Some of European golf’s biggest stars of yesteryear will descend on Close House later this season, after it was confirmed that the Northumberland resort is to host the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship in June.
The oldest event on the European Senior Tour calendar returns to the North East having been staged at Stoke-by-Nayland in Essex last year and De Vere Mottram Hall in Cheshire the year before. It had previously been played at De Vere Slaley Hall from 2008 to 2012.
The deal to stage the tournament at Close House is a multi-year agreement, which will see some of golf’s most famous names take on the challenge of the Lee Westwood Colt course, designed as a tribute to iconic English golf architect Harry Colt.
Close House owner, Graham Wylie, said, “We are absolutely delighted to announce that Close House will play host to this year’s ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship.”
“To stage a top-ranking tournament of this magnitude for the first time confirms an exciting period in our development and is testament to everyone connected with Close House and shows how far we have come since opening less than four years ago.”
“The decision to stage the championship here at Close House gives us an excellent opportunity to showcase our facilities and will allow golf fans in the Newcastle area an exclusive opportunity to see top class professional golf at first hand. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all the leading European Senior Tour players to the North East.”
Sandy Jones, chief executive of The PGA, added: “The PGA Seniors Championship has a long history of being contested at prestigious venues and Close House is a worthy addition to that list. It was last staged in the North East as recently as 2012 and I’m sure the spectators will be as knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the tournament as they were then.”
“ISPS Handa have supported golf at various levels for more than 25 years, including several tournaments which they use as a platform to promote opportunities for blind and disabled golfers. This will be the third year they have been involved in the tournament and their support is a huge boost to this historic event.”
The ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship was inaugurated back in 1957 and has subsequently been played at many of the country’s leading courses including Royal Mid-Surrey, Gleneagles, North Berwick, Royal Dublin, Sunningdale (Old) and The Belfry.
Last year’s championship at Stoke-by-Nayland was won by Spaniard Santiago Luna, for whom it was a second victory on the European Senior Tour.