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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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Competition news 

Josh Izod steals the show at Captains' Day

The traditional Captains week at Saffron Walden Golf Club saw over 200 members joining their captains to celebrate the game, the club and the captaincy. While members enjoyed the halfway house hospitality offered by Captains Gary Bonner and Melissa Jones, the competitions also produced some very competitive golf.

Junior Captain Jacob Gamble opened the weekend on Friday, when Jack Sparrow won the 9 hole competition. Ben Nice carried off first price in the 18 hole stableford, with Josh Izod in second place.

Sunday saw a very competitive mixed greensomes. The Pimms at the half way house benefited some more than others, but the final result was extremely tight, with 3 pairs finishing on 41 points. Playing together, Gavin Greenaway and Jackie Smith were narrowly ahead of Carol Jones and Jeremy White on the 18th tee, but a monster 35 foot putt by Carol on the green allowed her and Jeremy to snatch victory on countback. In third place were Bill and Olivia Hall.

With over 130 entries, the winners in Gary Bonner's men's 4BBB competition needed to produce exceptional golf . Second and third places were decided on countback, with Ian Cambridge and Scott Parnell (43 points) losing out to Hugh Jenkins and David Lambert

But the undoubted star of the day was 11 year old Josh Izod, who recently became the national under 12 champion for the IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools), Playing with his father John, Josh played well under his handicap, stringing together pars to bring in the points on 12 of the 18 holes. Their 47 points left them well clear of the field. Josh's acceptance speech, delivered with aplomb, was greeted with warm applause.

Seniors section 

Notice to All Seniors 

The 2nd round of the knock out and the 1st round of the plate must be played by Friday, 7 July.

Away at Bishop Stortford

Peter Still Captained our Seniors Team on a beautiful sunny Wednesday this week away at Bishop Stortford.. As a measure of the temperature it was agreed before the match lunch would be taken without jacket and tie (much applause). Bryan Lewis and Ian Hassel were our standout pair winning 3 and 2. Whilst for Roger Cowan it was his best round ever at 7 below his handicap making frequent one putts as he and John Crawley won 2 and 1. 

But despite our best efforts we went down 4 and a half to 3 and a half, although that shows we have a very good chance to turn the tables in the return set for August.

Guest Day

The Seniors annual Guest Day took place on Thursday. The weather had been in the 30s on many days and we were in the week of Midsummer Day and the Summer Solstice But golfers had reported rain on their way in.

Somehow we had a dry round and temperatures in the low 20s were much more conducive to good golf. And that's how it turned out. Brandon Chapman with his guest Jed Isbel came in with 40 points and one point better was Andy Fisher with Tony Johnson. But by a clear margin and 44 points was Bryan Lewis and Bev Taylor. Bryan is just so steady and yet another win shows keeping on the fairways can bring home the bacon! Guest Paul Brown was nearest the pin on the 18th which rounded up a very successful day

CAGU Seniors Championships

At the recent CAGU Seniors Championships held at Gog Magog we had a triple success in the age groups.

The overall winner of the Championship was Jeremy Baldwin from Nene Pk with 71 gross. For Saffron Walden Graham Goodman finished 4th with a 74. He went out in 42 but came back in a 3 under par 32 shots. He won the 55-59 age group. Steve Pumb won the 60-64 age group with a gross 77 and David Burt won the 65-69 age group with a 77 as well.

Away at East Herts

The Seniors Team arrived at East Herts Golf Club on Monday lead by match Captain Tony Clarke. We always receive a warm welcome here and this was no exception. The course was in excellent condition and again the weather was kind to us. The first three matches were drawn. 

The "win of the day" went to our Seniors Captain Peter Still and his partner Tony Collett who won 2 up. But we sustained four heavy losses from players who were in the Team as Bankers. Our hosts looked after us very well with an enjoyable lunch. We will have to improve in August after losing 5 and a half to 2 and a half.

Pros news 

Sarah Smith - LETAS Qualifying

On Monday this week I was back to tournament golf after a 2 week break! I travelled up to Kedleston Park Golf Club, Derby, Sunday evening after a busy Captains Weekend at the Golf Club. 

Although the time off golf was spent back at work and enjoying 9 or 18 holes with The Slade Members, a couple of playing lessons and a few range sessions during the 2 weeks, I've been looking forward to playing this particular one day series as I really like the course. 

Having an 8:10am tee off on the Monday was always going to be an early start. A good warm up on the range, stretches, alongside a few chips and putts is key to feeling positive and trusting your golf swing. I played some of what felt like my best golf on Monday, I definitely think the swing check with Rob helped over the weekend too!

I had a steady round, scoring 5 birdies and 4 bogeys - including a lost ball on a par 3 - doh! With my finishing score of one under par I'm very happy. I came T3 overall with second place being a US Open winner and ex Solheim Cup captain Alison Nicholas and 1st place a full time European Tour player! The even better news for me is finishing T3 put me up to 2nd place on the LETAS qualifying order of merit board, only a few points behind 1st!

My next round is this Monday back at another one of my favourite courses, The Berkshire. The FootJoy & Titleist championship is a ladies event over 36 holes but not part of the 7 one day series. 

After this I have entered for a place at the Ladies British Open Qualifier on Monday, 17 July - this is played at Hankley Common Golf Club. I'd love any support for this if anyone would like to come and watch!

Strike It Right

My second article from the Women & Golf magazine has been released this month… 'Strike It Right' can be found in the magazine which is sold in all major WHSmith newsagents or for just £17, subscribe online & have your copy delivered to you every 2 months! 

All the articles were great to write and it's always been on the tick list to do something like this for a women's golf magazine. I was very lucky to have the Summer outfit sponsored by Rohnisch Clothing too! Enjoy reading & improve your strike...

My next swing tip video on pitching is ready for you to watch by clicking here!

Coaching news 

A Refreshers Guide To Golf 4 Week Programme

Tuesdays, 7:00-8:00pm 

18th July – Range, Irons 
25th July – Range, Woods & Driver 
1st August – Short Game & Putting 
8th August – Onto The Par 3 Course!

SWGC & Great Chesterford Research Park Par 3 Course


During the 4 week programme you will make improvements to your golf swing to get you out onto the course! This programme covers long & mid game, chipping & putting PLUS on course experience. It’s a fun programme, meeting new people, discovering new skills and you will be refreshed on the skills of learning golf alongside a PGA Professional.

Only £40 for the programme (equipment & balls provided)

Book now to secure your place by clicking here, maximum of 8 in a group. 

Shop news 

New Bushnell Range 

We now have a new Bushnell Range in-store, the latest 2017 models have been released and there have been some great reviews on them!

Why should you use a range finder? 
- Knowing the exact distance you are from the target, will help you learn more about how far you really hit it, which will definitely help you choose the right club
- To see how far you have to fly to carry a hazard or even a green side bunker
- Bushnell range finders have a pin seeking mode, so you won't work a bad yardage out!

Here's a little bit about them:

Excel Watch
- Wireless course updates
- 35,000 preloaded courses on the watch, this makes it quick and simple when arriving at a course
- Long battery life, play 3 rounds before it needs charging! 
- Distances to hazards, make sure you lay up to the bunker
- Shot distances calculator
- Fitness step calculator

Tour V4
- The only difference between the V4 and V4 Shift is the V4 Shift has the optional slope technology
- this can be turned off during tournament rounds if needed! 

Tour V4 Shift
- Slope-Switch Technology, this allows you an even more accurate read on a slopey course
- Pin Seeker JOLT Technology, the Bushnell will vibrate when you have got the exact yardage of the pin
- Accurate to 1 yard
- 5 x magnification
- Fast focus system, only 1 button away from your distance

Pro X2
- Fully waterproof
-JOLT Technology
- Slope-Switch Technology
- Accurate to 1/2 a yard
- 6 x magnification
- Dual Display Technology, this allows you to change the background colour to suit your eye

The Bushnell prices start from £199.99, if you would like to test one to for a round, please talk to the Pro Shop Team!

Ladies Specialist Wedges

Wedges are designed for more control around the greens, whilst a lot of research has gone into how we can get the most from our short game - a woman using a men's wedge may not be gaining the most benefits from her short game. 

We are now stocking ladies specialist wedges! 

These are specifically designed for female golfers as they have shorter shafts and lighter flex's to really feel the most benefits from the wedge.

Yonex WS2 Wedge
This comes in a 52', 56', 60'. The WS2 wedge has been manufactured to produce all great characteristics around the green. The Yonex graphite wedge shaft is a shaft made especially for women to keep the 'easy feeling' when chipping & pitching. 

Titleist Vokey SM6 Wedge
This comes in a 50', 52', 54', 56', 60' and the choice of three different finishes- Chrome, Jet Black, Slate Grey. The SM6 wedge is designed for great distance & trajectory control and delivers maximum spin! 

Book a wedge fitting now with any of our Pro Shop team FOC by clicking here! Try the wedges against your own and find out what a difference a ladies specialist wedge can make to you short game.

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...

The right shoe can make all the difference
ECCO Shoe Article
Visit us
Mizuno Complete Equipment Solution 2017
Fore right!
Travel Alternative Article
Request a Lesson
FootJoy Spring Summer Apparel 2017
Video of the week

Three players. Three challenges. One beach resort. Would you fancy your chances?

Beach Challenges






I hope you have enjoyed this weeks update.
We hope to see you soon
Garmin Approach X40



Rob McNicholas, Saffron Walden Golf Club, Windmill Hill, Saffron Walden, CB10 1BX

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