BOLTON Old Links will host the PGA North Region Championship inaugurated nearly 100 years ago in an era when it was one of only eight events on the professional calendar.
It’s the first time the course will feature the flagship tournament won by an impressive list of celebrated players including the legendary George Gadd, who prevailed in 1924 at Wilmslow then at Formby in 1926, then competed in the first “unofficial” Ryder Cup match at Wentworth.
Six of his brothers joined the professional ranks and the eldest, Charles, claimed the title at his home club Brancepeth Castle in 1930. That was hailed as the most courageous achievement in the history of the competition because he was hampered by a severe leg wound received in the Great War.
PGA North secretary Jonathan Paine said: “Bolton Old Links is a great venue and one of the best in the area which has catered for many prestigious events over the years.
“We are actively seeking sponsorship which we hope will appeal to companies or individuals who are interested in becoming involved in one of the most iconic championships in the north.
“It’s also a great way to promote business in the region and being attached to the PGA, the oldest golf association in the world, should be beneficial to all concerned.”
“The tournament on July 26-27 will be preceded by a pro-am on July 24 which is expected to attract a healthy number of teams.”
The event originally went under the banner Northern Professional Championship but was renamed in 1946 after the cessation of the Second World War.
Scotland’s Johnnie Fallon won the title three times in six years from 1950 and a young Andrew Chandler had his name engraved on the trophy in 1984, followed a year later by fellow European Tour player Andrew Murray.
Peter Cowen, one of the world’s top coaches, won in 1992 in the decade Pleasington’s Ged Furey twice took the honours.
Lancastrians Phil Archer and Paul Eales, who both graduated to the upper echelons of the tour, won in the early part of 2000.
Crosland Heath’s Robert Booth is expected to defend the title he lifted last year when the championship was held at Cumbria club Carus Green.
The PGA in England & Wales (North), No 2 Cottage, Bolton Golf Club, Lostock Park, Chorley New Road, Bolton, Lancashire, BL6 4AJ. Tel: 01204 496137 Fax: 01204 847959