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European Tour

The NCG Podcast: How Close House will host a very different British Masters this time around

Club managing director Jonathan Lupton reveals what's in store for TV viewers
 

It’s been a long wait, hasn’t it? But professional golf at the highest level is finally about to really kick start in Europe and it’s a course in the North East of England that will be the star.

The Betfred British Masters will beam out across the continent, showcasing the charms of Close House in a tournament hosted by the club’s attached tour professional Lee Westwood.

It was last here in 2017, when Rory McIlroy lit up the weekend but Paul Dunne’s fabulous closing 61 gave him the trophy.

A lot has happened since then and it’s a very different world that will welcome the Tour’s finest this month.

Close House

But while Close House, and the Colt course, will shine in the global spotlight – this is also a golf club, one that’s had to suffer the trials of coronavirus and lockdown like any other.

So as the Newcastle venue gets ready to take centre stage, we talked to managing director Jonathan Lupton about the difficulties of the last few months, the excitement about kicking off a disrupted season, and the joys of having a tour legend as part of the furniture…

Listen to the NCG podcast with Close House managing director Jonathan Lupton here…

Want more? Head to our podcast homepage.

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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