21 May 18
Royal Blackheath Golf Club will be staging a first in its 400 year history when it hosts the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship South B qualifying event.
Some of the best professional players in the south of England will head to the south east London venue on May 24.
And they will be aiming to qualify for the £78,000 grand final which takes place on July 24-27 at Little Aston Golf Club near Birmingham.
Royal Blackheath head professional Matt Johns says it will be a proud day in its long history
“It’s a first as far as I’m concerned, certainly in the 15 years that I’ve been here,” said Johns.
“The club’s got a lot of history attached to it. But at one of our events last year we were talking to someone from the PGA and they said they were looking for a venue for the South qualifying event.
“I ran that by the club and we thought it would be a prestigious thing to have here. That’s how it came about, it wasn’t a chance conversation but someone asked the question and we thought it would be great.”
Royal Blackheath is close to the City of London and attracts a number of members who work there,
“We’re 20 minutes traffic-wise, on a good day, from Canary Wharf and 20 minutes by train from London Bridge, so it’s very close to the City, we benefit from that,” added Johns.
And he says the venue will prove to be a testing one for anybody who has not played there before.
“It’s a real traditional members parkland, it’s not the longest - 6,300 yards - but we are 80 per cent of the way through some course renovation work at the moment, we’re having a re-bunkering programme, some new greens built and tees put in.
“We’re trying to modernise the course but also take it back ti what it used to be like - if that’s not a contradiction in terms. It’ll be a good test of golf, we had our Pro-Am recently and the winning score was only one under par.
“The course is playing nicely at the moment.
“As for myself, I’ve always wanted to make it though to the final of the PGA Championship, so it’s nice to have it on my doorstep this time.”
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