Golf round-up: The latest news from Harrogate & district's courses

A round-up of the region’s latest golf action, as submitted by the clubs themselves.
Golfers at Rudding Park GC. Picture: SubmittedGolfers at Rudding Park GC. Picture: Submitted
Golfers at Rudding Park GC. Picture: Submitted

Knaresborough GC

Graham Oxley (10) is clearly delighted with his new set of clubs. On his third outing with them, he got off to a racing start in Division One of the delayed April Medal, parring every hole until his first bogey - conveniently at the shot-hole sixth.

He was quick too to read the pace of the greens, meaning he was well worth his sub-par 34 over the front nine.

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H&D Union president Phil Kitching, centre, presenting the Bill Dobson Trophy to Tom Rodney and Toby Carter at Masham GC. Picture: SubmittedH&D Union president Phil Kitching, centre, presenting the Bill Dobson Trophy to Tom Rodney and Toby Carter at Masham GC. Picture: Submitted
H&D Union president Phil Kitching, centre, presenting the Bill Dobson Trophy to Tom Rodney and Toby Carter at Masham GC. Picture: Submitted

It was also a rare occasion recently in which all 18 holes were in play, though Oxley had a shakier back nine. In the more exposed back half he ran up three double bogeys before rolling in his own birdie at the 14th and rounding off the last three holes in par to top the leaderboard with a 71.

Nick Dodsworth (11) also got off to a flyer, parring his way to his sole birdie at the fifth, and turning four under. Again, not so assured on the back and he was pipped on the countback by Oxley. Andy Marshall (10) finished third on 72.

It was clearly a day for good starts. In Division Two, Flemming Dalgaard (19) didn’t miss a beat until the sixth when he dropped his first shot. There were no nett pars at all after that, but he held on determinedly, rolling in some key putts including at the 17th to return home with a 68.

It was his first Medal victory since joining Knaresborough four years ago - indeed his time in the top three. Mark Whitaker (17) was breathing down his neck but finished second on countback with Bob Hough (15) third on 74.

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Andy Johnson (24) claimed the honours in Division Three, leading with a 69 ahead of John Bradley (23) on 71 and Robin Sharp (23) on 74.

Steve Cox (29) took the Seniors’ Silver Salver with a 70 from Ronnie Harrison (24) on 71 and Kevin Bates (25) on 73.

Liz McVey led in Division One of the ladies April Medal with 30 Stableford points followed by Caroline Day on 28 and Jo McBratney on 24. Janet Graham topped Division Two on 33 with Sue Williams on 32 and Julie Curry , 20. Alexa Walmsley took the Juniors’ Medal with 34 points, ahead of Zach Sloanes on 31.

Seven nett ‘birdies’ and a nett ‘eagle’ were carded by Paul Wilcox and Sean Robinson as they surged to a 26 point tally over the front nine in the Millennium Cup 4BBB.

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Two more six pointers followed at 11 and 12, then Wilcox sank a 15 footer for gross birdie at 16 and finished off a stirring 48 point win by hitting a rescue to 10 feet to post a final three points.

Barry McDermottroe and Julie Hargreaves were second on 44, Tony Bretherick and Maurice Whorley third on countback.

Louise Peirson topped the leaderboard with a 71 to win the Rose Plate with Moyra Eadington on 84 and Liz McVey on 85.

Sharon Braithwaite led the qualifiers for the knock-out series of the Rose Bowl with an 80.

Pannal GC

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On Tuesday April 23, a total of 18 Ladies played in Pannal’s 18-hole Stableford competition.

Division One was won by Hilary Ingram with an impressive 40 points, which included seven pars. Susie Stuart-Brown was in second place with 35 points, including a birdie on the fourth, which is a notoriously difficult par-five. Third place went to Carole Whiles with 31 points.

Division Two was won by Lady Captain, Lynn Sheldrake with 30 points. She also got a birdie, this time on the par-three 10th.

Second place in Division Two went to Lesley Southwell with 28 points. Vanda McKenzie, also on 28 points, came third on countback.

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Two weeks ago, Pannal’s three-man team of Mike Armstrong, Carl Bushby and Stuart Macfarlane teed off at Ripon in the Yorkshire Union Seniors Team Championship preliminary round.

They were very disappointed to miss out on a top six qualifying place by just one shot, but a late withdrawal by another club meant that they were then able to play in the Division 4B Round at Scarborough’s North Cliff course on Wednesday April 24.

Conditions on the day could best be described as brutal - with a maximum temperature of 5c and a wind chill bringing it down to zero, meaning that it was a battle of will for the 27 players from nine clubs across the county.

Backed up by team co-ordinator Lennie Huxter and reserve Tony Robinson, they put up a valiant fight. Playing off scratch and returning an aggregate team score of +43, Pannal finished two shots behind third-placed Saltburn GC (+41) who go through to the next round with Tankersley Park (+39) and Hull (+36).

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Saturday saw the delayed April Medal & St James’ Place Qualifier played in mainly dry conditions.

Thomas Booth won Division One with a nett 69, going out in 38, coming back in 37 with 3 birdies and 11 pars, beating Gareth Whiles in a card play-off.

Rob Memmott triumphed in Division Two with a nett 71, going out in 42, coming back in 40 with 1 birdie and 8 pars, beating Richard Little by two shots.

Nick Brown took Division Three with a nett 70, going out in 45, coming back in 43 with 7 pars, beating Richard Goodhand by one shot. There were a total of 68 twos recorded.

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On Sunday April 21, after 30 years of trying, Alan Mitcheson achieved his first-ever hole-in-one on the 10th hole.

Harrogate GC

Fifty pairs of golfers took part in the Foreigners Cup last Saturday. A contest that has been held annually since 1969, it is a four-ball better ball match-play competition played between the teams of Yorkshire, captained by the Men’s Captain, and The Rest, led by the president.

Thankfully, the weather was dry, if a little chilly, and the course continued to firm up. After a thoroughly enjoyable day and a match played in a great spirit, Yorkshire emerged victorious by 16.5 points to 8.5.

The prize for the longest drive on the 16th was won by Andy Whiteley, while it was Mark Davies who was nearest the pin after two shots on the 4th.

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Presenting the cup to Men’s Captain, Dave Walkinshaw, club president, John Clarke congratulated the Yorkshire team and remarked that “the large turn out and smiling faces indicated that it had been a good day for the club”.

A total of 23 Ladies contested the April Stableford over the previous Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday.

The course was playing very long, as was reflected in the scores.

Results: Division One - 1st Caroline Wood, 26 pts; 2nd Elaine Shepherd, 23pts; 3rd Val Thornborrow, 23 pts.

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Division Two - 1st Elizabeth Goody, 29 pts; 2nd Karen Myers, 25 pts; 3rd Margaret Bleasdale, 22 pts.

Division Three - 1st Frances Trowell, 26 pts; 2nd Carol Coleman, 19 pts; 3rd Maggie Gobbi, 18 pts.

There was another healthy turnout for last Wednesday’s Mid-week Stableford and, just as was the case the previous week, there was some decent scoring considering the course continues to play long.

Marc Rice, playing off scratch, and George Davies, playing off 2, performed so well for their 36 and 35 points respectively, finishing third and fourth.

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John Blair (16) constructed a solid round to finish in second place on 37 points, but with an excellent 39 points, the winner was Vice Captain John Shepherd (16).

Harrogate & District Union

Sunday April 21 was a warm sunny day at Masham GC, where the Union held the first event of its summer programme. Eighteen pairs competed for the Bill Dobson Trophy, which is presented to the winners of this greensome competition.

Jack Lister (Oakdale) and Jack Richmond (Masham), playing in game two, set the early target of 35 stableford points with Garbutt and Sturdy, from game one, second on 33 points.

These two pairs held their position until game eight when Alan Pickard and Andrew Makey (Masham) returned 36 and Eggleton and N Pickard returned 34 points.

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The last game of the day saw the leader board change again when Toby Carter and Tom Rodney (Masham) managed a score of 40 points. Eggleton and Pickard were the only pair to record a 2.

Prize presentation took place on the club’s terrace overlooking the river, with Carter and Rodney getting their hands on the Bill Dobson Trophy.

Rudding Park GC

Rudding Park GC’s qualifying rounds re-commenced on Saturday April 20 as 93 brave golfers took to the course on a chilly morning to contest the April Stableford.

Some great golf was played across all three divisions, most notably Andrew Bruce and Shane James from Division Two, who scored 38 and 37 points respectively, with Bruce managing four nett birdies on the bounce from holes six to 10.

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In Division One, Andrew Capener took first place with 35 points. He carded 15 points on the front-nine and returning to the clubhouse with a fantastic 20 points, which included a two on the notorious par-three twelfth.

Rudding Park GC veteran, Liam Wharldall, also tied Capener’s 35 points and submitted a colourful card which contained five birdies.

At the end of play, it was Bruce who finished with the gold medal with 38 points.

Following the April Stableford, Rudding Park was lucky enough to host the Harrogate & District Union of Golf Clubs’ (HDUGC) Junior Team as they began their 2024 campaign against the York Union of Golf Clubs.

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As the cloud cleared, the sun beamed down on 24 competitive juniors – teeing off the first tee and playing foursomes.

Leading the way were Adam Watkin and Will Hixon, whose battle went right down to the wire, eventually winning 2&1 against Tom Ellerker and Max Hollinghurst. The second match out of the six was halved, then a sea of blue and gold returned eight points for the HDUGC, putting the home team ahead by 10 points.

In the afternoon singles, the away team rallied hard and took the first two games with Hollinghurst beating Watkin and Ellerker defeating Junior Captain Hixon. But home knowledge prevailed as the juniors won eight out of the following 10 games to comfortably beat their York counterparts by a margin of 14 points.

Rudding Park’s Spring Cup was played last Saturday off the yellow tees on a golf course that was markedly dryer than it was a week earlier.

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No fewer than 127 golfers, split over three divisions, took part and made a total of 17 twos over the four par-threes.

Division Three produced some great scores, most notably Eve Snodgrass, who achieved a tally of 40 points, which included six nett birdies and one nett eagle on the eighth.

Alexa Walmsley wasn’t far behind with her score of 39 points, which included a gross birdie on hole nine – a mere five points.

But those scores didn’t top Josh Cutts’ round of 42 points and his six birdies over the course of his round secured him the Spring Cup with a margin of two Stableford points.

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The Harrogate & District Union of Golf Clubs’ ‘Meet the President’ event took place on the grounds of Rudding Park on Friday April 26.

In total, 120 golfers took to the course in the morning playing 20 holes – including the re-designed 11th and 12th holes. Afterwards, 172 guests made their way to the Rudding Park Hotel for a BBQ, raffle, auction and prize giving ceremony.

All 13 HDUGC clubs were in attendance, with those present helping to raise £1,000 for junior and amateur golf in the area, all the while promoting the fantastic facilities at Rudding Park to the elite of local and county-wide golf.

Bedale GC

April 17 – Ladies April Rose: Division One - 1st Patricia Knox nett 76; 2nd Jo Williams nett 80.

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Division 2 - 1st Sharon Wilkinson nett 79; 2nd Tracey Astwood nett 84.

Division 3 - 1st Rosemary Robinson nett 92 (countback required); 2nd Helen Wycks nett 92 (countback required).

April 17 – Water Rats: 1st Paul Gray 32 pts (countback required); 2nd John McAuley 32 pts (countback required); 3rd Steve Livesey 31 pts.

April 18 – Seniors Red Tee Stableford: 1st Steve Gibbins 36 pts; 2nd Ken Pitchford 31 pts; 3rd Dave Adams 30 pts.

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April 18 – Thursday Stableford: 1st Phil Danby 38 pts; 2nd Stuart Jackson 36 pts; 3rd Paul Beck 35 pts; 4th Ric Noble 34 pts.

April 19 – First Seniors Open: 1st Andrew Cant & Neville Buchanan 42 pts; 2nd Richard Lange & Stephen Bottomley 41 pts; 3rd William Emmerson & Stuart Emmerson 40 pts (countback required); 4th Stephen Ralph & Alec Downir 40 pts (countback required); 5th Steve Black & Alan Hutchinson 40 pts (countback required); 6th Les Kitching & John Webster 40 pts (countback required).

April 20 – Ladies Medal: 1st Clare Bevan nett 74; 2nd Sandra Caygill nett 79; 3rd Gillian Petrie nett 82.

April 20 – Junior Black Trophy: 1st Shona Lawson 36 pts; 2nd Josh Askew 33 pts (countback required); 3rd Oliver Crannage 33 pts (countback required).

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