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Rob McNicholas

Saffron Walden Golf Club PGA Golf Professional

Get in Touch: 01799 527728
Website: Golf Shop | Golf Club
Send us an email: Rob McNicholas

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Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter,

Pros news 

David Watts Away Day

On Thursday 36 of us gathered at Chelmsford Golf Club for the annual David Watts away day. For those of you who have not played Chelmsford it's a hilly well-presented course with greens trickier than ours. As of yet there are no photos as I missed the team shirt wearing one as I was on school and nursery drop off but hopefully next week we will be able to put one in.

I had the pleasure of partnering Mitchell Noakes, Simon and Christine's son and we had a good game together. After an edgy start on the first I had a very easy round watching him take on the course. Playing off a 14 handicap he plotted his way round very nicely and between us we never dropped a shot and picked up 5 3 pointers. My favourite being on the only par 5 on the course where I was just off the green in two with a good chance of eagle, Mitchell had missed the green thirty yards right, short and had to very friendly with a few branches of the tree he was under play the shot. Not only did he manage to get it out, he got it on the green and stuck it to 6 feet, holed the putt before I tapped in for a birdie and got on the card for 3 points.

We played against Colin McDonald and our general manager Jonathan Dove, bizarrely the first time Jonathan and me have had chance to play together since he took on his role at the club. The game was nip and tuck but we managed to finely grind them down but we weren't good enough for the overall first place and the winner's ties. This went to Colin Morrant and Alf Magona who pipped us by a point with a score of 42.

As ever on this away day Simon put his own twist on the prize order with first, second, fifth and seventh collecting the winnings. I elected to take the master chef BBQ set while my partner went for the Asda gardening tools set. I've informed my accountant of my prize and he's contacting HMRC to work out where to declare it on my tax return. 

A big thank you to Simon Noakes for organising it and Nick Watts, David's son for his support as well as Paul Fieldhouse for stepping into the role of bookmaker.

Sarah Smith - Third One Day Series

On Tuesday this week I played my 3rd WPGA One Series event at Three Rivers Golf Club. After a stop start weather delay for the whole morning, we eventually ended up starting at 3:10pm after our initial tee time of 10:55am! It was a very hard and long round in the 40mph winds and rain, The green keepers had worked really hard throughout the morning getting the course set up to get us out there playing, I was very impressed with the greens!


The 21 women professionals who battled the tough weather and scoring proved to be very hard, my foursomes partner Katie Rule (Mullion Golf Club) won with 3 over and I wasn't too displeased with my 10 over finishing 8th place. I felt like I played well and hit the ball well but in the wind it's very difficult to judge distances and how far to aim left and right! I'm happy as I've kept in 3rd position for the Order Of Merit qualifying and now only .50 points behind 2nd place!

I now have a week and a half off any tournaments so I can practice for the next one, hopefully a little nicer day! My next WPGA One Day Series is Monday, 26 June at Kedelston Park, Derby.

Ladies British Open Qualifier

I have entered the Ladies British Open Qualifier for the 2nd year running, this year it is being played at Hankley Common, Surrey. I'd be very grateful for any support for this event for those of you who would like to come and watch some of the best women professional play golf! It's on Monday, 17 July.

Lombard Trophy Qualifier

Friday last week I played with Helen Porter in the Lombard Trophy Qualifier at Dunham Forest Golf Club (again!) Helen qualified to play with me as she had the best nett score for the ladies April Medal.

The Lombard is a great competition for both men and women to play in once a year, it's usually ran around April time where the nett winning score of the monthly medal plays a regional qualifier at an away course with Rob or myself, with the possibility of coming top 3 and qualifying to a final in Portugal!

The forecast for Manchester was very wrong yesterday as it was meant to stop raining at 11am, our tee time being midday we had heavy rain from the 2nd to the 18th, and most of the three & a half hour drive home! With a steady round and Helen blitzing 3 out of 4 par 3's with a par, we finished 1 over par, missing the cut by 3 shots! We came 8th altogether and made a good pairing as when one of us didn't have such a good hole the other person was there for back up.

Competition results 

Walden fight back against Newmarket

After losing 4 of their opening games in the CAGU Division 1 scratch league SWGC scratch team fought back with a 6-0 victory against Links Newmarket last Wednesday. In a season hit by unavailability Graham Goodman's troops came out fighting.

In a freshened up line up first out were Olly Tuck and Mark Reeve. They were 3 up through 4 holes and eventually won 2 up against Evans and Crisp. In the second pairing for Walden Ian Macdonald and Louis Martin won 3up against Hartley and Lee. Last out Richard Southall and Callum Brookes won 5up against Samson and Christian.

Table: 1st Gog Magog 20pts, 2nd St Neots 15pts, 3rd Ramsey 13pts, 4th Brampton Pk 13pts, 5th Saffron Walden 13pts, 6th Ely 9pts, 7th Links Newmarket 7pts.

Graham Goodman captain said "It was great to bounce back this week with a convincing victory after the disappointment of the early season. We have a big match v Brampton Pk coming up which we need to win convincingly to put our season back to where it should be."

A Big Smile for Blue Smile as SWGC Charity Day raises over £5000

The sun shone as golfers turned out in force to support Charity Day at Saffron Walden Golf Club. 25 home teams of 4 and 12 visiting teams took part, producing a gala day of golf, in which the clear winner was this year's Captains' charity, Blue Smile, which provides teams of therapists and mentors to work with troubled children. The over £5,000 raised will help them extend their outreach work in our area.

The first team to tee off had only entered the competition at the very last minute as diary commitments initially made participation unlikely. With 3 scores from the 4 players to count on each hole, Jim Ludden, Pravin Karan, Rob Duke and Andy Woosey were storming ahead with 73 points after the first 10 holes, including 10 points on the par 5 10th. However the next 8 holes were less productive, with the short par 4 14th only yielding 2 points. However their final 117 points set a very competitive total which proved too much for the chasing teams, and they carried off the Alan Southall Memorial Shield 9 points ahead of second placed Richard Southall, Peter Flowers, Ian Macdonald and Mike Nuttal (107 points), 1 point ahead of 3rd placed Stuart Hall, Jimmy Hall, Ryan Hunt and J. Benjamin.

The visiting team's 4BBB competition was won by the home team with 79 points, 2 ahead of John O'Gaunt with Ely City in 3rd place with 73 points.

The organiser, Andy Fisher, had a broad smile on his face as he spoke of the money raised, the generosity of the many local sponsors and the efforts of the many helpers.

Coaching news 

A Refreshers Guide To Golf

Do You Know Someone Who Wants To Try Golf? 

Saturday, 24 June 1:30-4:00pm

Great Chesterford Research Park Par 3 Course Or Saffron Walden Golf Club - Numbers Dependant…


During the afternoon you will learn basic techniques for getting you started in learning golf or practice with a coach for those starting out who want to improve their game. The afternoon covers long game, chipping & putting or short game, putting & on course experience. It’s a fun afternoon, meeting new people, discovering new skills and you will be refreshed on the skills of learning golf.

Only £22 for the afternoon (equipment & balls provided)

Book now to secure your place by clicking here, maximum of 10 in a group. 

Ladies Golf Tuition Holiday 

Hosted by two of the PGA's most qualified and highly ranked Lady Professionals. Sarah Smith (SWGC) & Katie Rule (Mullion Golf Club) 

Thursday, 11 January - Thursday, 18 January 2018 
7 Nights at El Rompido Golf Resort, Spain

Package Includes: 
- Our very own Solheim Cup style golf week 
- Daily expert tuition & group coaching 
- 5 rounds of golf on two highly ranked golf courses
 - Organised competitions & prizes for the week, to be presented at the end of week gala
- All the help & information you need to improve your game 
- Airport / hotel transfers - Full use of spa facilities 
- Sharing twin bedrooms between 2 people 
- A chance to mix with new lady golfers from Katie's & Sarah's home towns, Cambridge & Cornwall

Price £675pp (not including flights) 
Only 8 Spaces Available

Once all spaces are confirmed we can book the same flight together. The earlier we book, the cheaper it will be! (Looking around £96 including golf bags & cabin luggage at the moment)

If you are interested or have further questions, please contact Sarah Smith on 07766 727491 or email  

Closing Date: Monday, 31 July 2017

Demo day 

Yonex Demo Day

Don't forget we have an upcoming Yonex Demo Day on Friday, 16 June 9am-3pm. Get in contact with the pro shop or click here to secure your slot.

Shop news 

Limited Edition Titleist 69 Balls

It is always nice to have something a little different, so to celebrate 69 consecutive years as the #1 golf ball at the U.S Open Titleist have launched a limited edition golf ball with the number 69 for this years' U.S Open in June. 


Stock is limited so click here and hurry to avoid disappointment. 

ProQuip Summer Showers

Not looking great…

Let’s face it; the weather forecast is looking rather bleak over the coming days, but don’t let this stop you venturing down to the club for a game of golf. If you do find yourself getting drenched on the course, we have a range of Ryder Cup-inspired outerwear from ProQuip with your name on. Think of it as preparation for the winter.

Explore ProQuip's range

Club News
Lots of people have asked which swing model they are and how do they know which one will suit them. Here is a straight forward test to see which model will suit your overall flexibility, strength and physical condition.Read more...

Club News
Two common faults I often see with a driver set up when teaching are; weight too left sided , and open shoulder alignment. These are both caused by the alteration with the ball position for the driver. As it's moved left in the stance for a right handed player, the weight tends to go with it, and the shoulders open at the same time.Read more...

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I hope you have enjoyed this weeks update.
We hope to see you soon
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Rob McNicholas, Saffron Walden Golf Club, Windmill Hill, Saffron Walden, CB10 1BX

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