Coles on course at Porters Park

WHEN Neil Coles took part in the opening of two holes he had redesigned at Porters Park Golf Club he showed how inviting is his layout at the par 3 sixth is by holing a 6ft putt on the new green for a birdie! Coles, one of Britain s most outstanding golf

WHEN Neil Coles took part in the opening of two holes he had redesigned at Porters Park Golf Club he showed how inviting is his layout at the par 3 sixth is by holing a 6ft putt on the new green for a birdie!

Coles, one of Britain's most outstanding golfers over half a century, was invited by the Radlett club to improve the sixth and the 16th and the new designs were tested for the first time when Coles joined club captain Lionel Cooper, last year's greens chairman Alan Pountney and course manager Martin Smith to play a fourball over the course on Saturday.

When they came to the sixth, Coles teed off with a 5-iron and sank the 6ft putt. Not to be outdone, the captain, who had also hit a 5-iron, holed his putt of a similar distance for birdie. At the par 4 16th there were no birdies this time.

Afterwards Lionel Cooper expressed the club's appreciation to Coles for his design of the two holes. "We are delighted," he said later. "The improvements he has made are welcomed by the club, and will add to the high playing standard of the course."


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"At the sixth new tees increase length from 149 to 156 yards, changes have been made to the approach and back of the green and a bunker split in two, while at the 16th the length remains the same at 417 yards, the green has been altered to a plateau and moved slightly, with longer grass at the back and a grassy hill into the left-hand front corner, adding shape, and a drainage problem with a pipe across the fairway covered.

For Coles, it was a return to Porters Park, for he started his golf career in Hertfordshire. "I played as a teenager at Letchworth and played the county's courses, including Porters Park," he said. "I turned pro when I was 16, and I won the county pro title when I was 21." He joined the European Tour in 1952 and his first win came in the Gor Ray tournament in 1956.

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Neil Coles, MBE, chairman of the European Tour board of directors, World Golf Hall of Fame, eight times a Ryder Cup player, holder of 25 European Tour titles including PGA champion, runner-up in the Open Championship, now plays the Seniors Tour, where he has won the Seniors British Open and PGA Seniors Open titles. He is now a recognised international course designer.

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