'New arrival' Loveys looking forward to game's restart at Torbay Golf Centre

Great Britain and Ireland captain Tracy Loveys during a practice round for the 2019 Women’s PGA Cup held in Texas in 2019.

Great Britain and Ireland captain Tracy Loveys during a practice round for the 2019 Women’s PGA Cup held in Texas in 2019. - Credit: Montana Pritchard/PGA of America

Few of South Devon golf's professionals are looking forward to the game's restart next Monday more than Torbay Golf Centre's 'new' arrival Tracy Loveys.

Former Bigbury pro Loveys actually joined the team at Paignton last September but it's inevitably been a stop-start affair so far, interrupted by Covid-19 lockdowns.

The TGC, where former Churston pro Neil Holman has run the popular centre for 17 years, appears to have pulled off a bit of a coup with the recruitment of the impressively qualified Loveys, who joins Torquay's Laura Hendriksen as the only other female professional in Torbay.

Not only has Loveys been a leading tournament and teaching pro, she is the current chair of the WPGA and was non-playing captain of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team which lost the inaugural WPGA Cup to the United States in Texas in 2019.

Tracy grew up in Dorset, was encouraged to take up golf by her father, played at the Broadstone and Remedy Oak clubs and spent three-and-a-half years on the Ladies European Tour in the 1990s.

Blessed with a 'classical' swing, she won the Club Pros Championship four times, including a hat-trick of titles.

She spent eight years at Bigbury, eventually becoming head pro there, before her appointment as retail/staff manager and teaching pro at the covered 23-bay driving range and 'FootGolf' course at Clennon Valley.

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She said: "I've known Neil for many years - we have both got more than 25 years of teaching experience, and we'd like to pass on that knowledge and wisdom.

"We already welcome quite a few players from local clubs, but we cater for everyone from beginners upwards."

All South Devon's clubs are bracing themselves for packed courses as the postponed 2021 season finally gets under way, albeit without clubhouse facilities for at least another few weeks.