Fylde coast golf round-up: Pair prosper at Morecambe Bay Festival, Lytham Green Drive's charity spectacular

Brian Mathews (left) and Justin Hatcher won the Morecambe Bay Golf Festival
Brian Mathews (left) and Justin Hatcher won the Morecambe Bay Golf Festival

Fylde coast golfers Justin Hatcher and Brian Mathews have triumphed at the Morecambe Bay Golf Festival.

READ MORE: Meet our final four for Portugal in the Gazette Matchplay 2019
Justin, from Herons Reach GC, and Brian of Knott End entered the three-day stableford, which entails better-ball competitions at Heysham, Morecambe and Lancaster on successive days.

The Fylde coast pair won the opening event at Heysham with 47 points, then finished third at Morecambe with 40 and fourth in terrible weather at Lancaster with 41.

Their combined total saw them win the overall festival by three points.

Brian received 11 shots and Justin, a former Gazette Matchplay champion, five in an event which attracts players from all over the country.

Brian’s Knott End club will stage President’s Day today, when Fylde Senior League champions Lancaster will be presented with their trophy.

Lancaster finished with 141 points from 18 matches, three ahead of runners-up Herons Reach, who finished with a 3.5-2.5 win at Knott End.

North Shore finished third (116) and Ashton and Lea fourth (114).

The other final matches saw Blackpool Park clinch fifth place by doing the double over Fairhaven: 5-1 at home and 4.5-1.5 away.

St Annes Old Links are sixth after beating bottom club Fleetwood 4-2.

A Ladies Team of Three Stableford competition at Knott End last week proved a test of stamina as the blustery conditions deteriorated.

The winning team comprised Dorothy Scholes (Walmersley), Rita Towler (Harwood) and Christine Burrows (Bacup), with 73 points acpo

Runners-up were the Lancaster trio of Vickie Heap, Sian Joyce and Liz Grealy (73), with home team Kath Coleman, Joanne Kay and Kath Wright third (72). The cakes at the halfway house were a highlight.

Lytham Green Drive GC held a charity golf day for Kidscan Children’s Cancer Research and raised a fabulous £10,600.

This was the seventh time the club has staged this annual event for children’s charities, sponsored by Kingsland Drinks and RJ Facilities.

Some 28 teams set off for a 16-hole Texas Scramble, with the two par fives forming a separate competition sponsored by Lady Captain Jane Dickens in honour of the Solheim Cup taking place at Gleneagles.

The course was in a superb condition and the scores reflected this, with the Kingsland Trophy being won by club captain Tony Baxter’s team, including Steve Ellis, Rick Anderson and Doug Chilton, with a score of 48.6.

This continues an excellent year for Anderson, who has won through to the last four of the Gazette Matchplay and will fly out to Portugal next week to contest the finals on the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course at Penina.

The “Solheim Cup” par five event was won by the Young Guns team led by Vinny Donohoe

The MC for the evening dinner was Janet Walker and the auction prizes included Lytham Festival Prom tickets, donated by Cuffe & Taylor, tickets for a Burnley game in the Premier League, donated by B&D Print, and many other items donated by members and local companies.

The chief executive of Kidscan, Bob Carter, expressed his delight at the generosity of everyone involved.

Plans are already under way for next year’s charity golf day.

This week’s advice from Alastair Taylor of Lytham Golf Academy is to know your yardages.

I recently played in an event and practised the day before.

I hit all of my irons to find out the average distance that I hit the ball through the air before it bounced.

Armed with that knowledge, it was amazing how many shots I hit at the event which were pin high, if not straight at the flag.

I was never too far from the flag and it really got me thinking that many golfers don’t really know their distances.

Most, in my experience, think they hit the ball further than they actually do.

As a result, they never reach the target and often hit poor shots as they try to strike the ball harder.

It is very easy nowadays to book a gapping session with your PGA professional.

At Lytham Golf Academy we have TopTracer in half of the driving range bays, tracking how far the ball travels. You can download their app and store the distances.

There really is no reason not to know your yardages. And after all, who doesn’t want to hit the ball closer to the flag?

You can contact Alastair at Lytham Golf Academy on 01772 631520 or watch his YouTube channel AliTaylorGolf for free tips and equipment reviews.