New Hampshire captain calls on Portsmouth Golf Centre coach

Colin Roope. Picture: Innes Marlow
Colin Roope. Picture: Innes Marlow
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Colin Roope will captain Hampshire as they begin their defence of the English County Championship.

Clanfield-based Roope has taken the reins from Martin Young, who led the squad to their first national title in 21 years at Trevose in October.

And he has recruited Portsmouth Golf Centre coach Simon Andrews to help lead the charge.

Andrews, who works with Scott Gregory and Billy McKenzie, has taken up the role of first-team coach ahead of the season-opener against Dorset at Remedy Oak on Sunday.

Roope, who has represented both Hampshire and Surrey, knows he has big shoes to fill.

But he is determined to continue the good work of former English mid-amateur champion Young, who twice represented Great Britain & Ireland against America in the Concession Cup.

Roope said: ‘I was nervous at first about how taking over from Martin would be.

‘He has been the figurehead of Hampshire golf for so long now and he has been incredible.

‘To be fair there is not much that needs changing.

‘The only major change is getting Simon Andrews involved and I believe that was a good move as he has been excellent so far.

‘I think Martin is enjoying just focusing on his golf and nothing else.

‘He will be a massive player for me and the team this year.

‘He has a lot of seriously good golf left in him.’

While Roope’s early-season get-together at North Hants fell victim to the snow, the squad have since met up at Liphook where they got to work with new coach Andrews.

Roope added: ‘The Liphook session was very good with some Trackman work, lots of short game skills tests and then a competitive round on the course.

‘The best thing about that day was reading out the list of achievements among the squad. It was incredible.

‘There are so many winners in the squad – not just people with low handicaps and that really has set the tone.

‘I will continue Martin’s philosophy that wins get you in the team, not much else.’

So far in 2018, Roope’s side have beaten Hampshire PGA 10-2 and the Isle of Wight 6-2.

Their only defeat came against a strong Channel Islands side in Guernsey.