Pannal Golf Club prepares for next generation as host of English Men’s Amateur Championships
The best young golfers in the country will converge on Yorkshire next week to battle it out for the title of the English men’s amateur champion.
Pannal Golf Club has been preparing its fairways and greens for 288 scratch handicappers to pass through its famous clubhouse.
The Harrogate club is sharing responsibility to host the competition with fellow Yorkshire club Alwoodley.
“It’s a great honour for us to play our part in holding this event,” said Neil Douglas, Pannal’s managing secretary.
“To see some really good golf is a fantastic opportunity. We are really proud of this great course at Pannal and this is a chance to show how good we are.
“We have had a lot of members asking us about it, and who is playing. It will be good for them to see how golf should be played at Pannal.”
Throughout the week, spectators will get their chance to watch players battling it out in both facets of the game, matchplay and strokeplay.
All competitors play one round of strokeplay at both Alwoodley and Pannal Golf Clubs.
The 64 players and ties with the lowest scores after the two stroke play rounds will compete in the match play stages at Alwoodley later in the week.
Yorkshire will be represented by 58 golfers, including three leading amateurs from the host club Pannal.
Brothers Oli and Daniel White and club champion Will Rushworth will hope to put their knowledge of Pannal’s short course to good use and reach the matchplay stages.
“We are very proud of them. It’s a while since Pannal has had a crop of home grown youngsters at this level,” said Douglas.
Ladies captain Sue Rutherford added: “It is a fantastic accolade for the club that Pannal was chosen to co-host the event with Alwoodley.
“We are even more delighted that three of our members will be playing in the event and the Captains and all the members wish them the very best with their endeavours.
“Unfortunately most of us can only watch and admire the skill and ability of some of these young players but it will be a tremendous opportunity next week to come along to Pannal and admire golf played at such a high level.”
Rushworth has won the scratch club championship at Pannal for the last five years and he expects that know-how to play its part over the next few days. The 20-year-old is modest over his achievements at Pannal, however, but playing in the national championships for a first time is not something daunting the relaxed plus two handicapper.
He added: “Obviously I have been round here so many times. I will know when to attack and when to play safe especially with the approach shots. It might not help me as much around Alwoodley but I would still like to think I know the course fairly well.
“I just have to make sure I am on top of everything and get ready to go.”
Bedale golfer Dan Brown will be amongst the favourites to lift the trophy on Saturday following a successful week at the Dutch Junior Open.
Brown will be looking for a strong performance to cement his place in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Walker Cup team.
And he is another hoping his knowledge of the course can send him into the latter stages of the competition.
He said: “If you hit a lot of fairways at Pannal, because it’s not very long, you will have a lot of birdie chances. Hopefully that will suit my game this week.”