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Forest Park’s ‘hidden gem’ is firmly on golfing map
10:18am Saturday 14th July 2012 in Sport
DEBUT county success has been transformed into a whole new ball game at Forest Park Golf Club.
After staging its debut Yorkshire Professional Golfers’ Association tournament, the club has been awarded an annual place on the county’s competitive calendar.
The first Yorkshire PGA event held at the club based in Stockton-on-the-Forest, drew the cream of the county’s professionals to the course, which, despite the recent near-biblical deluge of rain, was in tip-top condition.
Low Laithes GC player Adrian Ambler, one of the most successful players on both the Yorkshire and Northern PGA circuits over the past decade, won the event with a healthy five-under-par 67 – two shots clear of his nearest challengers.
But Ambler was not the only winner. Arguably the bigger victor was Forest Park. For after the successful hosting of the event, for which the club put up a trophy, the Yorkshire PGA accorded the course the distinction of holding the new Yorkshire PGA Forest Park Trophy as an annual event.
Said Forest Park GC head professional Mark Winterburn: “It was a superb event for the course and one which gained us a lot of praise.
“And it’s a tremendous honour that the course has been granted the event as an annual tournament.”
To mark the award, Winterburn added that the 2013 event is hoping to comprise the 18-hole stroke-play event, with a pro-am competition the following day.
“The response we got from the PGA and the players who competed was absolutely superb,” added Winterburn.
“One of the reasons we applied to stage a competition was that some pros have never heard of us. Now after the event the compliments given to the course were fantastic.
“The Yorkshire PGA secretary Jimmy Pape described the course as a ‘hidden gem’ at the presentation of prizes.
“The course was said by the players and other PGA officials to be in tip-top condition – it could not have been any better.
The club’s principal pro, who shot a round of 73 to be among seven players locked in joint 18th place, was also delighted by a rain-free day to accompany the inaugural event, even though elsewhere in and around York it was pouring.
“The rain gods must have been smiling on us,” insisted Winterburn.
“We had between 50 and 100 of the club members who turned up to watch, which was great. But I’m sure we would have had even more but for the fact so many we’re put off by the forecast of rain.”
Both Brown and Cheetham tied for fourth place on 70, while Selby GC’s Nick Ludwell and Heworth GC’s Fraser Kelley each posted scores of 71, one ahead of Forest of Galtres GC pro Simon Appleton.
• Forest of Galtres GC celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special three-section golf challenge with a twist.
The teams were required to consist of a man, a woman and a senior member of the club.
The winning team was Ian Scadding, Becky Gouldstone and Colin Crockett, with 112 points, ahead of Brian Lockett, Linda Soper and Jim McIntosh, who totalled 108 points.