Fylde coast golf round-up: Handicap titles for Fairhaven and Herons Reach; Ladies' Championship at Knott End

Fairhaven Captain Mike Franklin presents the Fylde Handicap League trophy to his clubs team
Fairhaven Captain Mike Franklin presents the Fylde Handicap League trophy to his clubs team
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Fairhaven won the Fylde Handicap Golf League but were pipped to the league’s Rose Bowl by Herons Reach.

READ MORE: Four finalists book Portugal places in Gazette Matchplay
Herons Reach team captain Jason Fallan said their triumph was all the sweeter because it was so unexpected.

Fylde Handicap League Rose Bowl winners Herons Reach

Fylde Handicap League Rose Bowl winners Herons Reach

The Herons Reach team of eight pipped Fairhaven by a single point at Lytham Green Drive, where they scored 268 (12 under nett) to win on countback. Hosts Green Drive were a further shot back in third.

The other members of Fallan’s team were Mike Pickering, Ian Swain, Steve Lynn, Stuart Morgan, Phil Hay, Ashley Delaney and former Gazette Matchplay champion Justin Hatcher.

The captain said: “The competition was so tight it was not clear who would win. That made it unexpected and it was so nice to win a trophy. Now we’d like to win the league next year.”

The Rose Bowl concludes the handicap season, which also saw Blackpool North Shore win the Cockerill Cup.

Patience was finally rewarded for Chris Plant, winner of the Captain’s Final at Fairhaven.

A club member since 1993, this was Chris’ first competition win and he achieved it in style by sinking a 25-foot putt on the last of the 36 holes to seal victory over Paul Stadnik (acpo).

Chris (83+82-24) and Paul (82+83-24) both totalled 141, while Lee Williams was a shot behind in third (60+79-6) and Gary Jones took the best gross with 147 (74+73).

Some 160 players contested the first round in glorious weather on Saturday and the top 75 returned on Sunday for round two.

The Stableford Draw for Partners at Fairhaven was won by Lynn Griffiths (division one) with 34 points. The division two winner was Karen McLeod (35) and for division three Carol Lavin (39). Ruth Sudgen won the nine-hole Stableford wih 19 points.

Three competitions were held on Ladies Championship Day at Knott End on Sunday.

Joanne Kay triumphed in the Ladies Championship itself over 36 holes with a score of 87 + 90 = 177. Runner-up was Kath Wright (88 + 94 = 182).

Alex Gardner won the Connie Oldham Trophy. This prize is played for throughout the year, with each competitor’s best six scores counting.

Alex’s aggregate score of 515 left her two ahead of runner-up Kath Coleman, while Fiona Forester was third with 527. The first round best aggregate winner was Muriel Naden.

Finally, the Marjorie Wilkinson Rose Bowl was won in emphatic style by Jean Gates, whose 74 left her 10 strokes clear of runner-up Barbara Crosland. Kath Wright won 24 balls as the only player to score a two.

After a meal in the clubhouse, Lady Captain Elaine Blackburn presented the prizes to the winners.

The ladies’ Centenary Plate was won last Thursday by Jean Gates with a 72. Runner-up was Barbara Crosland (76) and third Kath Wright (78).

This week Alastair Taylor of Lytham Golf Academy asks if longer drives and big slices go hand in hand?

Most golfers want to hit further from the tee with their driver and they are told to hit the ball more on the up in order to do so.

One way to help achieve this is to move the ball further towards your front foot, which means the ball will be further in front of the low point of your golf swing.

As a result the club head will be travelling upwards as it strikes the ball.

A slice is caused when the path the club head is travelling on is moving left of where the club face is pointing.

And the further forward you position the ball in your stance, the further left the club may be travelling at impact.

This is because the club moves in a circular motion around the body, and if the ball is in front of the low point of your swing the club will be travelling up and left at point of contact.

So if you move the ball further forward for more distance and find that you are starting to slice your drives, then try bringing the ball a little further back.

This will improve your swing path and enable you to hit straighter drives.

To contact Alastair at Lytham Golf Academy call 01772 631520.