Surrey course all set for some transatlantic golfing rivalry

Up for the cup: the PGA Cup returns to Surrey in September

Foxhills, the golf club and spa resort in Chertsey, is to stage the PGA Cup in September, a Ryder Cup-style team event pitching club professionals from Great Britain and Ireland against their rivals from the United States for the Llandudno International Trophy.

Taking place from September 16 to 18, it will be the second time that the PGA Cup has been played on Foxhills’ Longcross course, where it was staged in 2017.

This will be the 30th PGA Cup, but due to covid, the first to be played since 2019, when the Americans staged a remarkable final-day comeback at Barton Creek Resort in Austin, Texas.

Playing in the PGA Cup is seen as the pinnacle for any PGA professional. In 2017 at Foxhills, Albert Mackenzie led his GB&I team to an emphatic 16-10 victory.

Since last hosting the event, Foxhills resort has undergone a £25million redevelopment programme, and joins The K Club in Ireland as the only other venue on home shores to have hosted the prestigious event on more than one occasion.

Straight down the middle: David Higgins tees off in the 2017 PGA Cup staged at Foxhills

Ahead of the contest, more than 160 Foxhills members have already put their names forward to volunteer at the event to help staff members and PGA Cup officials with the running of the competition.

The GB&I team visited Foxhills earlier this month to familiarise themselves with the course. This year’s captain, DJ Russell, and his team enjoyed a relaxing two-day, team-bonding retreat to the Surrey countryside to test themselves on the Longcross course, which consistently features in UK Top 100 rankings and requires precise play to navigate its tree-lined layout.

The GB&I visit could prove vital given the make-up of the team, featuring only three players with previous PGA Cup experience and seven debutants. Matthew Cort – who qualified after recently winning the PGA Professional Championship at Slaley Hall – remains from the 2019 team and will be reunited with David Higgins and Greig Hutcheon – who both missed out on selection in 2019 but were on the winning side at Foxhills five years ago.

Higgins was one of four golfers who qualified for the team through the PGA ranking system, along with Daniel Whitby-Smith, Ashley Mansell and Simon Lilly. Meanwhile, Hutcheon, Simon Thornton and Adam Keogh earned their spots via the PGA Play-offs earlier this year, with Paul McKechnie and James Ruth selected as captain’s picks.

“Foxhills is a fantastic facility,” Russell said. “It is probably 50 years since I first came to Foxhills when it was first establishing itself as an elite golf venue. I have been here a few times since and it just continues to get better and better.

Teed up: Foxhills is set in some impressive Surrey countryside

“It is incredible when you see how they have developed the place over the last few years. Foxhills will be a great venue for the 2022 matches and I am sure we will have a great time there for the week.”

Chris Fitt, Foxhills’ director of golf and leisure, said: “It is an honour to be hosting this prestigious event for a second time. Preparations are well underway to deliver a successful event and ensure the teams and spectators enjoy a fantastic week of golf.”

Foxhills has hosted a number of elite level tournaments, including the European Tour’s Tournament Players’ Championship and its qualifying school.

The PGA Cup will be open to spectators. Check with the resort for terms and conditions and daily tee times.

Foxhills, with its two 18-hole golf courses and nine-hole par-3 course, has been developed around the 1780s manor house and estate built for Charles James Fox.

The 400-acre estate is just minutes from the M3 and M25 in Ottershaw, Surrey.

The resort’s hotel has 70 bedrooms, three restaurants, 11 tennis courts, three squash courts, four swimming pools, a health spa, conference and meeting facilities, a youth club and a weekly cycling club. It was home to Team GB’s road race cycling team during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Non-members and non-residents are welcome on day visits, while there is a range of memberships available, along with accommodation and meeting packages.

For more information, visit the Foxhills website by clicking here.

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