South West Round-up: Jordan Smith gains support

News & Tour

Sponsors for Jordan Smith, O'Neill heads Team Jersey, Walkers want Portishead access, Henstridge owners movie in

Newly-turned professional Jordan Smith is to be supported by one of the UK’s leading building services after securing a partnership deal with MB Partners and Gratte Brothers Group.

The 22-year-old from Calne, Wiltshire, turned professional last year after a highly-successful amateur career, during which he represented GB&I in the 2013 Walker Cup. 
‘It’s great to be starting my career with their support’ The announcement of Jordan’s commercial partnership with Gratte Brothers Group coincides with a successful second event of his professional career with a tied-9th finish in South Africa last week.

“It’s great to be starting my professional career with the support of Gratte Brothers Group and I aim to be a fitting ambassador for the company on the fairway and off it,” said Smith.

Despite having only picked up a golf club eight years ago, Smith was ranked 12th in the world amateur rankings in 2014. In 2014 he won the prestigious Hampshire Hog with rounds of 68 and 69 in his debut, joining the likes of Justin Rose and Sandy Lyle as past winners.

O’Neill to lead Jersey’s golfers at Home Games

The NatWest Island Games golf champion Gavin O’Neill will spearhead Jersey’s challenge at this summer’s showpiece.

Captain Robbie Messervy has confirmed his quartet for Jersey 2015, with Matthew Parkman, Sam Crenan and Jeremy Phillips also chosen.

Walkers want course access

Planning permission has been granted for a wholesale revamp of Portishead, with walkers hoping footpath across the course can be reinstated.

Walkers had been able to stroll across the course, until a gate giving access was locked last summer.

Keen walker Ann Townsend said: “There are a lot of people who have been around this area for a long time who have regularly walked across the golf course. A group of 30 residents got together last year and provided evidence to show the routes had been used for a long time in the hope one or two in the area could be made official footpaths.”

Despite the calls from walkers, the council has said it does not want the public crossing the golf course due to the danger posed by flying balls.

Proposals to develop the course include levelling out the fairways by bringing in 16,000 cubic metres of clay, sand and gravel from construction sites.

Henstridge owners move in

Having taken over the running of Henstridge last year, Rod Crocker and Sandy Pilbeam have thrown themselves head first into the running of the 9-hole Devon course.

Crocker said: “This is not a typical golf club. We pride ourselves on making golf affordable to all and we will continue to build on the facilities we have here to encompass something for everyone.”

Since taking over, the club has become affiliated with Dorset County Golf Union and England Golf.

“This gives us the prestige we desire to put the course on the map and compete against other local clubs,” said Crocker. “Our vision to provide facilities for all is steadily growing with plans in place to improve the services further this season. We are looking to creating a new 9-hole putting green, as well as a designated practice chipping area together with practice nets.”

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