PGA News

PGA in top gear with Pink Vehicle Leasing

Pink Vehicle Leasing, the car and van leasing specialists, has strengthened its reputation in golf by becoming a PGA Partner.

The Leicester-based company offers a broad range of car and van lease deals to cater for all budgets plus a choice of makes and models to suit personal and business needs.

The three-year agreement will entitle PGA Members to benefit from exclusive car lease rates and a reward scheme has been set up for them to earn additional revenue through referring their clients and club members.

In addition, Pink Vehicle Leasing will be offering incentives such as tickets for top level cricket, football and rugby matches and competitions to play in pro-ams.

Simon Hill of Pink Vehicle Leasing commented: “Our relationship with golf goes back over 15 years through being a partner at the British Par 3 and two Senior Tour events to being a sponsor at our local club, The Leicestershire Golf Club.

“We see golf as a way to expand our customer base while supporting PGA Professionals and The PGA in an environment where we are passionate.

“Pink will not only be supplying great lease rates but also offering market updates and useful tips around owning and leasing a car. There will also be preferential rates available with the likes of The AA, ATS and Kwikfit.”

Pink Vehicle Leasing brand ambassador, PGA Professional and Ryder Cup player, Peter Baker, added: “The great thing for PGA Members is that the vehicle order process is so simple, customer service is excellent, and it’s fantastic they can refer their clients and club members.”

Liam Greasley, PGA‘s executive director – commercial, commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Pink Vehicle Leasing as a PGA Partner. This is a fantastic addition to the existing vehicle offers available to PGA Members and we are looking forward to working with Simon and the team long into the future.”

Worcestershire force

Worcestershire, in the persona of Simon Gabbitas and Ian Martin, were crowned PGA England and Wales Inter-County Champions at Sutton Coldfield Golf Club, appropriately a venue with royal connections.

King Henry VIII used to hunt in the park where the club’s course is located, hence the town’s ‘Royal’ affix.

Gabbitas and Martin, however, were more hunted than hunters in the chase for the £4,000 first prize and quest to have their county’s name engraved on the trophy for the first time.

They had begun the second round a shot clear of the 27-strong field and that proved to be the margin of victory as the pair held their collective nerve to repel challenges from some of The PGA’s most accomplished golfers.

Not least at the final hole when, with defending champions Essex in the clubhouse on 10-under-par after completing the tournament’s foursomes leg in three-under, a score matched by Warwickshire but bettered by Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire’s four-under.

Worcestershire were 11-under when Martin teed off at the par-four 18th but a play-off against Essex duo Jason Levermore and Lloyd Kennedy loomed large when Hagley Golf Club’s Gabbitas deposited his approach into a greenside bunker. Martin was equal to the challenge, however.
“I do like bunker shots and I was quietly confident on that one,” said Martin, who is attached to Kings Norton Golf Club.
His confidence resulted in the ball landing close to the hole although, despite the harmony and camaraderie exhibited by the pair over the two rounds, there was a debate as to how far away it was.
Martin estimated a foot-and-a-half. Given the foursomes format which meant Gabbitas was tasked with holing the putt for victory, he countered by adding a foot.

“It was definitely two-and-a-half feet away,” he joked. “To be honest when you start realising there’s money on it, the tournament is on it and you don’t want to let your partner down, the putt seemed a lot longer than it was.
“You can tap those in all day long one-handed but for some reason today, it was hard. But it went in the middle and Ian didn’t bring his putter, so he did have faith in me.”

Reflecting on the secret of the pair’s success despite not having played together before, Gabbitas added: “We’re first and second in the county’s Order of Merit so that’s how we qualified to represent the county.
“But we’ve known each other for a while and always got on. That was reflected in our game. We enjoyed ourselves and it was a very relaxed and calm environment. We dovetailed well and holed a load of putts. The greens were that good, you expect to hole them.
“This is the biggest achievement of my golfing career and I think it is for Ian as well.”

“It’s a massive confidence boost for the both of us,” his partner concurred. “There were some very good players in that field – some PGA Cup players and a lot of lads we look up to like Jason Levermore, Matt Cort, James Whatley – players like that. To win in that field is pretty special.”

Levermore was a member of the three-man Essex team that won in 2017 and 2018 when the tournament was contested under a different format.

The two best scores from three over two rounds were replaced by one round of fourball better-ball followed by one of foursomes.

In addition, there were no regional qualifiers this year and, as opposed to five finalists, there were 27. All of which met with the approval of most players, including Levermore.

“Five teams competing at The Belfry didn’t really seem a like a tournament,” he said. “This had a real tournament feel to it. The increased number of teams meant there were many more good players competing and I liked the format as well.”

Levermore’s enthusiasm was echoed by Gareth Davies who represented Cheshire and North Wales.

“It was a great event and I really enjoyed the new format,” he said.  “Sutton Coldfield Golf Club was outstanding, the greens were pure and everyone enjoyed playing it.”

Leading scores: Worcestershire 133 (-11); Essex 134 (-10); Devon 135 (-9); Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire 136 (-8).

Leesy does it – Harpin joins the ‘59 Club’

Lee Harpin has joined an elite band of golfers by posting a magical 12-under-par round of 59 at Holyhead Golf Club to win a North Wales Alliance tournament.

Harpin, the head professional at Rhos-on-Sea Golf Club in north Wales, carded four eagles, four birdies and ten pars to smash former European Tour player Roger Chapman’s 20-year course record by five shots.

“I’m over the moon,” said Harpin, who qualified as a PGA Professional in 2007 and has been based at Rhos-on-Sea for almost ten years.

“It’s not something I’ve ever really thought about. You hear of it on the tours every now and then but not very often. It’s been a bit crazy really. I’ve had so many phone calls, texts, emails and messages on social media. This ranks very high in my golfing
achievements – I’ll certainly never forget it.”

Harpin’s round at the Anglesey course started with an eagle at the first and he went on to record three more at the 10th, 12th and 14th, while birdies came at the second, third, fourth and 15th.

    Harpin began to think about breaking the 60 shot barrier when he eagled the par-five 12th and added: “When I birdied the 15th to go 12 -under that’s when I really thought I’ve got a bit of a round going here.

“I actually missed two six-foot putts for birdie on the ninth and 17th so it could have been a lot better!
“My previous lowest score was seven-under-par 65 at Belmont Golf Club in Australia in 2001 as an amateur playing for Wales in the Lake Macquarie Championship. I have shot an 11-under-par 60 off the yellow tees at North Wales Golf Club but that wasn’t in a competition.”