It’s been a quite a year for amateur golf in Great Britain and we asked some our leading players what were their stand-out moments and also asked them to look ahead to 2024
1) Your best round of the year and why?
I shot 63 (-9) in a club medal this year, my lowest ever round where I literally had total control of my game. It was particularly satisfying as it proved to be a useful warm-up to completing the hat-trick of major county titles only four days later.
2) Your best shot of the year and why?
I’ve played so much golf this year and I’m not a particularly flashy golfer, but one shot sticks out. We played Yorkshire at Pannal earlier this year, and my foursomes partner had to pull out with injury late on. A good friend, Zak Laws, replaced him but at number one in the foursomes. Zak was maybe a little nervous and on one hole, chunked a pitch into a bunker. Yorkshire were looking favourites for the hole, but I managed to hole the bunker shot for an unlikely half which invigorated both mine and Zak’s games. It was a good shot, but the significance was that it laid the foundation for us to beat Yorkshire’s number one pairing. Unfortunately we lost the match overall however.
3) The best shot you saw and why?
I played with a good friend, Phil Ridden in our club championship this year. Over the first 18 holes we were neck and neck, but I faded away and played poorly in the second round. Phil continued to play well and ended up winning by six but the shot that I’ll remember was him holing a 40 footer on 18. This club championship victory was his eighth at the City of Newcastle, a new record, and it was particularly fitting that he capped it off in such outrageous fashion!
4) Your favourite moment of 2023 (this could be personal or something completely random but golf related)?
This year I managed to win the qualifying for Northumberland County Championship, my fourth County Championship itself, and also the a fourth Northumberland County Strokeplay Championship. As far as Im aware and have been told, no player in Northumberland has ever won all three in the same season, so this was a particularly special moment.
5) Your hopes and ambitions for 2024?
I’d like to keep representing my county at the highest level… I’m chasing down the caps record of 131, I’m on 123, so next year I’d like to be six matches closer to that record.
6) One thing you would change about about golf for next season?
I’m not getting any younger at 44, so I know that I need to shift my focus to fitness, flexibility and to lengthen my playing career as much as I can. I’m trying to work on that by doing daily stretching routines to improve my mobility.