Fylde coast golf round-up: Elite honour for Blackpool North Shore head professional Andrew Richardson

Andrew Richardson of Blackpool North Shore (right) receives his award from Foremost managing director Andy Martin
Andrew Richardson of Blackpool North Shore (right) receives his award from Foremost managing director Andy Martin
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Blackpool North Shore Golf Club’s head professional Andrew Richardson leads the way in England and Ireland for promoting the game, having won a top industry award.

Blackpool North Shore Golf Club’s head professional Andrew Richardson leads the way in England and Ireland for promoting the game, having won a top industry award.

Andrew has been crowned Foremost EMP professional for his work at the Devonshire Road Club.

EMP stands for Elite Marketing Programme and the award is backed by golf equipment and fashion suppliers Foremost Golf Ltd.

Foremost managing director Andy Martin visited North Shore on Monday to present the award to Andrew, who was happy to share the honour with club staff for their tireless efforts.

A runner-up in the last two years, Andrew was delighted to finish first among the 1,800 nominees.

He explained: “There are lots of criteria involved, including how we manage our database, launch products, run the shop and look after the golfers.

“It’s all about being proactive and using all forms of media to promote the club and the game.

“We are at the forefront of representing the North Shore club, staging events and encouraging more people to play golf.”

Fleetwood-born Andrew has held his current position for 12 years, having previously served as assistant pro at Fleetwood and senior assistant at St Annes Old Links.

He added: “It’s been a challenging year in the economic climate but North Shore is on the way up. We have a fantastic new greenkeeper and new caterers.

“I had been runner-up twice, so we are doing something right and a lot of that is down to the team we have here.”

They say good news comes in threes and that’s the case for Andrew.

He is just back from trying out the Abu Dhabi National course in his role as a PGA ambassador for golf holiday company Your Golf Travel.

And Andrew has won a trip to the Masters in Augusta next month as a guest of adidas.

Alastair Taylor of Lytham Golf Academy this week advises on how to gain an extra 20 yards like Francesco Molinari...

After another superb win for Francesco Molinari at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, people have been talking about how the Italian is helped by his extra distance from the tee.

Now, I’m sure all golfers reading this wouldn’t mind a few more yards from the tee!

The way Molinari achieved this is by slightly lengthening his backswing, giving him longer to accelerate the club during the downswing.

Up until a couple of years ago, he would keep his left heel planted on the floor at the top of his backswing.

This would slightly restrict his backswing but Molinari felt it contributed to his great accuracy.

However, he came to believe he needed the extra distance in order to compete on a more regular basis.

And so he and his coach agreed that allowing his left heel to lift at the top of the backswing would allow his body to turn slightly more.

This therefore give him more power in the downswing and obviously his successes over the last 18 months have justified this.

So if you keep your lead heel planted at the top of the backswing, experiment with lifting it and see if you too can pick up 20 yards like Francesco.

To contact Alastair at Lytham Golf Academy call 01772 631520.

The fifth Men’s Winter Qualifier at Fairhaven was won by David Hazel with 45 points. Tony Green was runner-up (41) and John McCombe third (39).

Ladies’ Winter Qualifier Five was won by Carol Hood (division one, 31 points).

The division two winner was Paula Leah (23) and for division three Susan Godfrey (32).