If handicaps were any indication, then Joe Jones should be the hottest of prospects to lift the 2024 Selborne Salver at Blackmoor Golf Club.

The man from Langland Bay, near Swansea, plays off a stratospheric +6, or +5.8 to be precise, and will be expected to show why on the tight, tough course on Saturday, April 13.

The former Faldo Series winner came third in the South of England Youth Championship last month and can feed on the memory of wins in the 2023 Abu Dhabi Men's Open and 2023 Qatar Open Am. But Blackmoor seldom rewards favourites and the Welshman will have to pull out all the stops if he is to win the Selborne Salver. The Hampshire Hog will be played at North Hants on Sunday, April 14, with both events counting towards the prestigious Hampshire Salver.

Jones’ main rival could be Will Coxon (Carus Green, Kendal), who won the Hampshire Salver last year. A couple of bad holes saw him off the pace at Blackmoor, but two fine rounds at North Hants were good enough to win the Hog and the 72-holer. Coxon, one of 20 competitors off +4 and a student at Stirling University, is a peerless ball striker and will be a real threat if his putter gets hot.

The 2023 Selborne Salver champion Zach Little (West Herts), who won in a three-hole play-off, will not be defending his title as he is in his freshman year at the University of Central Arkansas. Former professional Darren Walkley (Liphook), who lost out to Little's birdie last year, will be back and eager to go one better. Also off a mark of +4, he has the game, and the patience, to finish the job.

Now a Salver veteran and rarely far off the pace is David Corben (Hindhead), another +4 man who enjoys competing with the young guns. The same can be said for Rowlands Castle's Darren Wright, a reinstated amateur who in his salad days won the vaunted Brabazon Trophy and played international golf for Great Britain & Ireland and England.

The evergreen Toby Burden (Hayling) still loves the smell of battle and could cause an upset, while further Hampshire interest is provided by the +3 North Hants members Robert Wheeler and Sam De'Ath, who won't be there just to make up the numbers.

Also hoping for a good day will be former Blackmoor members Steve Mitchell (Goodwood) and the 2022 Logan Trophy winner Stuart Archibald (Test Valley), both off +3. Present member Robbie Boxall, who was Blackmoor Golf Club club champion for the past two years and is a greenkeeper at Liphook, made everyone sit up at last year's Salver when he negotiated the second 18 in just 65 shots.

Play will begin at Blackmoor Golf Club at 8am on Saturday, April 13. Afternoon play will start at 1.15pm. Spectators are welcome to attend.

For more information on the Selborne Salver and Blackmoor Golf Club, visit the club’s website at www.blackmoorgolf.co.uk