Former Masters champion Danny Willett and Ryder Cup legend Lee Westwood join us on episode 18 of the England Golf podcast to give us the lowdown on the venues for this year’s English Amateur Championships.
Willett, the 2016 champion at Augusta, remains a member of Lindrick Golf Club in Yorkshire and has a family house on the boundary fence of the course!
Westwood also knows the Lindrick venue well having been a member for many years. But he also grew up learning the game playing at nearby Worksop Golf Club – the co-host for this year’s English Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships.
On Lindrick, Willett – an eight-time winner on both the DP World and PGA Tours – said: “We live just off the back of the sixth so we’re down there a good bit when the weather is good enough.
“There’s a snicket I can walk through. Me and Nic (his wife) will go for a walk and take the clubs and the kids will come and have a mess around. There’s a nice loop of six or seven holes I can do in the summer.
“When it’s firm and fast in the summer it gets tricky.
“It all depends on how they set it up. It’s had Open qualifying for many years and I know for that it plays firm and fast. It often plays tricky. It’s not overly long but when the wind starts swirling it’s a good solid test of shot-making.”
Westwood – a former European and world number one – said of Worksop: “That’s where I grew up playing golf and a lot of good juniors have come out of there.
“It’s similar to Lindrick but maybe with more trees. You have to hit the ball straight or you won’t get your handicap down!
“It’s not the longest golf course, but when I was growing up it was long enough.
“It can play fast and the greens are fast and undulating – you have to have a lot of imagination on the greens.
“I’m pleased it’s going to Worksop – the club deserves it.”
Also on episode 18 of the podcast we speak to England girls’ squad player Rachel Gourley – and with five wins under her belt in the last seven months she’s the trophy-hogging amateur equivalent of Scottie Scheffler!
Rachel won the Justin Rose Telegraph Junior Championship, the Sunningdale Foursomes with Lottie Woad, the Formby Leveret, the Scottish Girls’ Championship and beat the pros to win a Rose Ladies Series event at Walton Heath!
“I said to my coach the week before the Scottish Girls – the week after winning at Formby – I feel confident enough to win,” Rachel told the podcast.
“That was an accumulation of good results from the back end of 2021 and the start of the 2022 season.
“I’ve always been that reserved person, but I think even people could see at the Scottish Girls that my body language and mindset was different as I had that extra boost of confidence.”
There are also features on South African Christiaan Mass winning the Brabazon Trophy at Saunton and we hear from Saunton courses manager Murray Long on the club’s sustainability projects that were highlighted on the recent World Biodiversity Day.