In 2021 Yorkshire courses will welcome the best amateur golfers in Europe in what promises to be a fabulous summer of golf.
Unprecedented recognition of the quality and depth of courses on offer in the county starts at Ganton, who will host the re-arranged English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play for the Brabazon Trophy which will now be played from August 18-21. Ganton has held a succession of top amateur and professional events and is one of just three courses to have held the Ryder, Walker and Curtis Cups.
The R&A Senior Amateur Championship will return to the North Yorkshire course in early July, having hosted the prestigious event back 2014 when American Brady Exber took the title with a 4-shot victory over Yorkshire’s Stephen East.
Last thoughts on one of golf’s historical shrines go to three times Open champion Gary Player, who once said of Ganton that it is the only inland course worthy of holding golf’s oldest Major.
Less than half an hour away down the A64 lies the Malton & Norton Golf Club, which features three loops of nine and is described as “Yorkshire’s hidden gem” by former BBC commentator Peter Alliss. It will host the English Girls’ Open Amatuer Stroke Play from July 20th, which starts a three week stretch of high class amateur golf across the county.
Next up is the European Ladies’ Amateur Championship at Alwoodley and a week later their near neighbours, in the City of Leeds, Headingley and Moortown stage the English Men’s and Women’s Amateur Championships.
England Golf’s Director of Championships, James Crampton said: “Moortown and Headingley are two terrific venues and I’m sure the standard of golf on show in 2021 will match the quality of the surroundings.
“The European Ladies’ Amateur Championship is one of the most prestigious events on the amateur golf calendar and we are delighted to be the host nation and playing at Alwoodley,” added Crampton.
“Hopefully, conditions at that time will allow the golfing public to witness some of the world’s best amateur golfers playing for three prestigious titles, over three top-class golf courses.
Alwoodley was the first course designed by arguably the world’s foremost golf architect Dr Alistair MacKenzie, who was born in Normanton, West Yorkshire, to Scottish parents. His second creation less than a mile away at Moortown hosted the first Ryder Cup on European soil and he went on to craft 26 courses in Yorkshire and collaborated on many more.
He is better known for his work at Augusta and other iconic courses around the world including Cypress Point and Royal Melbourne, the latter of which Tiger Woods described as “beyond a dream and how golf should be played.”
MacKenzie is just a part of the rich heritage of golf across the Broad Acres and his legacy will live on in the form of the inaugural MacKenzie Challenge, which will be played at Horsforth Golf Club on July 9.
Welcome To Yorkshire’s Chief Executive, James Mason, has been quick to realise the opportunity to attract golfers to Yorkshire. Working with Leeds based SGH Sporting Events, the organisation staged the first major professional event in the county since 1991, the Ian Woosnam Senior Invitational, at Ilkley, last September, despite the challenges brought about by Covid-19.
Now he has set his sights even higher: “ We might not be able to bring the Ryder Cup back to Yorkshire during my tenure, but I believe the Solheim Cup is a realistic target for the near future," said Mason.