World's top amateur golfers compete on Fylde coast; tip of the week

One of the biggest events in world amateur golf comes to the Fylde coast next week as Royal Lytham and St Annes hosts the 127th Amateur Championship, with qualifying also at St Annes Old Links.

By Andy Moore
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 12:30 pm

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Golf: Lytham and Fairhaven Trophies, tip of the week

First contested in 1885 and won by such golfing greats at Bobby Jones, Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal, this combined matchplay and strokeplay event has been staged at RL&SA four times previously, most recently in 2007, when the American Drew Weaver was victorious.

A field of 288 players from all over the globe will begin two days of qualifying (over 36 holes of strokeplay) at the two courses on Monday, after which the remaining 64 (plus ties) will contest the matchplay knockout stages from Wednesday, with the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Friday and the 36-hole final on Saturday.

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2021 Amateur Championship winner Laird Shepherd contested this year's Masters in Augusta

The champion will win a place at this year's 150th Open at St Andrews as well the US Open and a European Tour event, and is also traditionally invited to the following year's Masters.

Reigning champion Laird Shepherd won the title at Nairn last year, having been eight down after 17 holes of a final which went to 38.

Tickets are available from the Royal & Ancient at www.randa.org and are free for qualifying. They are priced £10 (with concessions for those aged 24 and under) for each of the final four days. Discounts are available for ticket ‘bundles’ covering all days.

It starts a thrilling month of golf on the Fylde coast, with regional qualifying for The Open the following week at Fairhaven and final qualifying at St Annes Old Links the week after that.

This week’s top tip from Alastair Taylor, teaching professional at Herons’ Reach GC, is that a simple backswing change could transform your golf.

Most golfers understand that if you can control the clubface and swing path, then you can influence the golf ball.

However, they often try to change their out-to-in swing path without realising that it is the loss of clubface control early in the swing which causes problems.

Try swinging a club back to waist height to see how it looks.

For many players, the shaft will be pointing to the right of the target, with the club head behind them and the clubface heading skywards.

This is the result of overusing the hands and wrists early in the backswing.

Try taking the club away by simply turning your body and keeping the hands and wrists passive.

The clubface will now be pointing at the target, with the leading edge of the sole of the club head at the same angle as your spine.

With the face now neutral, it is much easier to swing to the top and back down with few or no compensations, resulting in straighter and better shots.

This will feel different to begin with; it just might transform your swing.

You can email Ali at [email protected] or get more free tips from his YouTube channel AliTaylorGolf.

Knott End Ladies played in The England Golf Trust Stableford.

The winners were Kath Coleman (WHS index 20.4 and below) with 38 points and Felicity Lawson (index 20.5-36.4) with 40.