Trilby set for Manor return

The hugely successful Trilby Tour will return to Marriott Sprowston Manor in August – and four local amateurs will win the chance to take part.

The Trilby Tour gives amateurs the experience of playing in a professionally-styled event and each round is shown on Sky Television.

The 2011 tour is full, with a waiting list in operation, but Sprowston Manor has secured four places for its event and is offering two to members and two to visitors.

They will be the prizes for an 18-hole men's qualifier on Saturday, July 9. One hundred tee times have been reserved and bookings are already being taken from members on a first-come, first-served basis. They will be opened to visitors in a few weeks' time and they will pay a �30 green fee to take part.

The qualifier will also be used by the club as a fund raiser for local charity Nelson's Journey and for Macmillan Cancer Care.

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The Trilby Tour was created by golf fan and Savile Row designer William Hunt. He wanted to give amateurs the chance to compete under professional conditions as they bid for a place in the grand finale and the opportunity to play for the top 'winner takes all' prize.

Each round is broadcast as part of a summer series on Sky Sports with the top prize going to the winner of the final event. Players pay a �250 entry fee and are kitted out with William Hunt outfit, trilby hat, limited edition Callaway golf bag, and caddy outfit.

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Sprowston Manor took part in the Tour for the first time last year and two club players were among the 12 qualifiers for the final round. Mel Benns, director of sales, said: 'The Trilby Tour is great fun, there's a fabulous atmosphere and visitors are very welcome to come and watch.

'The course is set up with banners and we have our big scoreboard out. Everyone stands around the 18th and as the players come off the course they're interviewed about their game and they go into a scorer's hut. People take it very seriously and we are delighted to have the opportunity to host it again for a second year.'

The tournament has had an incredibly enthusiastic response from the amateur community with players hailing it the closest experience to a professional event. Die-hard fans return year after year gripped by its fierce competitive format.

William Hunt said: 'I love to see grown men shaking at the first tee – some of them think they have it all under control and then they break like a pack of cards in front of the cameras. And then they relive that moment when the screening comes out – now that's hard.

'It's fantastic to see the Trilby Tour community growing; we have some guys coming back each year – I call them Trilby Tourians. There's a brilliant camaraderie on and off the course and we've even created our own mini Facebook on the website where players can meet up and get together for a practice round or social.'

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