The Northern Order of Merit began life back in 1988 to raise the profile of the amateur game in the North West of England.
To say that it has done that over the past three decades is somewhat of an understatement.
The concept is to embrace the prestigious 36-hole scratch tournaments held in the region and increase the entries at participating golf clubs who also capitalise from the media coverage the events generate. The competitions also serve as a barometer to indicate how the best players are progressing which can benefit county and national governing bodies.
Several former players have progressed to fame and fortune in the upper echelons of the professional game such as former Walker Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood, David Horsey and Gary Wolstenholme, the world’s most capped amateur golfer.
Furthermore, several events qualify for the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Around 30 clubs ranging from the prestigious Royal Birkdale, Formby and Hillside sit comfortably with the likes of Nelson, Rossendale and Blackburn on the schedule.
Sadly the long time administrator of the order of merit, David Birtill, passed away in December 2020. Coupled with the Coronavirus pandemic which meant the previous sponsor, Galvin Green, pulled their support and with no plans to resurrect it for 2021 the series was set to fade away.
Golf Empire founder, Ed Battye, who has played in hundreds of Northern Order of Merit events over the years was keen for this not to happen and has picked up the baton with plans to revamp it going forwards.