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New Professional team at SCGC

SEATON Carew Golf Club’s new professional team has started work at the historic links, marking the move by re-opening the pro shop complete with a new look.
Head professional Martyn Stubbings and teaching professional James Maw have replaced the long serving Clifford Jackson and follow in the footsteps of some well-known names such as James Kay and Bill Hector.
But there has been nowhere for the pair to be based while the refurbishment was carried out. Martyn was keen to give the shop a facelift following his appointment.
Martyn is pleased with the results and is looking forward to getting his teeth into one of the most exciting and reputable golf roles in the region.
He said: “It has been great meeting the members but because I felt the renovation needed doing I don’t feel like I have really started the job properly until now.
“I wanted to put my own stamp on things and it has taken a bit longer than expected due to the pandemic, slowing things down. But it’s been great to chat with the members and explain to them the related services we will offer.”
Martyn will concentrate on being the “front of house” from the pro shop at Seaton Carew, while James will focus on coaching.
The pair worked together at Rockliffe Hall where Martyn was director of golf until he moved to Barnard Castle 18 months ago as head pro.
James intends to combine his work in the studio and on the practice areas at the tenth oldest course in the country with playing the NE/NW PGA circuit. It is exciting times for the pair.
Former EuroPro and Challenge Tour player James, 32, said: “I found a real passion for coaching. There is a massive emphasis on the juniors here and the Junior Liaison Officer, David Westmoreland, is really passionate.
“Seaton Carew is a tough old golf course, with a lot of good players, the team is in the First Division, and I will be doing some coaching with them too.
“Seaton is the No 1 club in Durham, arguably the North-East, but we know that facility-wise there could be more and we want to help improve that.”
Given the pair’s background, Martyn and James certainly bring plenty of customer service experience to the Alister Mackenzie-designed track which is widely regarded as being in the top 50 courses in the country.
Martyn said: “We are partners, we offer two different things. That is why it works. We are also very good friends, so we will work together and bring different things to the party.
“The Golf Club was looking for someone who will be in the shop more and I will be doing that, whereas James can focus more on the golf services and lessons are a big part of a modern golf club’s services.
“I want to bring some of the experiences I have picked up travelling to the best resorts in the world and obviously while working at Rockliffe Hall.
“I want to make the shop more of a reception area, it will be lighter and roomier, and a place where even if you don’t buy anything you might want to come in and have a chat. I want to put my past experiences into it. My own stamp.”
Martyn, who was the youngest PGA club professional in the country when he started at Dinsdale Spa aged 21 years and six days, is proud to be working at the 2024 venue of the English Amateur Championship – a year when Seaton celebrates its 150th birthday.
He said: “I was only at Barnard Castle for 18 months and I loved it. It was great. Normally you leave a job when you don’t like something but that wasn’t the case.
“But Seaton Carew has always been the best and most historic golf club in the area. It aligns with my ambitions. To see the work that has gone into the course under Tom Coulson recently has been outstanding too.
“Seaton can’t just rely on its history though, and it needs to embrace technology, while maintaining tradition. I feel I can help with that.
“It is a big responsibility of mine to drive the financial performance of the club through attracting visitors and members.”
And Sheffield-born James, who also had a spell at Dinsdale Spa, added: “We have played a bit of golf already here and the course is superb. It is completely different to what it used to be like a few years ago.
“We know all about the history and it’s special, what we want to do is add different traditions to that history. It’s about finding the right balance and what a place to be helping to achieve that.”