A string of prestigious venues feature on the England Golf 2015 calendar of events just released, none more so than for the blue riband championships for men and women.
The Brabazon Trophy will be hosted by the Notts Golf Club at Hollinwell, the Men's English Amateur by Alwoodley in Leeds, while Hunstanton and Sheringham will be the scene of the Women’s Amateur Championship and the Girls’ Championship respectively.
Hollinwell (image copyright Tom Ward) has staged the Brabazon on four occasions. The first in 1959 saw Doug Sewell beat Michael Bonallack by a shot in an 18-hole playoff. Then in 1975 Sandy Lyle won the first of his two Brabazon titles, while Charlie Banks, now a senior international, won in 1983. On the last occasion in 1992, Ignacio Garrido took the title back to Spain. The qualifying venues for the Brabazon will be Liphook (South) and Clitheroe (North).
The Men's English Amateur has been played only once at Alwoodley, in 2003 when Gary Lockerbie beat Michael Skelton in the final. Then it was a straight match play format but now there is a 36-hole qualifying competition over two courses and the other course in 2015 will be Pannal at Harrogate, which has been the scene of other England Golf competitions including the annual under 16 contest against Spain.
This will be the sixth time the English Women’s Amateur Championship has been contested over Hunstanton’s classic links. The Norfolk club first hosted the event in 1922, followed by 1956, ‘68, ‘84 and 2000 when Emma Duggleby (now Brown) of Yorkshire was the winner. The club regularly hosts top amateur events and its honours board includes women’s British championships, the Brabazon Trophy and Home Internationals.
North Norfolk neighbours Sheringham and Royal Cromer will play host to around 250 of the country’s leading girl golfers competing for national titles. It will be 15 years since they played similar roles: Sheringham held the millennium English girls’ championship – won by Sophie Walker, who now plays on the Ladies’ European Tour – while Royal Cromer was the venue for the forerunner of the English under 15 and under 13 events.
Norfolk will also play host for the Boys County Championship Finals at King’s Lynn, which was the venue for the Men’s Champion Club in 2003.
Apart from the Men's English Amateur, several more England Golf events are scheduled for northern venues. The Logan Trophy, the men’s over 35 championship, will head for Northumberland Golf Club, near Newcastle, the McGregor Trophy, the boys under 16 championship, will be at Wallasey, the Women’s Open stroke play at St Anne’s Old Links, and the Reid Trophy, the boys under 14 championship, at Preston.
Northumberland and Wallasey have both hosted the Carris Trophy, the boys under 18 Championship in recent years. In 2004 Pablo Martin from Spain won at Northumberland while Stiggy Hodgson needed a playoff to win at Wallasey in 2008. Little Aston will stage the Carris in 2015.
The English women’s open stroke play will make a return after ten years to St Anne’s Old Links in Lancashire, while the English Women’s Open Mid-Amateur will be played at Trentham in Staffordshire for the first time as will Preston for the Reid.
Towards the end of the season, England will host the Senior Men’s Home Internationals at Copt Heath near Birmingham, Wychwood Park near Crewe will see the Men’s County Championship Finals, while the Senior Men’s County Championship Finals will be at Robin Hood.
2015 competitions and venues
Women's South Region Medal Final (Royal Blackheath, Kent)
Women's South West Region Medal Final (Weston-super-Mare, Somerset)
Senior Women’s Amateur (Oakdale, Yorkshire)
Women's Midlands South Region Medal Final (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire)
Brabazon Trophy Southern Qualifier (Liphook, Hampshire, IoW & CI)
Brabazon Trophy Northern Qualifier (Clitheroe, Lancashire)
Women’s Amateur (Hunstanton, Norfolk)
Women's Midlands North Region Medal Final (Rothley Park, Leicestershire)
Women's North Region Medal Final (Slaley Hall, Northumberland)
Men's Seniors Amateur (Worplesdon and West Hill, Surrey)
Women's Grand Medal Final (Coventry, Warwickshire)
Men's Open Amateur Stroke Play, Brabazon Trophy (Notts Hollinwell, Nottinghamshire)
Men's Open Mid-amateur Stroke Play, Logan Trophy (Northumberland)
Boys' U-16 Open Amateur Stroke Play, McGregor Trophy (Wallasey, Cheshire)
Women’s Open Mid-amateur (Trentham, Staffordshire)
Senior Men’s and Women’s Midlands Region Tournament (Beau Desert, Staffordshire)
Senior Men’s and Women’s South Region Tournament (Saunton, Devon)
Boys' U-18 Open Amateur Stroke Play, Carris Trophy (Little Aston, Stafforshire)
Girls' Open Amateur (Sheringham, Norfolk)
Girls' Open U-13 and U-15 Championships (Royal Cromer, Norfolk)
Men's Amateur Championship (Alwoodley and Pannal, Yorkshire)
Women’s Open Amateur Stroke Play (St Annes Old Links, Lancashire)
Boys' U14 Open Amateur Stroke Play Reid Trophy (Preston, Lancashire)
Boys' County Championship (King’s Lynn, Norfolk)
Senior Men’s and Women’s North Region Tournament (Harrogate, Yorkshire)
PING Grand and Plate Finals (Gainsborough, Lincolnshire)
Men's Champion Club (Brancepeth Castle, Durham)
Men's Senior Home Internationals (Copt Heath, Warwickshire)
Men’s County Championhship (Wychwood Park, BB&O)
Senior Women's Brenda King Foursomes (Coxmoor, Nottinghamshire)
Men's Senior County Finals (Robin Hood, Warwickshire)