A RAPIDLY-GROWING mini-tour in the North-East is set for a fantastic second year after filling its starter sheet with 40 pairs from across the country.

Organisers of the County Durham Golf Trail have confirmed that it has sold out more than three months before it starts this summer – a sign of progress and rising interest in the game.

The Golf Trail is played over four days in July across the courses of South Moor, Beamish Park, Brancepeth Castle and Barnard Castle, and welcomes competitors from all over.

The tournament was the brainchild of South Moor’s marketing director David Bryan, and has looked to improve it after feedback following last year’s event.

Now – nicely placed placed between other mini-tours in Scotland and Northumberland – the Golf Trail has been ideally placed to attract those who want to play two weeks and extend a fun and competitive holiday.

Last year’s inaugural County Durham Golf Trail was a great success and was played in glorious sunshine, showing off the courses at their best.

Bryan said: “Multi-day tournaments like this are growing in popularity throughout the UK and we’re intent on making sure County Durham is a destination that offers visitors not only great golf courses but a friendly welcome too.

“We’re rightly proud of the courses featured in the County Durham Golf Trail, they offer variety and value as well as a great challenge.

“The feedback we had from last year’s event was extremely encouraging and we’re delighted to welcome back some of last year’s competitors as well as our new visitors.

“We are intent on improving this event every year, we think this is a great sponsorship opportunity too.

“The only concern we have for July’s event is that competitors might expect four days of glorious sunshine every year, we’ll try our best but can’t guarantee it!”

And for those who miss out because the event is full, there in an alternative – organisers are offering a more flexible approach with a “passport option” to play the four courses over a seven-day period for the same £150-a-pair price, but outside the competition.

South Moor was designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie across handsome heathland near Stanley. It is a a tight, firm but fair test with quick greens.

Beamish Park is a a Henry Cotton design situated in a beautiful and tranquil valley beside the famous Beamish heritage visitor attraction.

Brancepeth Castle is a Harry Colt classic, four miles south of Durham, which boasts two of the country’s finest back-to-back Par 3s. The course is a gem and always in tremendous condition.

And Barnard Castle is a pretty Par 73 layout where golfers must take on streams, ponds and trees if they are to post a good score.

Visits can be arranged by telephoning David Bryan on 07928425236 or emailing countydurhamgolftrail@outlook.com

DURHAM – one of 26 counties taking part as well as Yorkshire – is also welcoming back Girls Golf Rocks, where free taster sessions are on offer.

Four clubs are involved in Girls Golf Rocks in Durham in 2019. They will all offer the tasters, for girls aged 5-18, followed by six-week coaching courses.

At the taster sessions the newcomers will get together with other beginner girls to relax and play fun games. PGA professional coaches will lead the activities and Girls Golf Rocks Ambassadors from local clubs and the county girls’ squad will be on hand to help and encourage, including Darlington’s Ella Crang. Equipment will be provided.

Girls can wear what they like as long as it’s comfortable and keeps them warm. Trainers are fine for footwear.

  • Sessions take place at:
  • Castle Eden – Saturday, May 11, 11-1pm with coaching starting from Saturday, May 18, 11-12pm.
  • Darlington – Saturday, May 11, 1-3pm with coaching starting from Saturday, May 25, 1-2pm.
  • Houghton-Le-Spring – Saturday, May 4, 10-12pm with coaching starting from Saturday, May 11, 10–11am.
  • Woodham – Wednesday, May 1, 6–8pm with coaching starting from Wednesday, May 8, 6–7pm.
  • Bookings can be made by visiting www.girlsgolfrocks.org/Durham