IN 2013 Ashton-on-Mersey Golf Club’s professional Kris Andrews enjoyed being President of the Manchester and District Golf Alliance which involves over 110 clubs in the region – the biggest in the country.

And playing-wise Kris had his best year ever which was climaxed by winning the coveted Lancashire PGA championship against some of the region’s top playing professionals.

His club members were very proud of what Kris had achieved and led by Paul Crisp they set up a lasting tribute of his feat on the professional’s shop window.

Kris said: “Winning the Lancashire PGA title was the highlight of my playing career and now I have a permanent reminder of this and hopefully it will encourage me to successfully defend the title and win more pro events in 2014.”

The final draws have been made for the unique Manchester and District Alliance Inter Club Knock Outs and both again have big entries.

The Mixed Foursomes knock out for the Archie Preston Trophy has gone from strength to strength over the years with another entry approaching 90 clubs.

The current holders Blackburn GC will host this year’s final in October and the preliminary round draw affecting our local clubs is: Davyhulme Park v Tytherington; Withington v Dunham Forest; Cheadle v Ringway; Blackley v Acregateand Ashton-on-Mersey v Manchester.

Going through into the last 64 with byes are Sale Stamford GC will be defending the Williams BMW Junior Team Challenge and they have a bye into round two.

The draw for our local clubs is: Bramall Park v Ringway and Dunham Forest v Davyhulme Park and through with a bye are Ashton-on-Mersey and Sale.

The oldest golf competitions in the north west of England have undergone a major overhaul. The two premier trophies the Balfour Cup and the Houldsworth Trophy are both magnificent examples of Victorian craftsmanship and have few equals in any sport.

They were presented in 1897 by the Hon A.J. Balfour and Sir William Henry Houldsworth with the idea for the competitions being drawn up in the Manchester Reform Club where the two regularly met. Mr Balfour, MP for East Manchester was Prime Minister from 1902-5.

The Balfour and Houldsworth Golf Challenge Cups, competitions that span three centuries, have now moved into the 21st Century.

The first of the five competitions, The Balfour Cup, was first played for in 1897and the competitions are open to members of any golf club which reside within 25 miles of Manchester Town Hall.

The B and H committee have been forced to update their operations over the last couple of years in an effort to attract more players to compete in these famous five competitions.

The Balfour committee appointed Paul Bayley as Honorary Secretary with a brief to help to modernise the famous competitions, update their website and launch a full on-line booking system, and with the willing help of Graham Jenkinson, who designed the old website, the project was started last November.

Paul (pictured) brokered a sponsorship deal with Intelligent Golf, who provide completely integrated golf systems for golf clubs.

Jamie Abbott, managing director of Intelligent Golf said: "When Paul contacted me and asked if it would be possible for the Balfour Competitions committee to forge a partnership with our company, I was delighted to sponsor the website and integrated booking system.

“Intelligent Golf is proud to support historically significant events, and we are delighted to be the main sponsor of this series of competitions".

Paul added: “As part of the modernisation the Balfour Committee have just announced that a sixth competition is be played for with a Ladies Better-ball tournament being added to the list of tournaments for 2015.

“If you would like to enter any of the tournaments please take a look at the brand new website where you can book and pay for each competition on-line. Further information can be found at