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From Bristol to The Masters: Could You Emulate Joe Long and Take Your Place Amongst Golf’s Elite?
Despite the city and the surrounding areas’ stunning courses, Bristol hasn’t always been a hotbed for golf.
But maybe that could change if Joe Long goes on to achieve his potential in the sport and inspire a new generation of talent.
The Bristolian made a major breakthrough in 2020, winning the Amateur Championship and therefore booking his place in The Masters, the US Open and the Open Championship the following year – an unforgettable trio of experiences.
Priced at a princely 1000/1 in the golf betting odds for Augusta in 2021, Long’s chances of winning The Masters were slim to say the least. But he did finish higher on the leaderboard than established PGA TOUR winners Sungjae Im and Hudson Swafford, and in his second round fired a superb round of 72 – tournament champion Hideki Matsuyama only managed 71.
Long barely featured in the golf betting tips for the best amateur at the two Opens, let along as a potential champion of the tournaments, but once again he did himself proud – he finished higher than Justin Rose and AT&T Byron Nelson champion K.H. Lee at the iconic Pebble Beach in California, before beating the legendary Phil Mickelson by six shots at Royal St George’s back on UK soil.
Players making their Masters debut this week:— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 6, 2021
Tyler Strafaci pic.twitter.com/sQl8mwNW5l
Previous winners of the Amateur Championship include Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia, while the likes of Graeme Storm, Romain Langasque and Matteo Manassero franked their amateur win by claiming titles on the European Tour.
So there’s plenty of scope for progress for Long, and the fact that he beat fellow Bristolian Joe Harvey in the final at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club on Merseyside suggests that our city has at least two potential new sporting stars to watch out for.
Long has since been competing on the professional circuit in the Challenge Tour and Sunshine Tour – the latter South Africa’s flagship competition. And it was here that he banked the biggest payday of his career so far by finishing second in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event in August, where five-time European Tour champion George Coetzee triumphed.
The omens for Long and Bristol golf are very strong indeed…
Where to Play Golf in Bristol
Both Golf SouthWest and Your Golf Travel agree that The Players Club in Codrington is the finest course to enjoy in the Bristol area.
Mind you, it has been used to host regional PGA events and measures a whopping 7,100 yards long, so it’s perhaps suited to the more experienced player who wants to test their skills on a tour-standard layout.
For newcomers to the sport, perhaps The Kendleshire is a good option. Located in Coalpit Heath, this venue offers three different nine-hole courses of varying difficulty, and also has a driving range, putting green and a short game area to hone your skills before playing your round.
Golf fans: the Bristol and Bath golfers Laurie Canter and Chris Wood are both through to the weekend's play at the Open! watch out for them: pic.twitter.com/by1B0gL8se— BBC West (@BBCBristol) July 21, 2017
And if you want to emulate the pathway of another Bristolian success story, former European Tour winner Chris Wood, why not give his home course – Long Ashton Golf Club – a try?
It’s clear that golf in Bristol – and golfers from the city for that matter – are thriving.
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