A golfing paradise, the Golf Dome, Seaton Carew

After a year which included a soggy summer and a bitterly-cold, often snow covered winter help has come to the year-round golfer in the shape of the Golf Dome.

Setup by PGA professional Craig Donaldson, the Golf Dome boasts a Mediterranean climate, driving range, chipping green and GC2 simulators as well as a host of other golf activities and amenities.

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Donaldson, a teaching professional with 20 years experience – having coached in Italy, Spain, London and across the North East – told North East Golf:

“The first comment we get is WOW!”

“Everyone loves it in here because it’s warm. It’s a friendly environment and everyone is praising our customer service. We are getting golfers of all ages and abilities in and they’re all feeling very comfortable and relaxed here.

“I feel like it’s working well so far.”

The Golf Dome will be hosting a Masters Tournament event starting Thursday, April 10.

For an accomplished golfer the Golf Dome offers the chance to focus on the short game, “What I am trying to emphasise to everyone is, if they work more on their short game and less on their long game they will improve their scores significantly,” Donaldson explained.

The highlight of the short game facilities is the 45-yard driving range and its centrepiece 185 m2 green complex. “Everyone is really positive about the green they can’t believe the way the ball reacts on it, it’s very realistic. We have eight bays on the driving range and the back wall is netted so you can hit driver if you want to.

“We also have a chipping and putting green. This gives golfers the opportunity to practice on a green that’s rolling at about 89 on the stimp meter.

“The green’s fast, very true and has some nice contours on it,” Donaldson explained.

The Golf Dome also boasts four simulator bays, complete with GC2 Simulators. The bays are available for hire and offer a range of 780 courses from around the World. They can also be used for practice, club fitting and teaching.

The Golf Dome also has a retail outlet, with equipment from Mizuno, Callaway and TaylorMade as well as many other leading brands.

Three professionals are on hand; Donaldson, James Harper and Julie Welch to offer advice, coaching and equipment guidance.

The dome boasts Sky Sports television, a licensed bar/cafe and a welcoming, family atmosphere.

Asked to sum up the Golf Dome, Donaldson added: “Inside the dome there’s a constant climate, at the minute it’s 17.5 degrees, it’s comfortable. You couldn’t do it outside, you couldn’t get together and practice but you can in here.”

As you can see in our gallery, the Golf Dome is part of the Sports Domes complex at Seaton Carew, Hartlepool. The complex offers football, a fully-equipped gym, a series of treatment rooms as well as bar, restaurant and conference facilities. For more information visit: www.thesportsdomes.co.uk & follow @TheSportsDomes on Twitter.

As always keep up to date with all the latest golf news from the North East here at North East Golf and follow us on Twitter @northeastgolf

The Maters Tournament event at The Golf Dome

Each night of the Masters tournament, from the start of coverage (7pm) to the close of play the Golf Dome are hosting a ticket-only event. There’s a limited availability of 40 places per night and tickets are £40.

A ticket includes unlimited use of the Golf Dome’s facilities, as well as a hot buffet. The Masters will be projected onto the dome live, throughout the night.

For more information contact The Sports Domes, Golf on: 01429 800 581.


Captain’s Drive In – Backworth Golf Club 2013

Backworth Golf Club’s new captain, Jack Raey, driving into office on Sunday, February 24.

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Chris Paisley misses cut by one in Abu Dhabi

Chris Paisley missed the cut in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship earlier today, finishing three-over par after rounds of 71 and 76.

Follow Paisley on Twitter: @ChrisPaisley86

Follow Paisley on Twitter: @ChrisPaisley86

The 26-year-old attached professional at Close House Hotel and Golf Club, missed out by one shot at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Reflecting on his performance, Paisley said: “I played well in parts, well enough to compete. I just need some more rounds under my belt to reduce the amount of poor shots.”

Paisley, who made the step up to the European Tour this season after finishing 12th in the Challenge Tour rankings in 2011/12, added: “The courses are tougher. The standard’s a little higher and the fields are much deeper.

“It’s a little strange playing against people I’ve been watching on TV for so long. It takes a little adjustment but I feel like I can compete once I am fully comfortable.”

Playing in his third event as a member of the European Tour, Paisley carded a one under-par first round 71 which included birdies at the 1st, 10th and 12th.

chris paisleyIn the second round Paisley struggled to a four over-par 76, bogeying the 4th, 9th and 10th before double-bogeying the 14th. He did birdie the demanding 475 yard par four 16th but fell agonisingly short of making the cut, which fell at +2.

Following Friday’s round, Paisley said: “I just didn’t drive it as well today. The fairways are really tight and the rough is so severe you need to drive it well.”

Paisley will be looking for an improved performance at next week’s Commercial Bank Qatar Masters before heading to Dubai for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.

Sunderland University’s game cancelled as snow covers Wearside Golf Club

Sunderland 1sts set off for their last game before the Christmas break earlier today against Newcastle 2nds at home.

However, for a third consecutive week their game was cancelled, after heavy snow descended on Wearside Golf Club.

Since their win against Newcastle 3rds on November 7,  Sunderland’s games have been called-off by: the opposing team, prolonged heavy rain and snow.

Andrew MacDonald, Golf President, said: “Today was very frustrating. We set off for Wearside expecting to get a game, but the snow managed to beat us there.

“We’re looking forward to picking up where we left off after the Christmas break and getting a few more wins under our belt.”

This bought of snow follows a spell of heavy rain across the North East .

The 1sts next game is away to Durham on Wednesday,  January 23 at Brancepath Golf Club.

Hexham Golf Club’s junior team claim National title

Hexham Golf Club’s junior team have rounded off their incredible season by winning the final of the England Junior Team Championship.

The championship, held at the Five Lakes Resort in Colchester, saw 12 regional winners compete for a place in the Home Nations Cup, which will be held in Antequera on the Costa del Sol in March.

John Storey, Hexham’s Junior Organiser, said: “I’m over the moon with the lads’ performance this year. I am immensely proud of their commitment.

“They’re all dedicated to their practice and work tremendously hard – to see all their hard work pay off is fantastic.”

Hexham have had an incredibly successful season. They claimed the Northumbria Junior Golf league title with a season average of 9.8 points from a possible 12 per game. They went on to win the league playoffs – which gave them a place in the North of England Championships – which they won in August.

Next came the National final, where six players took part. Hexham’s total of 372 (combining the best gross score and best four nett scores) left them tied with Beedle Lake of Leicestershire. The tie was settled with the fifth nett score – Duncan Storey’s 89 for an 81 good enough to beat Beedle’s Ryan Soutin, who could only manage a 91 for 83 nett.

Marcus Chisholm, Chairman of the Northumbria Junior Golf League, said: “Our congratulations go to the junior team in this great achievement. Our thanks go to the support from Hexham Golf Club, particularly, John Storey and Darren Lamb  (Assistant Junior Representative) for their hard work and commitment in their support of their team.

“This is great day for both Hexham and for Northumberia Junior Golf League.”

Dawn Wylie, Secretary of Hexham Golf Club, was also keen to congratulate the juniors. She said: “It’s a tremendous achievement for the junior team, they’ve been great ambassadors for the golf club throughout the season.”

The team’s next hurdle will be raising the funds for their trip to Spain. Their accommodation and food is paid for while they compete however, they must raise their own funds for flights.

Storey said: “The win has put Hexham on the map nationally. There’s also a lot of people talking about it around the county scene and wanting to get involved as we try to fund the trip to Spain next year. We will be doing all we can to make sure the boys get the chance to play in Spain.”

The club will be raising these funds over the coming months – before the boys fly out in March to compete in the Home Nations Cup.

Sunderland University golf programme announces links with Sunderland Driving Range and Wearside Golf Club

Sunderland University’s golf programme has secured links with two local facilities with the help of the Durham County Golf Partnership.

Through the work of Golf President, Andrew MacDonald and Sam Edwards along with County Development Officer Jonathon Ward, the programme has secured links with Sunderland Driving Range and Wearside Golf Club.

The link with Wearside includes a number of offers for students – from academy memberships which allow them to use the practice facilities to discounted membership deals. Andrew said: “Wearside have been superb in setting things up and I’m really excited about playing there regularly.”

As part of the link with Sunderland Driving Range, all society members and team players have access to coaching and buy one get one free on range balls. Andrew, a member of the England Golf National Youth Panel, said: “This link has real benefits for the golf programme as every level of golfer can get involved.”

Also on offer at the driving range are two beginner sessions – being run being PGA professional Stephen McNally. These session start on Monday, October 29 from 6-7pm and Wednesday, October 31 from 3-4pm. They run for six consecutive weeks.

Stephen said: “Sunderland Driving Range will be working closely with students in a number of ways. Firstly, all players will have access to the range at a reduced cost. We’ll also be running team coaching session for the BUCS league players. Finally, our beginner sessions will cover the fundamentals and will include work on the short game.

“For people wanting to get involved, it gives them: exercise, a skill and the chance to socialise and travel. It’s important to have those things in your life and golf gives you all of those opportunities.”

“For students who already play, it’s an opportunity to continue their golf development, having; the opportunity to practice, access tuition and play at Wearside is fantastic for any current or potential Sunderland Student.”

Get into golf – the Durham County Golf Partnership stand at Golf North 2012

Durham County Golf Partnership

These links have been facilitated by the Durham County Golf Partnership which is supported by England Golf. County Development Officer, Jonathon Ward said: “These links will benefits both students and the facilities and I look forward to seeing them grow over the coming months.

“The offers we’ve been able to set up not only help students but attract golfers to these facilities who may not have known the area and wanted a place to practice and/or play.

“Currently the university students’ age range is really under represented. We’re doing very well at grass roots level but we tend to lose a lot of people, for different reasons, as they reach their teens and early twenties. We’re currently trying to encourage people of this age to get involved or continue playing as they get older.”

“I think this programme is a great selling point for Sunderland University. Now you don’t have to travel to Birmingham or St Andrews to play university golf.

“For me the BUCS team is a great progression opportunity for elite players. On my side, I will be able to promote Sunderland University to elite players who are looking to go to university locally. It really works well for both sides.”

Anyone interested in the golf programme should contact Andrew MacDonald – macas2008@hotmail.co.uk

The best of Kevin Carpenter’s trick shot show at Golf North 2012

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Kevin Carpenter thrills visitors to Golf North Show

Kevin Carpenter – who managed to hit a 30% distance golf ball out of the Riverside Stadium

The first golf exhibition in the North of England got off to a fantastic start as golfers of all ages were left in awe after Kevin Carpenter’s trick shot show.

Visitors saw Kevin hitting shots from a Swiss ball and a unicycle as part of his 20 minute show. Kevin will be performing his show throughout Saturday’s exhibition.

Andrew Hill, a director of DoGolf Ltd. – the company running the event, said: ” It’s the first time I’ve seen Kevin in person but I’ve seen his videos online I thought I’d seen everything he had to offer. As it turns out I was really impressed with Kevin today, without as shadow of a doubt.

“People could visit the exhibition this weekend just to see Kevin. His show alone is well worth a trip.”

Tim Taylor, who is working with DoGolf promoting the show, said: “The first thing that I saw this morning was the trick shot show and I thought Kevin was absolutely fantastic. I thought that was worth the admission price alone. I’d be happy to pay £12 just to watch that.”

Kevin hits an array of shots – from a full swing with a putter to a baseball swing with a driver

Les Dixon, also a director at DoGolf, agreed: “Kevin was very impressive.

“He managed to put a 30% distance golf ball out of the ground, that was awesome to see.”

Visitors have also got a range of opportunities to get involved at Golf North: from free coaching to the nearest the pin challenge and the chance to win fantastic prizes. Jamie Douglas, Golf Sales Executive at Rockliffe Hall, said: “We are giving people the chance to win a fourball at Rockliffe Hall each day over the three day exhibition – which includes breakfast and lunch.

“Talking to people today, who know about Rockliffe Hall, you just don’t hear anything negative, the feedback we get is that Rockliffe is a quality, quality product.”

There’s also the chance to win a free round of golf at Matfen Hall – by holing three consecutive putts.

It’s not just Kevin’s show which will keep visitors entertained. David Ord, PGA Professional at Ingleby Barwick, will be delivering free coaching to visitors over the next two days.

David Ord, PGA Professional at Ingleby Barwick, giving a free lesson at the Golf North Show

David said: “We’re here to promote Ingleby Barwick’s academy, through providing free coaching to hopefully encourage people to come and use the range, come for some lessons, just really demonstrate what we can offer to the general public.”

Chris Morgan, the owner of Ingleby Barwick, added: “We’re here trying to make people aware of our setup. We’ve got first class facilities at Ingleby. We’ve got the teaching academy, a two-tier driving range – the only one in the North. We’ve also got three professionals and a bistro restaurant. Hopefully we can generate some awareness of Ingleby Barwick and attract some visitors here to pay us a visit.”

Golf North has so much to offer visitors. Tim continued: “Middlesbrough have been good enough to open up the ground to us. As you go around the different areas, more layers unfold.

“All the various golf companies, you can hit some balls, everybody can get free coaching whether they’ve played golf before or not. So I’d say it’s tremendous value for money and a great day out.”

Tickets can be purchased on the day from the East Stand ticket office. The show is open: Saturday 10am – 5.30pm and  Sunday 10am-4pm.

Golf North Show Preview

Golfers from Berwick to Hull are set to be thrilled at the inaugural Golf North Show at Middlesborough FC’s Riverside Stadium from October 19 – 21 (Fri-Sun).

The first event of its kind to be held in the North is headlined, this year, by trick shot specialist Kevin Carpenter. Take a look at Kevin’s skills HERE.

Les Dixon, a director of Durham based Dogolf Limited – the company behind the three-day show said: “There is a huge demand for this among golfers in the region.

“The North East has never had a golf show. In the past you would have to travel to Birmingham or London, but we’re bringing the exhibition to golfers in the North East.”

Golf North offers a variety of  ways to get involved as part of the interactive zone. There’s free PGA coaching throughout the day including a coaching clinic from European Seniors Tour player and Matfen Hall professional, John Harrison.

This year’s event has four ambassadors: Craig Hignett,  John Harrison, Ladies European Tour professional Kimberley Crooks and Darren Grey, the Darlington based former World one-armed golf champion.

Les continued: “In choosing ambassadors we wanted a mixture of talent and expertise.

“Craig is well known on Teesside and highly respected across the region. John is one of the best coaches in the North East. He’s also a huge Middlesborough fan and wanted be involved from the outset.

“There’ll be the chance to get a lesson from a one-armed golfer or to just watch Darren hit some shots, which is a fantastic opportunity.”

The event includes exhibitions from a number of the region’s top courses, including: Ramside Hall, De Vere Group, Matfen Hall  and Ryton Golf Club.

Major brands: Mizuno, Callaway, Yonex and IJP Design will also be part of the three-day golf show. Visitors can look forward to a range of Golf North Show deals from the exhibitors.

Retailer American Golf will also be at the Riverside.

You can pre-book tickets online at http://www.golf-north.co.uk. Or by calling 0333 240 5790. 

Tickets are also on sale at American Golf Stores in: York, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sunderland.

Alternatively, tickets are available on the day from the East Stand ticket office.

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