DE Vere Slaley Hall will this year host the two biggest events on the UK club professionals’ fixture list.
The Glenmuir PGA Professional Championship (June 11-14) and the PGA Cup (Sept 20-22) will be played over the Hunting Course, the PGA announced yesterday. This is the first time either event has been played in the North East or Cumbria.
The PGA Cup is the Ryder Cup for club pros and since the Great Britain & Ireland side first took on America 40 years ago only five players from the region have made the team – Graeme Bell, Craig Goodfellow, John Harrison, Steve McKenna and Spike Nesbit.
But for all the region’s professionals there is more incentive than ever in 2013 to pitch up for PGA Championship qualifying at the Fulford club in York on May 13.
Players who make it through to the PGA Championship will be able to aim at a top five spot, which in turn will take them into the PGA Cup team to play the US.
It will never be more convenient for the region’s busy working regional pros than in a year when both events are being played at Slaley.
Harrison played in the 1994 PGA Cup match at PGA National in Florida four months after leaving the Barnard Castle club for Matfen Hall.
That contest, won by America, was played on the same West Palm Beach course where Seve Ballesteros hit one of the most famous Ryder Cup shots of all time against Fuzzy Zoeller in Tony Jacklin’s first match as Ryder captain in 1983.
Harrison, the 2005 winner of the UK Club Pro Order of Merit and now a European Senior Tour pro, said: “I would advise any PGA member to have a go at making the team.
“Representing Great Britain & Ireland is something that will live with you for the rest of your life. As in the Ryder Cup, you get drawn into the electric atmosphere.
”The PGA Cup is always played on a really good course and the Hunting definitely comes into that category.
“And like the Ryder Cup players, you are spoiled in terms of first class food, accommodation and clothes.
“Quite apart from all the golf gear – including your PGA Cup golf bag – there is the team suit, shirt, tie and shoes and blazer. You get really well looked after all the way through, spoiled to death. I found all of it a fantastic experience.” Slaley will also stage the Glenmuir Women’s PGA Professional Championship between June 13-14.
Daniel Hodson, director of golf at De Vere said: “The events we are staging this year speak volumes about the quality of our courses and the strong relationship we share with the PGA.”
Blairgowrie’s Lansdowne Course in Perthshire will host the PGA Championship in 2014.
After five years at Slaley, the 2013 PGA Seniors Championship is moving on to another De Vere venue in Mottram Hall, Cheshire (June 6-9).