KEIGHLEY member Simon Tabel is back for a second go as president of the Bradford Golf Union.

His first stint in 2020 was ruined somewhat by the coronavirus pandemic, but there is plenty to look forward to in 2022.

A potential season of normality, an increased focus on the Bradford Union’s junior section and some exciting events for his home club Keighley are all reasons to make Tabel cheerful.

He said: “Clearly the Covid pandemic starting in 2020 disrupted that year.

“It’s amazing that two years on, we’re still struggling with it, but I can’t see any reasons to disrupt golf this year.

“We start the season with no restrictions at all, and though a few of our clubs struggled with the three storms we had last month, they’re all getting back to normal now.

“The Bradford Union alliance competitions have kicked off now and our players are all raring to go.”

Talking about the alliances and their importance, Tabel said: “They’re very popular and we get up to 160 players for them.

“The top prizes on offer are quite good, and they tend to be close-run things.

“All of the alliance competitions at the moment are full, and they’re important as they help sustain the Union.

“They provide funding for our junior and senior teams that play in the Yorkshire Inter-District Union, as well as money for junior coaching.

“It’s also good for the clubs, because the Union pays them for the use of their course, and they get bar receipts at what is normally a quiet time for golf clubs.”

Tabel was keen to further emphasise the importance of the junior section in the Bradford Union, saying: “When the big competitions get going, you really feel like your season has started.

“We’ve got the Inter-Club Fourball Championship on May 1, but before that, three of the junior team’s YIDU matches take place over Easter.

“We’ll be preparing them over the next few weeks before they get underway on April 11, and this season that’s something we’re really investing money in, junior coaching.

“We’ve brought a performance coach on board for them for the first time ever, he’ll come to their matches and it just adds professionalism to that section.

“Hopefully it gives any juniors coming in, or ones that are already established within the Union, the chance to concentrate on how they perform, with hints and ideas available to them.

“We just want the juniors to be able to fulfil their potential, and offer a good development path for them.”

As for his own club Keighley, Tabel said: “We’re a club that’s always been a strong supporter of the Union and inevitably, with myself in charge, there’ll be a lot of events at Keighley this year.

“The Team Championship will be held there in August, and there will be several junior competitions at Keighley too.

“The course there is in fantastic condition, and we’re over the flooding issues we had last month.

“We’ve got new coaches on board too, so we’re set well for this season.”