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A look back at Swing in the North 2023

By Dean Bailey, Northern Golfer editor


When it comes to golf days, I’ve seen them all – from the big days with hundreds of players to small ones with every side game, sweep, mini challenge and mulligan sale you can think of.
What makes any golf day truly memorable for me is the people you’re there with – and that’s what separated Swing in the North 2023. The event was just the right size to feel like a big occasion, but small enough that you could meet people who share a real passion for the game – and for Dan’s work.

The Texas scramble format, which saw teams put together at random, worked great as you got to play with new people in a relaxed format that gave you the chance to compare swag, chat about where you’ve been playing, and not take things too seriously when it came to the golf.

We also got to catch up with the man himself (Dan) in the clubhouse and on the course (his drinks buggy driving and the pictures he took throughout the day were extra highlights).

Having got this far, I can imagine you like your swag, and Dan’s swag bags are legendary. Not only was there a custom marker with a customised side with your own message, but we also got first dibs on new merch – from headcovers and gloves to socks, t-shirts, stickers… I can’t wait to see what’s in the next bag!


Nobody missed out on visiting the pop-up shop either. I’d wanted a covid test marker for two years and finally got one, along with a couple of others, to fill out my collection. Add in some sneak peeks of markers coming up later in the year and the chance to buy even more merch ahead of its release date, and I’m confident every NBM fan and collector loved this part of the event.
Outside, there was just the right amount going on before we teed off and while we were on the course. There was a great putting comp, with a custom prizes up for grabs, which got everyone together and chatting before heading out on the golf course. Hitting a tee shot with a putter was a bit different, but watching my mate pure one up the hill to 15ft stays with me to this day.

On the course there were so many little touches which showcased just how much Dan loves hosting this event. From the custom flags to the tee box markers with extra tees on every hole (like we haven’t got every colour of NBM tee in the bag already!) right down to the cup inserts, the little finishes made the whole day feel that bit extra special.

It's important to say just how good the 2023 venue – Woolley Park Golf Club– was too. I follow the greenekeepers on Instagram and it’s clear these guys love what they do and pour so much time and effort into the golf course that it shines on days like this. A long way from home for me, this was a great place to host a golf day for people who enjoy the game for lots of different reasons and love to see courses which are interesting and presented at their very best.
That’s just a snapshot of the day – there is really nothing else like the Swing in the North experience and I would recommend being part of the event to everyone who loves the game and being part of the NBM community.

I can’t wait to tee it up at Longhirst in 2024 – a course and club which I love to spend at, and I k
now will fit this event and the Northern Ball Markers community perfectly. Say hello if you see me there – I’ll probably be at the pop-up shop gathering up markers and extra swag (a tip: if it’s all in one bag when you get home, your other half won’t know what’s swag and what’s extra).

Click below to sign up for Swing in the North 2024 at Longhirst Hall Golf Course

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