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England and Wales (North) Region

PGA North reflects on times gone by

29 Mar 18

PGA North’s recent move to Pleasington has evoked memories stretching back 33 years, writes David Birtill.

The region was instigated in 1985 and originally based at the Chorley home of its secretary, Norman Fletcher, prior to settling at Mere for a short duration before its long-term tenancy in a cottage at Bolton Golf Club.

Among the staff were administrative secretary Ann Jones and tournament controller Les Massey who both sadly died recently within a few days of each other. They had worked for the region for 19 years until retirement.

PGA North’s history is well documented. In its inaugural year it produced the first official Tournament Guide and Yearbook which appeared in a glossy format until 1999.

Since then the region has provided an annual review forwarded to a variety of contacts and websites. All the original copies remain on file.

In the early days events were run virtually single-handedly by Fletcher, who recently retired from the PGA. He travelled up and down the region in a car which housed a scoreboard and the rest of the paraphernalia required for competitions.

There were some big names battling for honours in those days including Andrew Chandler, the North Region champion in 1985; Denis Durnian (ironically now a handicap player at Fletcher’s home club Chorley) won the Wilson Club Pro Championship at Bolton Old Links but lost the Donald Stirling in the Leeds Cup.

Mike Ingham was a regular winner at regional level and other successful players at the same time were Mark Roe, Phil Harrison and Stuart Smith.

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