Pro Lovelock to take up new post

KEVIN Lovelock has accepted the post of head professional at Ipswich Golf Club. He will succeed Stephen Whymark, who has been at Purdis Heath for 35 years.

By Tony Garnett

KEVIN Lovelock has accepted the post of head professional at Ipswich Golf Club. He will succeed Stephen Whymark, who has been at Purdis Heath for 35 years.

During his 21 years as head professional at Stoke by Nayland, Lovelock has established a terrific reputation as a coach.

Obviously the world's top-ranked amateur, Jamie Moul, is his star pupil - but Lovelock's overall record of developing junior golfers has been highly impressive.

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Not long ago 12 of the 16 players in the Suffolk first and second teams in the Anglian League were all members of Stoke by Nayland.

The club has won the Stenson Shield, Suffolk Golf Union's scratch inter-club knockout six times in the past seven years. They were also winners in 1991, 1994 and 1995.

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The Stoke by Nayland juniors won the Sunday Telegraph tournament against clubs from Scotland, Ireland and Wales at La Manga. Lovelock made the trip to Spain to help and advise the Stoke juniors during their practice round.

In the same way, he will be at Lytham St Annes later this month to accompany Moul on his practice days before he attempts to defend the prestigious Lytham Trophy, which he won last year.

Lovelock was an amateur at Warley Park when he played for Essex boys. He became a PGA trainee at Orsett under Gordon Roberts.

Once fully qualified he became assistant to Chester Jervis at Stoke by Nayland before stepping up to the role of head professional in 1986.

“I have met some fantastic people and will retain great memories of my time at Stoke by Nayland.

“I felt it was time for a change and am delighted to join Ipswich Golf Club, which I regard as the premier members' club in the county.

“I hope I can give the sort of service with which the members will be happy. I felt very comfortable at my first interview and am very much looking forward to starting the job,” said Lovelock.

Leading players to emerge from Stoke by Nayland in recent years have included Kieran Canham, Simon Dainty and Andrew Tokley, who are all now professionals.

The current crop of Stoke juniors includes county first-team players Michael Swan, Scott Brace and Liam Brace, as well as Owen Pearl and Rob Murray, who achieved some good results last season.

Lovelock is also pleased that Thorpeness professional Simon Harrison, whom he coaches, was runner-up in last year's PGA East Region Order of Merit.

The arrival of Lovelock at Purdis Heath in two months' time will be a boost to the promising crop of young players at Ipswich including Chris Gooding, Jack Jowers and Alasdair Gillan.

Kristian Day, who has regained his amateur status after a spell playing on the PGA Europro Tour, has also joined Ipswich Golf Club and is an immense talent.

Whymark had a presentation to mark his farewell on Saturday, which was followed by a dinner with past captains on Monday.

One of Suffolk's most respected professionals for many years, Whymark is now living at Bromeswell near Woodbridge Golf Club, where he started his professional career under head professional Leslie Jones.

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