Promising players pledge to ‘give back’ to support England squads

Ashton Turner

Three promising professionals are being supported by England Golf at the start of their tournament careers in a deal which also offers rewards for the national training squads.

Jamie Bower, Nick Marsh and Ashton Turner are each getting England Golf invitations giving them seven starts on the 2017 European Challenge Tour. In return they’ve pledged to give a proportion of their prize money, over a certain amount, to the England Players Fund to develop the squad programme.

The Give Back scheme started last year and could bring significant dividends for a training programme which is noted for producing successful golfers. Around a quarter of European Tour players are currently English and the vast majority of these have come through the England Golf squads.

Bower, Marsh and Turner are all graduates of the programme and, as elite England amateurs, they captured top titles and played in national teams before turning professional.

Turner (image © Leaderboard Photography), first joined squads when he was under-16 and commented: “England Golf helped me no end with teaching and guidance during the years I was in squads. It was invaluable and being able to give back is something I’m definitely looking forward to.”

The 21-year-old, from Kenwick Park in Lincolnshire, has already taken up his first invitation and finished 15th in last weekend’s Turkish Airlines Challenge, scoring nine under par.

“If you don’t get starts through tour school it’s difficult to get going,” said Turner. “I’ve got a full card on the EuroPro Tour but getting Challenge Tour status would have been extremely difficult so I’m very grateful for this opportunity. Potentially these starts could move me on to getting a full card for next season.”

His next outing is likely to be next month’s D&D Czech Challenge where he’ll be joined by Yorkshire’s Jamie Bower (Meltham), who won the 2016 Brabazon Trophy in his final year as an amateur.

Nick Marsh, a former English amateur champion from Huddersfield, Yorkshire, is expected to make his 2017 Challenge Tour debut in the Matchplay 9 tournament in Spain in May.

The first income for the Give Back scheme came last year from Ben Stow, a past winner of the Brabazon Trophy, whose invitations also helped him to secure a full Challenge Tour card for this season. Ashley Chesters, who was a double European champion as an amateur, was also supported and went on to secure his European Tour playing rights for 2017.

The players’ provisional schedules are:

Jamie Bower
25-28 May, D+D Czech Challenge
1-4 June, Swiss Challenge
22-25 June, Made in Denmark Challenge
27-30 July, Swedish Challenge
3-6 August, Finnish Challenge
7-10 September, Bridgestone Challenge, Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire
14-17 September, Irish Challenge

Nick Marsh
18-21 May, Match Play 9, Spain
1-4 June, Swiss Challenge
22-25 June, Made in Denmark Challenge
17-20 August, Viking (Norway) Challenge
31 Aug – 3 Sep, Cordon Open
7-10 Sep, Bridgestone Challenge, Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire
14-17 Sep, Irish Challenge

Ashton Turner
20-23 April, Turkish Challenge
25-28 May, D+D Czech Challenge
8-11 June, KPMG Trophy, Belgium
6-9 July, Prague Golf Challenge
3-6 August, Finnish Challenge
7-10 September, Bridgestone Challenge, Luton Hoo, Bedfordshire
28 Sep – 1 Oct, Challenge de Espana