Club News

2024 Club Championships

Nine Times Winner

Our 2024 Club Championships took place over the weekend of 13th & 14th July in what can only be described as brutal weather conditions. On the Saturday, a very strong northerly wind and driving rain made some of the fairways difficult to reach even for our longest hitters and the thick rough became almost impossible to escape from. Thankfully, things relented slightly on the Sunday morning and then, by late afternoon, we had no rain and the wind had calmed considerably.
Not surprisingly, the scores reflected the harsh conditions and there was only one sub-par round over the two days. That came from our eventual winner, and now nine-times Club Champion, Hughie Hamilton who recorded scores of 80+70=150 to win by 6 shots from the first round leader, Connor Wilson with 78+78=156. Our defending Champion from 2023, Alex Shaw, showed a slight improvement on his first round score, but 80+78=158 was only good enough for 3rd place this time around.
The 2nd Division was won by Steve Ford whose 87+77=164 gave him a 2 shot victory over one of our green-keeping team, Jacob Crowle with 81+85=166. Rounds of 91+78=169 left Matthew Neill in 3rd place.
A back-nine count back was required to separate the leaders of Division 3, with Stuart Lithgo edging out Neil Kennedy to take the division title.
Relative newcomer to Seaton Carew, Michael Charlton, took the 4th Division, by 4 shots, from Kevin Wood.
It was a tough two days and despite the various winners celebrating in the bar afterwards, many were also drowning their sorrows as they watched England defeated in the European final by Spain. Our congratulations to all who took part and for the wonderful spirit in which the tournament was played.

More great memories

2024 Ladies Club Championships

Our 2024 Ladies Club Championships took place over two weeks in July, with Round 1 played on Thursday 4th and Round 2 on the 11th. Neither of the days were blessed with great weather and the 2nd Round was particularly tough with a stiff northerly breeze making scoring very difficult. The eventual winner, chalking up her maiden victory in the competition, was Ruth Lindley with scores of 90+85=175 which gave her a four shot cushion over Jane Longhorn on 93+86=179. The 2nd Division saw an even larger winning margin for Irene Allcroft whose 100+100=200 was nine shots clear of Marion Griffiths on 105+104+209. Our congratulations to the prize winners and well done to all the competitors for battling against the odds.

Turning Back the Clock

Seaton Carew Golf Club continued the countdown to this summer’s English Amateur Championship with a special Hickory Day. Members young and old, men and women, turned back the clock to celebrate the golf club’s 150th anniversary by hitting the historic links with authentic hickory shafted clubs from more than a century ago. Golfers played in a Texas Scramble format competition using hickory-shafted wooden headed brassies or irons – a far cry from what the world’s best amateurs will use when they head to Seaton Carew for the English Amateur between July 28 - August 4.

Club secretary Roy Leonard said: “Because it’s our 150th anniversary we wanted to put on something a little bit different for the members. This provided an opportunity to play golf something like it was 150 years ago. We wanted to make it a family day so that everyone experienced the hickory way and we had 50 sets of clubs to share around. A lot of our members dressed up for the occasion and I even managed to get myself some plus fours (trousers that extend four inches below the knee), a tweed jacket and a tweed cap - so hopefully we looked similar to our predecessors of 150 years ago when they played here at Seaton Carew.”

Hickory Day was the perfect way to warm up for the big summer showpiece heading to Seaton Carew. The English Amateur Championship heads to Seaton Carew for the first time at the end of July when the cream of amateur golf will form part of a 288-strong field that will initially be split for two qualifying rounds of strokeplay over the first couple of days at Seaton Carew and Hartlepool golf clubs. The next four days will see the top 64 men and 32 women battle it out at Seaton Carew in a series of match play ties before the men’s and women’s 36-hole finals are played on the tenth oldest course in England on the Sunday.

Roy said: “The Hickory Day was quite a different experience to the English Amateur in late July when golfers will be playing with their ultra-modern clubs and balls.”

The English Amateur Championship has been played annually since 1925 and has previously been won by the likes of Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey, Nick Faldo and Bronte Law. This will be the first time the prestigious event has headed to County Durham.

Roy said: “We are a busy club anyway with members and visitors, so hosting the tournament is going to be incredible. We are currently organising lots of volunteers for competition week. We are looking at car parking stewards, on the course scoring help, and for others to look after the practice ground. We will have almost 300 of the top amateur golfers, not only in this country but because of the qualification criteria they could be coming from as far away as Australia. This will be a special event and there were just 42 days to go until the English Amateur Championship comes to town when we held Hickory Day on Sunday (June 16).”

Three Salvers in One Week

Junior Salver Monday 27th May

A fantastic week of Open competitions got underway on Monday 27th May when more than fifty youngsters took part in our 2024 Junior Salver. We had a real mixed bag of weather including some delightful sunny periods, interspersed with heavy downpours. Despite everything that mother nature could throw at them, the youngsters battled through to record some very respectable scores. The winner, with a superb Gross 74, was Bradley Quayle who is a member at Seascale Golf Club in Cumbria. Well done to all those who took part and hopefully, we'll see many of them again next year.

Ladies Salver Wednesday 29th May

The second event of our hectic Salver week was our inaugural Ladies Salver. Not surprisingly, as this was the first time the Club have staged a 36-hole scratch event for Ladies, the field was quite small. However, the standard of golf was beyond expectations, especially the first round which saw a new Ladies' course record of 65 set by Lucy Jamieson from Heswall Golf Club in the Wirral. The day was made even more exciting when the winner wasn't decided until the scores had been counted to reveal that Bishop Auckland's, Jessica Hall, had staged a remarkable second round recovery beating Lucy on the back 18. We look forward to lots more elite Lady golfers visiting us for next year's event.

Seaton Salver Saturday 1st June

Our third and final Open of the week was the 2024 Seaton Salver, our 36-hole Men's scratch event. A total of around 100 elite golfers from across the region, and even further afield, entered the competition with the cut of 60 being made at 0.3. From the outset it was clear that conditions would be tough as a strong north-easterly breeze made both going out and coming in really difficult. The long, wet Spring and recent spell of warm sunny weather has really thickened the rough, so missing the fairway was severely punished. The first round saw just 4 players shooting better than Par, with two 69's and two 70's, and many at least 10 shots over target. As the afternoon round commenced, some players were already looking pysically and mentally tired and that was reflected in the scores, with just one sub-Par round being recorded. So, the order of the day was steady golf and Hornsea's, Jack Maxey, was the man to deliver, with two nicely composed rounds of 70-72 giving him a two-round total of 142. Just one shot behind were Adam Rochester (Blackwell Grange) and Jake Wallis (Garforth) with Adam's better second round score of 73 giving him the advantage. Many of this year's competitors have been playing in this event for a good number of years and comments like: "This is the best condition that I've ever seen this course in" made the efforts of our tireless greenkeeping team worthwhile. Our thanks to all those who took part and and those who made it happen, and we hope to see many of them visiting us again later in the year for the English Amateur Championships.

Climbing up the rankings

The massive improvements that have been made to the course at Seaton Carew Golf Club, over the past couple of years, have once again been recognised by the golfing press. Recently the Club saw its standing in National Club Golfer’s Top 100 Courses in England climb 39 places from 85th to 46th, taking it into the Top 50 for the first time. The release of Golf World’s Top 100 list for England rated Seaton Carew as the joint-highest climber, moving from 81st to 66th in that magazine’s rankings.

Such glowing recognition is a tribute to course manager, Tom Coulson, and his dedicated team of green keepers who have taken the course to a new level. More than two dozen bunkers have either been built or remodelled, vast improvements have been made to a number of greens complexes, new tees have been built and over three hectares of Sea Buckthorn bushes have been removed. The latter work has completely opened up new vistas of some magnificent dunes which flank the course’s Eastern boundary.

The Club is currently consulting with renowned golf architects MacKenzie & Ebert to ensure that all future developments follow the design ethos of one the course’s earlier designers, Dr. Alister MacKenzie. This will create a layout which will appeal to golfers of all standards whilst still providing a challenge applicable to modern championship golf. This is reflected by the fact that Seaton Carew has been chosen by England Golf to host their prestigious English Amateur Championship in 2024, the year in which the Club celebrates its 150th anniversary and the sport’s governing body its centenary.