England Golf Disability Champs 2019
England Golf have announced their disability championship which will be on their calendar in 2019. EG would like your input on aspects of the event and would be pleased if you could complete their survey here.
The 2018 English Disabled Open will again be co-sanctioned by BALASA and England Golf and will take place at The Warwickshire Golf Club over the August Bank Holiday weekend (24th to 26th Aug 2018).
European Tour – Portugal Masters
BALASA golfer Mike Gays participated alongside fellow EDGA players at the above event. Video available here “European Disabled Golf Association Team Up With European Tour Pros”
English Disabled Open and 29th BALASA Disabled Championships, Earl’s & King’s Courses, The Warwickshire, Leek Wootton, Warwick, 26th & 27th August 2017
This BALASA Championships were incorporated into this second English Disabled Open, and a very strong field assembled at The Warwickshire. Both courses, the Earls & Kings were in excellent condition as was the weather. Calm, warm and sunny conditions provided ideal playing condition for the 41 golfers competing for the overall gross prize and net prizes in two categories and also a stableford competition.
Northumberland’s Kevin Harmison took the BALASA gross prize and 2017 English Disability Open title after two great days of golf, winning on countback from George Groves of Sussex. Kevin and George tied on 151 gross after two rounds with Kevin winning thanks to his superior score over the last three holes.
Other winners were:
Category 1 (handicaps up to 9.4), Ashley Harris (Merrist Wood), net 140
Category 2 (handicaps 9.5 up to 18.4), Ben Bowen (Holsworthy), net 147
Category 3 (handicaps above 18.5), Richard Saunders (Hintlesham), 59 stableford points.
The presentations were made by Dr Bill Holmes, a member of The R&A’s Rules Committee and Referees Panel, who was also out on duty out on the course over the weekend.
We thank all the officials & referees for making the weekend so enjoyable. EG Referee James Wiggins ably stepped up to fill the Tournament Director role and Dr Bill Holmes for the prize presentations with kind words for all our golfers and supporters. We again thank the R&A for continued support of BALASA. Jamie Blair provided professional support on scoring. Finally, many thanks also to Colin Knapp and The Warwickshire’s Senior Section for providing spotters, scorers and caddies over the weekend. You really did make the players feel at home.
Limb Power are holding a tri-golf experience day at Frilford Heath. More details here.
English Seniors, Saunton, Devon
BALASA golfers competed in the 2016 Disabled British Open at Ufford Park, Suffolk. More information on their successes here.
English Disabled Open and 28th BALASA Disabled Championships, Aylesford & Arden Courses, Marriott Forest of Arden, Meriden, Warwickshire, 27th & 28th August 2016
The BALASA Championships were incorporated into the inaugural English Disabled Open, and a very strong field assembled at Forest of Arden. Both courses at the venue were in excellent condition.
On Friday, many golfers took the opportunity to take a practice round on the demanding Arden Course – once a venue for the European Tour event, English Open.
Round One started off in fine conditions (but see below) on the Aylesford Course. Although 1,000 yards shorter than the Arden, the Aylesford plays much tighter and golfers got caught out by it’s hidden hazards. A good example is Andy Spratt who scored 13 more Stableford points on the Arden on Sunday.
Sadly heavy rain arrived mid-afternoon and when lightening followed, Tournament Director Peter Coles had no hesitation in bringing the players off. 90 minutes later the lightening had moved away and play was re-commenced.
Duncan Hamilton-Martin produced the best gross on Saturday with a fine 73 with Mike Gays one shot back on 74. Defending his Cat 2 title, Tony Lloyd fared best with a net 71. Keith Dolman lead the Stableford after round One with 29 points – nice golf Keith.
The Gala Dinner took place on the Saturday evening with Kevin Barker (R&A Director, Working for Golf) as guest of honour. Having dried out after the afternoon deluge, golfers ate the excellent food looking forward to more favourable conditions on the Sunday.
Day Two saw Mark Smith at his best, completing the Arden Course in 74 gross – best of the day. However, Mark was too far back from Saturday’s round. Duncan Hamilton-Martin produced a fine birdie 2 on the (infamous) 18th to finally see off the challenge of his playing partners Mike Gays and James Hourigan and take home the Gross Prize.
Cat1 net winner was James Hourigan, pipping Mike Gays on countback. Tony Lloyd successfully defended his Cat2 title, from Andy McDonald in second place. Keith Dolman held on to win the Stableford competition under a strong challenge from Anil Gurung with Andy Spratt snatching third after an amazing improvement – see above. Well done James, Tony and Keith.
This year we welcomed distinguished guests and referees from the R&A, European Tour and England Golf. James Wiggins and Tony Curtis’s (England Golf) preparations ensured the weekend would run smoothly – which it did. Peter Coles (European Tour) performed his roles as Tournament Director, Referee and Starter in his usual professional manner. We thank all the officials & referees for making the weekend so enjoyable and Kevin Barker for the prize presentations with kind words for all our golfers and supporters. We again thank the R&A and Titleist for continued support of BALASA. Jamie Blair and Toby Thorne provided professional support on scoring.
Final scores can be viewed here.
BALASA Committee would like to thank all players for adhering to the pace of play timings. All rounds were completed within our target of under 4½ hours. Peter Coles’ excellent address at the Friday Player’s Meeting plainly struck home and the player’s exemplary conduct on-course contributed to a wonderful and memorable weekend. Well done everyone including referees, helpers, caddies, sponsors and our Starter/Referee/timekeeper and Tournament Director – Peter Coles. Finally, a big thank you to all the staff at Marriott Forest of Arden who made the event so enjoyable.
More pictures here c/o Leaderboard Photography.
Finally, all FoA player’s are encouraged to complete the online survey available here.
French Disabled Open, Saint Omer Club, Pas-du-Calais
Mark Smith, second overnight with 82, produced some great shotmaking to score a second round 79 and win the Gross category. Mark finished two ahead of Belgium’s Adem Wahbi (84, 79). Richard Saunders (37 & 42 points) won the Stableford Competition making it a successful weekend in France for BALASA players. Well done all! More here.
nb: Whilst in France, Jean-Jacques Durrand owner of Saint Omer (and strong supporter of disabled golf) brought our attention to a Seniors (+50) event in October. Details attached. All welcome including able-bodied and disabled players. Enquiries to:- firstname.lastname@example.org
England Golf Press Release
Please see the following press release from England Golf who, from January 2015 will replace BALASA as the representative body to the European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) for disability golf in England.
BALASA will continue on a “business as usual” footing with interim responsibility for assisting England Golf on England Team selection for international events.
ISPS Handa Event
Mark Smith received coaching from Craig Thomas at a recent ISPS Handa coaching session at Celtic Manor. More here.
European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA)
Please see the EDGA website for their announcement of a change to EDGA Rules some of which is replicated below:-
During the General Assembly of EDGA in November 2013 there was a proposal to change the following line in the manual: “The Tournament Organiser will only accept applications for entry from players with an EDGA medical pass who are members of their national member organisation”, by removing the part “who are members of their national member organisation.”
Over the last two months the EC (EDGA Executive Committee) has been dealing with several areas which will be affected by the acceptance of the new trajectory for EDGA and have been working hard to prepare a strategy for implementation of a number of new initiatives.
Specifically relating to the above matter the EC has had the opportunity to consult on this matter, have fully considered the effects of doing so and have agreed that, there will be a lead in period during the EDGA transition year to allow organisations and Federations to fully prepare for this change. Therefore the above statement will be adjusted before the end of 2014 but not before the end of the 2014 playing season.