GOLF: Amateur Houlding out to tame Carnoustie

By Cian Lanigan

21-year-old Moortown golfer David Houlding is going to be playing in the British Amateur Championship which starts on the 15th June.

It is being held at Carnoustie, an Open Championship course and one of the toughest in the UK, as well as being ranked one of the best in the world. Houlding is a University player in for William Woods University in Missouri.

This week we sat down with Houlding to ask him about his playing career so far, what he looks to achieve, the local golf scene around Leeds and of course the Amateur Championship and his preparation for the experience.

He said: “I first started playing golf from the age I could walk. My granddad was the pro at Moortown and encouraged my golf right from the beginning, I have been a member at Moortown since the age of six, I love the history of the club, the fact it’s hosted a Ryder Cup means people around the country know it and helps to add prestige.

“There has been a lot of changes around the course over the past six or so years, they have added length, off the back tees it’s now around 7,300 yards. I think which makes it a great challenge, they have cut quite a lot of trees down and are trying to make the heather grow up, especially on the back nine which is a lot more heathland.

“Around the area we are quite lucky, we have some great courses to choose from.

“I have always liked links style golf, I’ve always scored pretty well around those kinds of courses, I have quite a low-ball flight which usually suits that game.

“The wind around Leeds makes it a good place to practice that golfing technique, also because the ground on the courses is usually quite firm it makes it a similar test.”

Plans for the Future

“If possible I would like to stay out in America, probably try go for the Canadian tour first then the tour and hopefully in the end work my up to the PGA Tour, if not that then I would come back here and go through the EuroPro Tour then the Challenge Tour and go through Q-School to get on the European Tour.

“Before I turn professional I would love to play in the Walker Cup, I think it would be a great experience, it is one of my big goals as an amateur to play in the Walker Cup, my granddad has always encouraged me to try and make the team.”

University Life

“I’ve had a really good season in University, played in 11 tournaments and won five and only missed the top 10 once, so hopefully I can bring that form home.

“I’m on a scholarship at William Woods in Sports Management

“In order to get a Scholarship you have to go through an agency, they basically do a profile on you, what you have played in and your different accomplishments,. They then send a tape of you playing out to different coaches and then if they like what they see they get back to you with an offer with what kind of scholarship they can offer you, in total I think there was 19 offers.

“I chose William Woods because I knew a few different people out there already and it was a really good offer.

“We compete in the NAIA Championships where this year we finished second overall in the Nationals and I came second in the individual section.”


Handicap: +2

University: William Woods University, Missouri

First time playing in the Amateur Championship

Represented England U18

Top 3 Courses: USA: TPC Four Seasons Los Colinas golf course where the Byron Nelson PGA Tour event is held, TPC at Deere Run in Illinois where the John Deere Classic is played on the PGA Tour, The National Golf Club of Kansas City designed by Tom Watson.

UK: The Old Course at St Andrews, the layout was surprisingly different to TV, I enjoyed the challenge it presents when the wind gets up otherwise it is quite straight forward until you get around the greens.

West Lancashire Golf Course is a good links test

Dream Fourball: Seve Ballesteros, Rory McIlroy and then it would be between Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, I’ve always looked up to Sergio he would be one of my favourite players and Tiger is an obvious choice.

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