Poulter’s old club revels in Ryder Cup interest2nd October, 2012 by Emma Williams
A Hertfordshire golf club that Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter once worked at has become the centre of international media interest.
Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club, which is part of the Crown Golf group, made national TV news headlines this week when it found itself in the spotlight following Poulter’s inspiring performance at Medinah, which gave the European team the momentum it needed to retain the cup in the USA.
Poulter joined the club as a junior in 1992, and subsequently became an assistant pro to the club’s head professional.
The golf club was featured in several national TV and radio news bulletins the day after the Ryder Cup finished, and in national newspaper and website articles.
Chesfield Downs Golf & Country Club’s general manager, Tim Hudson, said: “Although his father is a member here, the club hasn’t maintained its relationship with Ian as closely as you might have expected. We hope to change this: we’re all naturally thrilled that a Ryder Cup icon and one of the world’s top golfers was a member and assistant at Chesfield Downs. We’re planning to commemorate his achievements in Medinah with some memorabilia in the clubhouse.”
The club’s Crown Golf Academy gives over a thousand golf lessons to junior golfers each year, and with a 150-strong junior section, Keith Bond hopes that Poulter’s example will inspire future generations of the club’s young golfers to go on and emulate Poulter. “All the youngsters who use the club are really excited to think Ian Poulter was once a junior member at their club,” he said, “and with some of the young talent we have here maybe it won’t be long before we produce another star of the future!”
Chesfield Downs’ members have already been suggesting how the club might recognise Poulter’s achievements, including naming a function room after him, hosting an annual golf day for his nominated charity or a junior Open competition.
Born in Hitchin, Herts, Poulter became a single-figure golfer aged 14. He won the Chesfield Downs Club Championship in 1993 aged 17, and within three years was playing in the European Tour qualifying school. He was named the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie Of The Year on the European Tour in 2000, and made his Ryder Cup debut in 2004. Now a veteran of four Ryder Cups, Poulter – so far unbeaten in singles’ matches – has won 12 of his 15 Ryder Cup matches, making him one of the most successful Ryder Cup golfers of all time.