South Cliff and Ganton set to host next generation of golf stars

South Cliffs club secretary Shaun Smith, left, and chairman of golf Neil Bruce are pictured at the clubhouse
South Cliffs club secretary Shaun Smith, left, and chairman of golf Neil Bruce are pictured at the clubhouse

The country’s future golf stars are heading to Ganton and South Cliff next week for the English Amateur Championship.

This is the first time that South Cliff Golf Club have co-hosted the strokeplay rounds of the national event, while this is the sixth time that Ganton GC have played host to the prestigious competition.

The 288 players will head to the two courses this weekend for their practice days and then on Monday and Tuesday, July 25 and 26, all the golfers will play a round on both courses as trios and the 98 matches will then be divided into two with 48 on each course.

The 64 players with the lowest scores after the two strokeplay rounds will compete in the Ganton-hosted match play stages, culminating in Saturday’s 36-hole final.

Previous winners of the competition include Sir NIck Faldo, Danny Willett and Paul Casey.

Malton & Norton’s David Hague and Ryan Gray (Driffield) are the only players from the local area entered in the competition.

South Cliff secretary Shaun Smith said: “It is a great honour for the club to be able to stage this magnificent event, and it is also very good news for the town and the area in general.

“The list of past winners shows the importance and stature of the championship and we are sure that our course will provide a stern but fair challenge to all the competitors.

“We have the practice days on Saturday and Sunday, then two days of strokeplay qualifying, admission to the championship is free so I would encourage golf fans to get themselves down here and watch some high-quality action.”

In the matchplay stages at Ganton, Wednesday’s first round sees 32 matches played over 18 holes.

The 64 players will be seeded according to their finishing places in the strokeplay stages.

The 32 winners then head into the second round on Thursday, where the games will again be played over 18 holes as will the third round later that day.

The final eight players will lock horns on Friday, again over 18 holes, the semi-finals being played over the same format later that day, with the 36-hole final on Saturday.

Yorkshire will be represented by 40 golfers from 26 clubs, including England international Jamie Bower, of Meltham, near Huddersfield, who won the Southern Cape Open and the Gauteng North Open in South Africa earlier this season, and fellow internationals James Walker (The Oaks) and Will Whiteoak (Shipley).

Yorkshire has also provided the winner for the past two years, Nick Marsh the champion in 2014 and Joe Dean triumphing last year.

The championship is England Golf’s oldest tournament and was first played in 1925.