Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Revered Course Awaits Title Rivals

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Revered Course Awaits Title Rivals

Article excerpt


WHOEVER wins the Durham County Championship at Seaton Carew this weekend will be competing for star billing with the course, a permanent fixture in virtually every top 100 list ever drawn up.

Dr Alister MacKenzie, who created Augusta National, designed most of the current holes, and the county event comes at a time when National Club Golfer magazine has voted Seaton Carew No 12 in Britain's Top 100 courses for under PS50.

The website has rated the second oldest club in the North East No 70 in their World Top 100 courses.

A classic flat seaside links situated in the dunes just north of the mouth of the River Tees in Hartlepool, Seaton Carew was founded in 1874, five years later than the Foxton club at Alnmouth.

Seaton Carew was initially called the Durham and Yorkshire Golf Club, and committee chairman Jane Longhorn said: "We've been in other top 100s for as long as even our oldest members can remember."

For the second time Seaton Carew have been chosen to host next year's English Amateur Strokeplay Championship, the Brabazon Trophy, and the course has been used for Open Championship qualifying.

Longhorn, ten times ladies club champion, a county golfer and one of only a handful of women in the country to have captained a golf club - Seaton Carew in 2011 - is a business consultant and Coca Cola's former general manager in Ireland.

She added: "Nobody can remember us being out of the top 100 of any list.

"Therefore it is probably true to say that we have been in the Top 100 in the UK since the very first list was compiled."

The accompanying picture of The Gare, the tenth and the only hole which plays directly towards the sea, captures some of the flavour of the challenge.

One admirer of the course is Callum Tarren, who represented a Darlington club, Dinsdale Spa, when he won the county championship the last time it was played at Seaton Carew, in 2009.

He retained the title at the age of 19 in 2010 at another MacKenzie course, South Moor.

Now majoring in marketing at Radford University in Virginia - he graduates next year - the 22-year-old Tarren has to miss out on a much-valued trip to Seaton Carew. …

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