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Phoenix House 'golfers' tee up to train at Rockliffe Hall

June 20, 2014

Veterans and service personnel from Catterick-based Help for Heroes Phoenix House Recovery Centre- with no golf experience- started their tuition this w eek to be trained up to play in this year's European Senior Tour English Senior Open pro-am tournament at Rockliffe Hall.

Golf professionals at Rockliffe Hall are teaming up with Phoenix House as part of a charity partnership for this year's European Senior Tour English Senior Open.

Phoenix House works with recovering veterans and service personnel and, in the pre-tournament pro-am event, Rockliffe Hall will be sponsoring a team from the organisation who have never played golf before. The aim is to train them up to pro-am standard following a period of intensive golf coaching with Rockliffe Hall's PGA professionals.

Two of the Phoenix House team joined one of Rockliffe Hall's pros, Martyn Stubbings, for their first lessons at the start of June.

Paul Nichol, from Catterick, said: "I've always loved sports- basketball and rugby in particular- but I've never swung a golf club and to swing my first at Rockliffe Hall has been wonderful. I'm loving every minute of it. The coaching from Martyn is superb- he's very patient with us. We know we've got lots to learn but I already know it's a game I'll keep up."

Ges Almond, from Northallerton, added: "What's fantastic about the golf coaching is that it is about so much more than just the game of golf. We're getting to enjoy the amazing countryside around Rockliffe Hall, learn a bit about green-keeping and meet some true professionals. With their help and our team's hard work, I'm sure we'll go far!"

Warwick Brindle, chairman of Rockliffe Hall, said: "The European Senior Tour English Senior Open is about putting the North East on the map and we want to get as much of the region involved as possible. We're really pleased that Phoenix House wants to be involved and it's going to be a huge challenge, not just for those taking part who have never played before, but for our pro-golfers who are training them. Everyone is fiercely competitive which is fantastic to see and we're all backing the Phoenix House team to do pretty well at the pro-am as the team is incredibly enthusiastic and committed."

Rob Hood, supported activities manager at Phoenix House Recovery Centre, said "This is a fantastic opportunity for wounded, injured and sick serving personnel and veterans, who may never have played golf, to be coached by professionals and perhaps be selected to represent Phoenix House on a huge stage like the European Tour.  Our thanks go to Warwick and Rockliffe Hall for their support - it is activities like this help them on their road to recovery."

This year's three-day English Senior Open takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday 22 nd until Sunday 24 th , with the pro-am tournament on Thursday 21 st . It follows the success of the 2013 tour, which attracted over 5000 spectators to Rockliffe Hall, and will be the biggest single sporting event in the North East in 2014.

It's expected that prestigious names such as Carl Mason, former Ryder Cup Captains Ian Woosnam and Mark James and Senior Tour favourites such as Constantino Rocca, Barry Lane, Des Smyth, Peter Fowler and Paul Wesselingh, who won last year's Order of Merit, will return to play the European Senior Tour English Senior Open, as well as 2013's English Senior Open winner Steen Tinning.

Tickets can now be bought for just £10 (under 16s free) by visiting or calling 01325 729999.

The tournament itself will be broadcast across the world on Sky TV through a series of highlight shows.

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