• Close House has confirmed it will host 2017 British Masters
• “We are proud to have been chosen” – website release
• Lee Westwood will acts as the tournament host for the event
The venue in the north-east of England uploaded a special section onto its website late yesterday evening, with information on the tournament, its history, and how to register interest for tickets, before the news was officially confirmed today.
“I’m sure it will be a fantastic test of golf” – Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood will be the host, taking over from Luke Donald, and revealed his delight at taking the tournament to the north-east of England and the facility where he is the attached tour professional.
“I’m well connected with Close House, and I’m sure it will be a fantastic test of golf for the players coming up to the north-east,” said Lee Westwood. “We’ve not had a tournament up there for a few years now, even north of Birmingham, so it will be great to take the British Masters to Newcastle which has been missing a big tournament.
“Close House is not the longest golf course but it’s tricky in places, quite tight, and very undulating. The wind can come in to play a lot, as you would expect in the north-east. There’s a little bit of water on the golf course as well, which keeps it interesting.
“I’ve got a few tweaks in mind for the golf course, putting a few bunkers in, taking a few out, putting a few tees in and everything is already under way.
“Close House is not the longest golf course but it’s tricky in places” – Lee Westwood
“I was at the golf course the other day and you could probably hold the tournament there now. It’s always in fantastic condition, so I’m sure the players will enjoy it.”
As soon as it was announced that ten-time Ryder Cupper Westwood would be hosting the tournament in 2017, following in the footsteps of Ian Poulter at Woburn in 2015 and Donald at The Grove, it was always likely that it’d be heading to Close House.
After all, both 18-hole courses at the Northumberland facility, less than ten miles west of Newcastle, have Westwood’s name attached, with the Championship Colt Course where the European Tour event will be staged.
Designed by Scott Macpherson and named after architect Harry Colt, the Colt Course – which has hosted the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship on the Senior Tour and the Lookers Championship on the EuroPro Tour – was voted one of the top 100 courses in the UK just one year after opening.
The move to the north-east of England signals another possible event within driving distance for Scottish golf fans in 2017.
Close House is just a 90-minute drive from Hawick in the Scottish Borders, while it is a two-and-a-half hour drive from both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Do you fancy going to the 2017 British Masters at Close House? How do you think it will perform there in comparison to Woburn and The Grove in the south the past two years? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.