Two prestigious clubs with challenging courses at opposite ends of the country have agreed to host the blue riband men’s events on England Golf’s calendar of venues for 2014 just released.
Seaton Carew in County Durham will stage the English Open Stroke Play Championship for the Brabazon Trophy in late June while the English Amateur Championship will return to Saunton in North Devon in late July.
The Brabazon Trophy will be making only its second visit to Seaton Carew. The only other occasion it has been played there was in 1985 when Peter Baker, who went on to become a Ryder Cup player, and Roger Roper shared the title. Since then the club has hosted the Boys under 18 Championship for the Carris Trophy and the Seniors Home Internationals. The regional qualifying events will be staged at Effingham in Surrey and Ringway in Cheshire.
Saunton (picture © Tom Ward) has been a regular on the England Golf fixture list, staging the Brabazon and Carris Trophies plus the County Championship finals as well as a number of R&A events and this will be the fourth occasion that it has hosted the English Amateur. The first time was in 1937 when Frank Pennink beat former champion Leonard Crawley 6 and 5 in the final. Pennink went on to become a Walker Cup player, President of the English Golf Union, course designer and renowned golf writer, as was Crawley.
It was another 56 years before the English Championship returned to Saunton with David Fisher beating Richard Bland 3 and 1 in the 1993 final, while in 2001 the title went to Scott Godfrey when he came out on top 4 and 3 over Simon Robinson. The East and West courses will be used for the first two days qualifying while the match play will be held on the East.
Several clubs not previously having staged England Golf or EGU events are on the 2014 list including Matfen Hall and Hexham in Northumberland, which will host the Seniors Championship in early June.
However, the Mid Amateur for the Logan Trophy in early July visits Worksop in Nottinghamshire, scene of the Men’s County Finals in 2004, which saw Surrey triumph.
Of the junior events, the under 16 Championship for the McGregor Trophy and under 18 Championship for the Carris Trophy return to their ‘traditional homes’ on the four-year rotation, the McGregor to Radcliffe-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire, its regular base from its inception in 1982 until 1998, and the Carris to Moor Park in Hertfordshire, its home from 1935 to 1987, both in July.
The under 14 Championship for the Reid Trophy in August calls in at Enville in Staffordshire, which staged a highly successful Seniors Championship in 2007 and the 1984 playing of the Presidents & Guests event.
The Boys County Championship finals will be played at Sandiway in Cheshire, scene of the Champion Club Tournament in 1997, the County Champions event in 1984 and the 1988 Seniors Championship, in late August.
Another Staffordshire club, Trentham, scene of the 2008 Seniors County Finals, the 1986 County Champions Tournament, and the 1994 Mid Amateur, will host the Champion Club Tournament in September.
The Men’s County Finals are scheduled for Royal North Devon in late September and the Seniors County Finals for Hindhead in Surrey in early October. The last visit to Royal North Devon was in 2008 for the Boys County Finals but Hindhead will be hosting the an England Golf event for the first time.
The 2014 fixture list is:
13 May – Brabazon Southern Qualifying, Effingham
20 May – Brabazon Northern Qualifying, Ringway
4-6 June – English Seniors Championship, Matfen Hall and Hexham
25-28 June – Brabazon Trophy, Seaton Carew
4-6 July – Mid-Amateur Championship, Worksop
9 July – English Schools Championship, Woodhall Spa (Bracken Course)
15-17 July – Under 16 Championship, Radcliffe-on-Trent
22-25 July – Under 18 Championship, Moor Park
28 July-2 August – English Amateur Championship, Saunton (East and West Courses)
5-7 August – Under 14 Championship, Enville
9-10 August – Junior Champion Club, Woodhall Spa (Bracken Course)
16-17 August – London Pride EGU Gold Medal, Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin Course)
26-28 August – Boys County Finals, Sandiway
13-14 September – County Champions Tournament, Woodhall Spa (Hotchkin Course)
20-21 September – Champion Club, Trentham
26-28 September – County Finals, Royal North Devon
5 October – England U16 v Scotland U16, Sandwell Park
7-9 October – Seniors County Finals, Hindhead
12 October – England U16 v Ireland U16, Delamere Forest