NEW Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs’ President Eric Wainwright is hoping that the continued success of the county’s golfers at all levels will encourage more players to try the game.
Last year was one of the most successful in the history of the White Rose, with the county’s golden oldies capturing the English Senior Men’s championship on the back of a record breaking win for Yorkshire in the English Boys’ County Championship last September at Northants County.
And the new man at the top is hoping the Yorkshire men’s team can follow in their footsteps by landing the County Champions title at Woodhall Spa in the middle of September and says he would like to see more spectators at the various events and county matches.
“There really is some stunning golf played by our top players and it’s a joy to be there and witness such a high standard of play and cheer on our teams,” he said.
“Winning is very much the focus of the county for the coming year across all the age groups.
“We spend an awful lot of money on coaching our elite players at all levels through some outstanding teachers and I firmly believe that their success can encourage more people to try the game.
. “It’s also going to be an important year in terms of preparing ourselves for the future.
“In line with the new World Handicap System, which will be introduced in 2020 by the R&A and the USG,A we have to re-measure every course, and as the biggest county we also have the most courses with 185, so we already have 10 teams of county executives, ladies and volunteers out doing the work now.
“The year 2019 will be a milestone year for the Yorkshire union as we celebrate our 125th anniversary and we have set up a sub-committee to work on how we celebrate this achievement.”
The incoming President was “forced into the game” when a cerebral haemorrhage ended his football and cricket careers at the age of 29.
He took up golf at the Broadway Golf Club in Worcestershire before joining Fulford in 1978 when he returned to Yorkshire when re-located by his employers.
He was made captain of Fulford in 1998 and had the honour of rolling out on some of the best greens on the European Tour when he was chairman of greens for the last two Benson & Hedges tournaments held at the York club.
After working as property manager for a York company looking after their seven factories up and down the country, Eric used his knowledge of the building industry to establish his own architectural practice before retiring eight years ago.
He has served on the Yorkshire Union Executive Committee for the past 14 years and was very pleased to follow so quickly in the footsteps of another Fulford member Jonathan Plaxton in accepting the role of President.
“I was delighted to accept the invitation and it’s a wonderful and unusual boost for Fulford in having two county Presidents from the same club serve within such a brief period of three years.
“For Fulford to have hosted the inaugural R&A Under-16 girls’ event last month, followed by the Carris Trophy for the boys in July, is another great advertisement for golf in Yorkshire.
“The seven rounds of the county championship are the backbone of our competitions with the final to be held at Rotherham Golf Club in July.
“In addition we have very competitive county members’ competitions open to the members of all clubs in the county and we would like more golfers from those clubs to compete in the nine events we will run this year.
“A key competition in the year will be the Yorkshire Amateur Championship to be held at Ganton in August at which our secretary of many years Keith Dowswell will retire.
“Details are available on our excellent website, which also has details of the county card, which gives access to reduced green fees at all clubs in England, Scotland and Wales.
“Finally, I would like to wish all golfers and all clubs in the county a very successful year.”