Willett’s Masters win puts Lindrick in spotlight, but 125-year-old course was no secret

Masters champion Danny Willett with his wife Nicole and baby Zachariah at Lindrick Golf Club in South Yorkshire. See Ross Parry Copy RPYGOLF :
Masters champion Danny Willett with his wife Nicole and baby Zachariah at Lindrick Golf Club in South Yorkshire. See Ross Parry Copy RPYGOLF :

Danny Willett’s success at Augusta National last weekend has brought his home address and nearest golf course, Lindrick, into sharp focus.

But Lindrick Golf Club wasn’t exactly a closely guarded secret before the hordes of press and media descended upon it this week.

Sheffield lad Willett has been a member at the course, found on the A57 just outside Worksop, for six years.

More recently he became a local resident, moving in beside the course.

On Sunday night he clinched his first major title, and on Monday morning ‘everyone and their grandmother’ turned up at Lindrick.

Captain Tony Grayson, who has known Willett for 15 years, seemed to be quite enjoying it.

“We’ve had everyone and his grandmother here,” he said.

“There’s been a tremendous reaction.

“I did four radio interviews and three TV interviews on Monday, that set the whole thing rolling.

“It’s a very big thing for the club.”

It was Grayson who proposed Willett for Lindrick membership in 2010, the vicar’s son from Hackenthorpe in Sheffield becoming a playing member after paying his entrance fee like everyone else.

Before Willett, and fellow Lindrick member Matt Fitzpatrick, who finished seventh at Augusta, there was Lee Westwood, who was runner-up to Willett.

The local boy and former world number one had one of his first golf lessons at Lindrick and has been a member for many years.

His former coach John King is the club’s professional.

Putting aside the trio of 2016 Masters top 10 finishers, it’s a course steeped in rich golfing tradition, having hosted the Ryder Cup in 1957 when Great Britain defeated their American rivals for the first time in 24 years to become known as the Lindrick Lions.

The British Masters, British Women’s Open, PGA Match Play and The Open Championship Regional Qualifying have all taken place at the course.

It might not have been a secret before this week, but the bump in their international profile is welcome, especially this year.

And the club captain is happy to tell the world why some of England’s top golfers choose Lindrick to work on their game.

Grayson said: “Particularly because we’re in our 125th anniversary year, it couldn’t have come at a better time for Lindrick.

“We’re delighted for Danny, and it’s great for us too.

“The course is open 52 weeks a year and we’ve got first class practice facilities.

“We’ve built new facilities for the short game as well and that helps everyone.

“They can come and play at any time, we don’t have slots and no one bothers them, they just go out and play.

“They tee off, play with their friends, it’s just a nice place to play.

“It’s a championship golf course, a true test of golf. That’s why they come.”

For Grayson personally, Willett’s triumph is satisfying but it hasn’t come out of the blue, and he believes it won’t be the last time the 28-year-old tastes glory.

“I’ve known him for 15 years, so it wasn’t a surprise to me,” he said.

“I watched him win as an amateur, he won the English Amateur Championship, the Australian and Spanish Amateur Championships all within six months, and he played Walker Cup golf in between.

“He’s done very well and will continue to do very well, he works so hard.”