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Farleigh Golf Club’s new general manager is set put his own stamp on Surrey after making the move back from Abu Dhabi. James Ibbetson overcame stiff competition to be appointed to the top job at the Surrey club, fresh from his role as director of golf at the high-profile Yas Links, Abu Dhabi – ranked 91 in the world (Golf Digest, World Top 200 in 2018). It’s been an impressive career path for the PGA professional, who, after graduating from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Applied Golf Management Studies, was trained by Marriot and was then promoted to golf operations manager at the Forest of Arden. His next role was golf director at Tudor Park, before making the switch to the United Arab Emirates. Ibbetson said: “I am honoured to be able to join the fantastic team at Farleigh and build on the great work they have done over the past few years. “It’s great to have moved back to the UK and to get started. The opportunity to be part of such an exciting, modern and progressive golf club was one too good to be missed and I can’t wait to continue driving it forward and see what we can achieve.” He will be keen to build on the foundations laid by Adam Walsh, who left to take the same position at Sunningdale in the summer, after two-and-a-half successful years at the helm. Farleigh, home to a 27-hole course designed by Ryder Cup legend John Jacobs, cemented its standing as a prime venue for professional tournaments after its selection as host of the PGA Fourball Championship for both 2019 and 2020 – making it the only national PGA final venue in the area. Marc Hayton, owner of Farleigh and its sister club Foxhills, said: “The volume and quality of the candidates to be our general manager shows how far the club’s reputation has spread. James is a fitting successor to Adam and I am confident he will take Farleigh to new heights.”

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