Faldo gives blessing to Goodwood’s big year of golf

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Britain’s six-time major winner Sir Nick Faldo was at Goodwood to help launch the start of a jam-packed sporting season at the estate – including a new televised golf event.

The former Open champion and Ryder Cup star joined Lord March and fashion designer William Hunt as the award-winning Downs course was announced as a regional final venue for the 2011 Trilby Tour.

This popular tournament was created by Menswear designer Hunt to give amateur golfers across England, Ireland and Scotland the chance to emulate their sporting heroes and play in a national tournament shown on Sky Sports under similar pressures of a pro tour event.

Amateurs face a white-knuckle tournament in a thrilling one-day 18-hole event – known as golf’s answer to Twenty20 cricket.

Players will be kitted out with everything they need for their experience of pro stardom each receiving a William Hunt outfit, a Callaway bag and Caddy Suit.

This year more than 1,200 golfers have entered the nine regional finals around the UK, many of which are now sold out because of the growing demand for this unique stableford event.

Last year’s national champion was Goodwood member Chris Dyson, who is already relishing the opportunity of competing for back-to-back titles this season.

The 43-year-old IT manager from Tangmere said: “You feel like you are playing in a professional event with all the cameras, the sponsorship banners, the marshals, crowds and outfits and you just feel like a million dollars.

“Hopefully with the regional final being played at Goodwood for the first time this year I will have a bit of home advantage.”

Preparations are already under way on the 7,200-yard James Braid-designed Downs course to create outstanding playing conditions.

The event is open to any club member over the age of 18 and holding a handicap of 18 or below.

Dyson clinched victory in the 2010 tournament from a field of more than 1,000 competitors from across England, Ireland and Scotland.

He scored a staggering 40 points in the grand final, then fought off intense competition in a four-man play-off to be crowned champion.

Goodwood will play host to the tournament on Thursday, July 21.

The tour begins at Donnington Grove in Berkshire on May 12 and will go on to seven other prestigious venues.