GOLF: JAMES Holmes will get back to basics in South Africa in a bid to recapture his top form.
The 27-year-old golf professional, of Renaissance Way, Crewe, had high hopes for his first season on the European Challenge Tour last year, after stunning form earned him a place.
But problems with his swing meant it was a disappointing time, and he will be back on the PGA EuroPro Tour this year.
Now he is preparing for a month of dedication to his golf in Johannesburg in order to regain the form which earned him fourth place in the EuroPro Tour order of merit and his first ever professional title in 2004.
James, a member of Crewe Golf Club, explained: 'I had a great year in 2004, finishing fourth in the order of merit and earning a place on the Challenge Tour.
'I had gone to stay in South Africa with my uncle, Graham Wood, in previous years, but decided not to last year in order to save money.
'I think that was a mistake because when the season started I was a bit unprepared. I was in trouble with my game and never really recovered.
'I felt my swing was wrong and when I tried to work on it, it got worse if I'm honest. I still enjoyed my golf but I was thinking about it too much.
'Now I am back on the Euro Tour but should get a few invites for the Challenge Tour through my contacts. I feel I am hitting the ball better and feel confident. I can practise and dedicate a month to golf and the gym in order to get off to a flyer. '
James' new-found confidence is partly due to his new coach Paul Affleck, who is based at Porthill Park GC. His simple but thorough approach has helped no end.
A complex called World of Golf, just outside Johannesburg, should also boost preparations for the start of the tour in April.
With a 360-bay driving range, a USPGA-spec putting green and perfect weather conditions all-year round, a golfer could ask for little more.
With a prize fund exceeding £1m, the PGA EuroPro Tour is worth the hard work. It provides a chance for up-and-coming young professionals to gain experience in competitive golf.
James, who is sponsored by Mornflake Oats and Whitby Morrison, and was also helped financially to the tune of £2,500 when members of Crewe GC held a fundraising competition, will jet out on Sunday (26th).
Anyone interested in sponsoring James Holmes can call him on 07771908050.
The awesome foursome of Andy Bennett, Mick Sharp, Darren Jennings and David Bennett won Sunday's Four-Man AM/AM event at Queens Park GC.
Winners of the Yellow Ball contest were Chris Booth, Dave Hickman, Steve Jones and Ray Baker with nett 69.
Martin Trump pipped Derek Moulton to the Midweek Medal, while the Two-Man Texas Scramble was won by Tommy Yeates and Gary Hill with nett 62.75. Runners-up were Dennis Hill and Malcolm Hough with 63.75.