Fylde coast golf round-up: Fylde Junior Championships, last eight for Gazette Matchplay, Green Drive Trophy, Alastair Taylor's tips

Green Drive Trophy winner Sam Clayton
Green Drive Trophy winner Sam Clayton

The Fylde Junior Golf Championships at Knott End were a success despite blustery winds.

The competition was open to male and female players who were under 18 at the start of the year and 32 took part in a keenly-contested event.

The Gazette Trophy for the boys’ best gross went to Jamie van Wyk of Royal Lytham and St Annes with a 78. Runner-up was Sam Wollaston of Staining Lodge (79) and third Harrison Thomas-Cooper of St Annes Old Links (81).

The Peggy Murdoch Trophy for the girl with the best nett score was won by Mollie Rollins of Staining Lodge with 37 points.

Winner of the Walter Robinson Trophy for best nett went to Gabriel Ward of Fairhaven with 38 points. Runner-up was Staining Lodge’s Oliver Shackleton (37) and third Jack Drayton of Fleetwood (37). The Under-15 nett prize went to Staining Lodge’s Alix Barlow with 33 points.

Knott End’s Ladies also braved strong winds to contest the Carlsberg Trophy as trolleys blew over and headgear hurtled down the fairway. The winds abated and most competitors comleted their round.

The winning team of Joanne Kay, Kath Coleman, Barbara Crosland and Jean Gates scored 76 points. Runners-up on 67 were Kath Wright, Maureen Hankey, Sylvia Wilson and Pauline Fawcett.

Knott End’s Mixed Open was won by the home club’s Mark and Pauline Fawcett with a score of 69.8.

W Mayman of Knott End teamed up with Fairhaven’s A Whittingham to finish second (72.6), while Knott End pairs Terry LLoyd and Sheila Macdonald (72.8) and Brian Hill and Marion Hill (74) took third and fourth spots.

Knott End Seniors’ charity golf event and raised £100 for Brian House Children’s Hospice. The picture (right) shows Seniors Captain Kevin Willman presenting the cheque to Sister Carol Wylde of Brian House.

Eight Fylde coast players are just one win away from a dream golfing holiday to Portugal in The Gazette Matchplay 2019.

The eight have won through five rounds and will contest our quarter-finals at Lancaster Golf Club on September 3.

The four winners that day will head for the Algarve later in the month for our semi-finals and final at the luxurious Penina golf resort courtesy of our generous sponsors Blacktax, the Blackpool taxi firm.

The four can look forward to three nights at the five-star venue, where our 2019 champion will be determined on the world-renowned Henry Cotton Championship Course. Accommodation, flights, meals and golf will be funded by Blacktax.

The Herons Reach club provides four of this year’s last eight and Lytham Green Drive three, while Glenn Riches represents the Fleetwood club, having won through to Portugal in our 2012 tournament.

The Herons Reach quartet are Darren Frame, Rob Higgins, Steve Norwood and Daryl Prance, while Richard Anderson, Kevin Keating and Phillip Smitham fly the flag for Lytham Green Drive.

Kevin is the lowest handicapper in the group, playing off two, and Rob the highest off 17. The quarter-final draw will be made on the day at Lancaster.

The Green Drive Trophy was won by Sam Clayton of Saddleworth Golf Club.

Clayton won the 36-hole Lytham Green Drive event by one shot with a score of 154-10=144.

Lytham Green Drive player Tony Cawdell as second (159-14=145) after a card play-off with club-mate Kevin Keating (149-4=145), our Gazette Matchplay quarter-finalist (see right), and another Saddleworth player, Ben Pullen (151-6=145).

Lytham Green Drive’s Dave Simpson was next with 152-6=146.

The competition was the fourth of five in this year’s AMEON Order of Merit and was played in testing conditions.

Leading the Order of Merit with 48 points is Mark Hartwell of Haigh Hall, followed by Fleetwood’s Scott Gardner (46), Ryan Lake of Blackpool North Shore (46), Grady Rogerson of St Annes Old Links (42) and Kieran Hogarth of Royal Lytham and St Annes (41).

The Order of Merit winner will be determined at Saturday’s final event, the Spencer Trophy at Fleetwood GC.

Entries are still available via the club’s website at www.fleetwoodgolfclub.co.uk

The annual Order of Merit, which is sponsored by AMEON Building Services Engineering, is free to enter and players compete for a prize fund of £500.

The top point-scorer who has competed in all the events will win free entry to all five next year.

The Lady Captain’s Final at Fairhaven was contested over two days, with much better weather for day two.

The overall winner was Vanessa Barrow with a two-round score of 84+73 = 157 and runner-up after a card play-off was Sharon Slack ( 80+82 = 162).

The day one winner in Friday’s horrendous weather was Carole Waddington (90-10 = 80), while the day two winner was Carol Hood (94-15 = 79 acpo). Forty seven ladies took part, all of them invited to tea afterwards with Lady Captain Doreen Tomlinson.

The Lady Captain’s 18-hole Subsidiary was won by Mareea Dewin with 28 points and Diana Cockerill was runner-up with 26 and Paul Leah third (23). Gwen Crozier won The Lady Captain’s Nine-hole Subsidiary on 11.

The Men’s Texas Scramble at Fairhaven was won by the quartet of Stewart Boyce, Mark Seed, Andy Tiso and Ian Walker with a score of 59.9.

The second-placed team were Oliver Drury, Henry Hargreaves, Ben Sharples and Nicolas Shepherd (60.7), with Daniel Butterfield, Christian Lane, Mark Lane and Bob Wear third (60.8).

This week’s advice from Alastair Taylor of Lytham Golf Academy is: Time to ditch the three wood.

Many golfers turn to their three wood when they need to get maximum distance from their second shot.

Having done a number of fittings last week, I’m still amazed how many golfers get greater distance from their five wood but persist with the three because they think it produces longer shots.

Many golfers do not generate enough club-head speed to launch the ball fully with the three wood and keep it in the air long enough.

The extra loft of the five wood launches the ball higher and generates a bit more back-spin, meaning the ball flies further through the air but still rolls out.

Most golfers drive well with the three wood but this is because it is easier to strike a teed-up ball higher up on the club face and so launch it higher.

So if you want to hit more consistent second shots which travel further, my advice would be to leave your three wood and home and stick with your five.

To contact Alastair at Lytham Golf Academy call 01772 631520.