boys and girls aged six to 13 who pitch up at his dad’s club, Morpeth, every Thursday evening for junior instruction.
“It’s not really coaching in Cameron’s case,” said Twynholm. “At his age it’s all about having fun as part of group sessions.
“Some of the Morpeth members have taken coaching qualifications and they have given Cameron a set-up routine for his stance but it’s like a fun play session for him really with his little half-set of clubs.
“If Cameron likes golf, I shall take an interest in a year or two’s time and I would be delighted if he did take up the sport and do well enough to follow me into the county team. But the main thing is I would like it if he plays some sort of sport, it’s good for youngsters.”
The holder of the Muirfield amateur course record, Twynholm won the HSBC UK Champion of Champions in 2008, the year after capturing The Journal Champions title at De Vere Slaley Hall.
Another winner at Saley Hall – on the European Tour in 2001 – is Andrew Coltart, a Scotland international team-mate of Twynholm during his amateur days and Lee Westwood’s brother-in-law.