Still Reporting Good News!

THE world has changed in all sorts of ways since the first issue of Golf North East.

THE world has changed in all sorts of ways since the first issue of Golf North East. We've seen the Twin Towers disaster in New York, the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the devastating tsunami in the Far East, Hurricane Katrina, last summer's floods in England and the end of Tony Blair's reign as prime minister.

Bad news seems to be around us all the time these days but we've done our best to lighten up things with heart-warming stories of great golfing deeds nearer to home.

We've tried to focus on everything that is brilliant about the sport we love in our region - from North Yorkshire to the Scottish Borders.

We showcase the amazing dedication and passion that local golfers bring to the game and we feature in-depth course profiles, top travel articles and super tips on how to improve your game.

It's a package that has proved popular - and we're hoping to carry on bringing you all the best golfing information for many years to come.

So let's look back on our first 75 issues.

It all started with the first issue, dated April 2001, and featuring a cover image of the great Tiger Woods. Inside, there were in-depth reports on Linden Hall in Northumberland as well as Hunley Hall in North Yorkshire while we visited lovely Turnberry in Scotland.

Issue 2 previewed the Great North Open - a European Tour event - at Slaley Hall and tour veteran Mark James talked about his battle against cancer.

By issue 5 we were looking ahead to the forthcoming Ryder Cup at The Belfry near Birmingham.

Sadly, of course, the event ended up being postponed for a year after the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Throughout the last seven years, we've strived to showcase the region's up-and-coming golfing talent and the cover of issue 7 featured rising Tees Valley star Michael Skelton, who went on to feature in the winning GB and Ireland Walker Cup team at Ganton in 2003. The issue also had a piece from local TV personality Paul Frost, outlining his passion for golf.

Newcastle Falcon and Scotland and British Lions international Doddie Weir spoke about his love for the game in issue 10 while England and Durham cricketer Paul Collingwood revealed how he likes to relax on the fairways at Slaley Hall in issue 11.

Actor Tim Healey was the cover star of issue 12 while another rising North East star, Chris McDonnell, was the main man in issue 13.

The winners of the inaugural Golf North East Match Play Pairs competition were on the cover of issue 17. The event continues to go from strength to strength of course and now features a mixed competition.

Golf North East has always tried to support the regional scene in as many ways as possible and, to this end, last year we launched a junior championship for all club champions.

Another leading cricketer, Steve Harmison, was the featured star in issue 18 while football legend Peter Beardsley was on the cover of issue 21 in March 2003.

At the same time, another rising star Ashington's Kenneth Ferrie began writing a special monthly column for Golf North East. In it, he outlined his plans to establish himself as one of the leading players in British golf. Five years on, he's achieved a great deal, including two European Tour titles, while he's just qualified for the US Tour this year.

Issue 25 was our silver issue and it featured a piece on Aussie golfer Brian Jones, who had just won the Northumberland Seniors trophy at Slaley Hall.

Michael Skelton was back on the cover of issue 27 after becoming the youngest ever player at 19 to be selected for the Walker Cup.

Issue 30 celebrated more local success when City of Newcastle won the English Junior Champion Club title.

Issue 40 in November 2004 had one of the biggest stars in world golf on the cover - Seve Ballesteros. The Spaniard used Golf North East to announce that the Seve Trophy was coming to The Wynyard the following September.

The following issue had a cover shot of another rising North East player, Graeme Storm, while issue 46 featured a piece on five-year-old golf prodigies Aaron Rourke and Charlie Weatherhead of Stocksfield Golf Club.

Ferrie was back on the cover of issue 48 after winning the European Open title in Ireland - and with Storm joint second, the event proved a huge milestone for North East golf.

Our golden issue in October 2005 previewed the Seve Trophy - with full details of the GB and Ireland team's win over Continental Europe in issue 51.

The next issue had a piece on young James Curry, the Northumberland star following in the footsteps of dad David - one of the region's leading professionals.

Storm was back on the cover of issue 54 after taking over column writing duties from Ferrie - a role he still fulfils to this day.

Issue 58 featured an amazing, uplifting and moving report on the world one-armed golf championships at Tynemouth Golf Club - the competitors proved they're the most courageous players in the sport!

Another rising star, Ellie Givens from Blackwell Grange Golf Club in Darlington was our cover star in issue 64 while issue 69 featured a cover shot of one of the oldest people still playing regularly in the region - 95-year-old Greta Whitfield, also from Darlington's Blackwell Grange.

The region has a plethora of top young girls at present, and issue 70 spotlighted Garesfield's Rebecca McGinley as we launched our new Junior Champion of Champions event, which was won by Bellingham's Will Robson, who was on the front of issue 72.

Now, we are celebrating our 75th issue.

Golf North East is committed to reporting everything that's good about golf in this region - and that's the policy we'll continue to champion as we head for our centenary.

Happy reading!


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