Pro test for County Champs
The all-conquering Yorkshire Men’s team will warm up for their 2024 campaign with a mouth-watering clash against a select 2020 Protour outfit.
The 12-men teams will square off at Rotherham Golf Club on Monday April 9th – and the county’s new Chairman of Selectors Martin Gaffney is calling on golf fans to come out and watch.
The Moortown man has taken on the role after Kevin Tucker stood down at the end of the 2023 season when Yorkshire won the Northern Counties title, topped regional qualifying in the Isle of Man, then brought home the silverware from the nationals at Southport & Ainsdale.
“Golfers throughout Yorkshire have a great opportunity to watch the team play in county matches – they’d be impressed by the standard,” said Gaffney, who helps run the Moortown scratch team and has competed in scratch team golf himself since the age of 15 – finally reaching actual scratch at the age of 50, just before WHS was launched.
In a joint honour for the north Leeds club, Josh Stephens has been named Captain of the Yorkshire Boys team for 2024.
Yorkshire Men play their annual warm-up match against Lincolnshire later in April, but will first test their
mettle against some of the best from Chris Hanson and Adam Walker’s 2020 Protour. The match tees off at Rotherham at 11am.
“We have a lot of quality golfers in our ranks,” said the new chair- man, “so this should be a real challenge. We’d love people to come out and show some support. Everyone is welcome!”
Having been involved with the Yorkshire Executive for five years and qualifying as a referee three years ago, Gaffney is looking forward to getting involved with Captain David Appleyard and his team. His own golfing journey began in 1979 at Town Moor in Doncaster, introduced to the game by his dad Michael. “He’s still play- ing three times a week at Wheatley and desperately trying to shoot his age – 80!”
Of the new role, he said: “Working with elite amateurs is about providing a platform for them to maximise their potential. Yorkshire is fortunate to have a world class coach in Steve Robinson who helps bring the best out of the players. Graham Walker has had a massive impact on the county’s culture and Gareth Davies is an important part of the coaching set-up.
“It’s also great that some of the players that have achieved success on the world stage have continued to support the county and its progress in amateur golf. David Appleyard
brings real enthusiasm as team Captain and has developed a strong bond amongst the players.
“It’s important that those on the fringes of the squad also understand that opportunities exist for themselves if they demonstrate their abilities. I’m a keen follower of amateur golf and follow scores avidly. I prefer to follow elite amateur than professional golf.
“All the players in and around the Yorkshire squad are incredibly talented. Those that reach the highest levels often just have more self- belief and manage the mental side better.”
He sees ‘losing’ Josh Berry to the DP World Tour and Ben Brown and Dylan Shaw-Radford away on England duties as “a real positive”.
“That shows we have succeeded,” he added. “It also creates opportunities to all the talented golfers we have coming through the ranks.”
The full county fixtures can be found on the YUGC website at www.yugc.com