Barham’s King of the Castle
Ryder Cup returns to historic Leeds Castle course’s re-opening
Benn Barham (PGolfCoaching@Pedham) and his amateur partner Mr. A. Church shot a combined score of 30 to win the inaugural Leeds Castle Pro-Am supported by Arkas, a new event based on the nine hole layout to celebrate the re-opening of the course.
Barham headed off Ben Blackburn (King’s Hill), Paul Page (King’s Hill), David Green (Wildernesse) and James Jones (Tonbridge Golf Centre), all of whom carded team scores of 32, with the prize for the best individual performance going to Green for setting a new course record of 32.
Leeds Castle in Kent has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain, but its links to the Ryder Cup go back to the 1930s when both the 1933 and 1937 US Ryder Cup Team Professionals stayed at the Castle.To mark this distinction, Chief Executive of The PGA Sandy Jones was the guest of honour for the day, with the world famous Ryder Cup as the star of the show.
The par 33, 2,681 yard nine hole course was originally built on the 500 acre Leeds Castle Estate in 1931 by Sir Guy Campbell of West Sussex GC fame. It has re-opened following an extensive refurbishment under the direction of fellow PGA member Alan Walker, past Captain of The PGA and golf consultant, who commented, “Sir Guy Campbell did a terrific job originally, but like many courses, golf equipment and new technology have meant that it’s become necessary to look at how the course can be updated successfully, retaining all the best things about it while enhancing the challenge for the modern golfer. I think the new Pro-Am proved that we’re achieving all that and more.”
Steve Purves, Leeds Castle’s own PGA Professional and Golf Manager commented: “It’s an honour to have the Ryder Cup come to Leeds Castle for our first PGA Pro-Am, and the success of the event itself is helping raise the profile of the course amongst Kent’s golfing community.”
Shane Guy, Head of Tourism at Leeds Castle said, “Does golf get any better than this? Twenty of the regions Pros and twenty amateurs, a course in great condition and the backdrop of ‘the loveliest castle in the world’, all supported by the Professional Golfers Association and the Ryder Cup! The event was a great success and I’d like to thank Sandy Jones, Chief Executive of the PGA, for attending and making the dreams of many golfers come true. It’s the perfect way to showcase the big improvements we have made to our course.”