PGA North Captain looking to move the region forward

PGA North Captain looking to move the region forward


Seaton Carew’s Martyn Stubbings had never sat on a committee before other than at the golf clubs where he had worked. Then he decided that he wanted to give something back to the North East/North West PGA where he became the vice-captain in 2021. The captaincy then followed last year and in March he became the new PGA North Captain.

The region is a vast one and his plan, for the forthcoming 12 months and beyond, is to make the North more inclusive.

“At 40 years old I was one of the veterans and everyone older had done it already and it was my turn. In the NE/NW we’ve always done our own thing to a point and it’s been very successful. The last two secretaries have been brilliant and they’ve worked really hard and increased our tournaments and the participation and prize funds quite substantially, to the point where, because it’s quite a local area even though it’s a big area, the furthest we’d drive is around 90 minutes,” Stubbings explains.

“Any further than that and you get involved in hotel stays and more driving so our region is based very much around Newcastle with me being the most southern-based professional at Seaton Carew. There is almost a split in the region by the A66, with our county and those in the south of the North, and I would sit on the committee and in quite a few meetings and it was clear that we had to make some changes.”

Stubbings began his career as an assistant at Dinsdale GC where he would become the head Professional for nine years before eight years at Rockliffe Hall. He would then move to Barnard Castle before taking up his position at Seaton Carew, one of the very best links courses in the UK.

This week will see a North Order of Merit event take place at Stubbings’ home club. The hope was that more Professionals will be attracted from the south of the region and there will be over 70 in the field for the two-day event.

“This is a new thing for this part of the region and we’re hoping to get the NE/NW guys to play more. The course will hopefully attract players from Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire and a lot of the Pros won’t even know who I am or where Seaton Carew is but someone has to give this a go and bring the counties and North region together.

“It won’t be an overnight thing but I’d like to like to class most of the local guys as friends and if they can just play in one additional event that would help me out. The balance used to be there but it hasn’t for a while.”

Needless to say there is another balance of making a living and making some money through your playing skills but, Stubbings adds, there is a bigger picture to be seen here.

“A lot of the guys feel that if they can travel half an hour and play in a pro-am in the morning and be home to pick up the kids or do some more lessons then that makes it more worthwhile. But one thing that the meetings have taught me is that we have a responsibility as PGA Members, we pay every year and sign up to the constitution and I definitely feel that I couldn’t have done my job without being a Member. So I feel as though there’s more of a responsibility for us to look at the bigger picture and to look at why the North region could improve.

“We all have different ideas of value. A lot of the guys might not look at playing as an investment but it is supporting something as professional golfers and there is a big picture here and the plan is to now bring the NE/NW closer with the North region.”

“It’s good to meet different people. We all spend a lot of time with people in our own area and we do the same stuff every year. From a networking side it really doesn’t do any harm to play with different Pros. I’m not trying to take them out of their local tournaments but if every one of my friends played in one event in the North region it would substantially boost participation.”


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