Saturday, 22 August 2009
The magnificent Nailcote Hall, truly a super venue for such
a prestigious event.
This event remains the highlight of the Social Golf calendar, it is that good, that I postponed a trip to Florida to play in the 2nd Major on the Edwin Watts Tour at the prestigious LPGA Club at Daytona and I am delighted to say once again I was not disappointed, this event gets better and better. A 4 day golfing extravaganza featuring from the European Tour, Graeme Strorm, Lee Slattery, Stephen Richardson.. hosted by the legend that is Tony Jacklin also featuring the European Senior Tours most winningist Fine Gentleman Tommy Horton….. and from the world of sport, Peter Schmeikel, Peter Shilton, Frank Worthington, Alan MacInally, Bob Champion….. from TV, Jasper Carrot, William Roach and many many more……….. put this in a competive environment, with paying public and tv cameras, it quite simply is as close as it gets for a social golfer to feel part of the tour……. Priceless..
This year, I Played with Tommy Horton in the first celeb am day and what a pleasure that was, quite memorable filled with wonderful anecdotes, little hints and for myself and my teammates a small window into the thought processes of a tour veteran. Many thanks Tom………. On the last day in the 2nd Celeb Am, we were joined by my good friend Clive Abbot of the Showpiece band The Black Abbots. Clive really is a most accomplished golfer and as usual was great company. He played sublimely. On both days despite some good golf, we simply failed to take our numerous birdie chances and sadly finished out of the places.
In the Pro Am, I partnered Suffolk Pro and Par 3 regular Andrew Collinson, and over the two days we got to know him and his good wife and I was proud to be his partner. They are lovely people and I wish them every success in the future. On day 1, I was overawed a little but Andrew played exceptionally coming in at two under which led all day until South Staffs Pro Steve Carter came in on 4 under. A sprightly Tommy Horton, clearly benefitting from all my advise was third at one under, no one else under par. This meant we would be in the last group on the final day and what a memorable day it would prove to be.
In tremendous rain and followed all day by the TV Cameras….. watch out for me in my trademark yellow trilby…….. Steve and Andrew put on a masterclass, it was thrilling, exciting, compelling and could have gone any way until Andrews unlucky bunker lie on the 14th. Steve held his nerve well to win by one shot and I was whilst sad for Andrew I was particularly delighted for this fine young man and exhilarated to be part of his triumph. Also with another class act Paul Cavill his amateur partner they won the team event. Pauls delight and that of his wife in winning a trip to Mauritius was again a special moment. With regard to them all, I sincerely hope our friendships formed in the heat of competition remain and look forward to meeting up with them all again. I wish particular good fortune to Andrew and Steve and wish them every success in the Tour Events for the rest of the year.
In the team event we finished 6th on nine under……….. level with the Great Tony Jacklin…… that’s one for the scrapbook………
If you love your golf, cancel your trip to Spain and play in this event….
A Couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of participating in the above event. This is an amazing, novel, fantastic, concept open to golfers of all abilities.
There is the OPEN for the finest pro golfers held each year at one of the countries finest links courses. We then have the British Amateur which is open to the finest amateur golfers in the world; both theses quite naturally are open to the best exponents of our fabulous game. The peoples open is a series of qualifiers open to any golfer with a recognised handicap. The qualifiers from the regional heats go thru to a televised national final at that years open venue, i.e. last year Birkdale, this year Turnberry and next year most fantastically St.Andrews. This concept will effectively find the countries top golfer on a given day who plays beyond his/her handicap and scores most stableford points. Back this up with qualifiers played at some of the countries top resort courses and absolutely outstanding of course administration, this event deserves to be lauded as probably the best of its type in the world.
See http://www.pogt.co.uk/ and ensure you join me and the hundreds of others in 2010 in attempting to reach the holy grail of The Old Course. Imagine becoming a national champion at the home of golf. Yes that is the realistic possibility this magnificent competition affords.
As for this year, I sadly won’t be going to Turnberry, my golf game at the splendid Hill Valley, Simply was not good enough on the day as I trailed in with a disappointing 20 points. It could not detract from meeting and playing with some fine people and again getting the competitive buzz that playing in such a well organised tournament gives. Hill Valley is quite a splendid location for a social golf break. Excellent rooms overlooking the first tee and 18th green, great spa and pool facilities, fine bars and restaurant, backed up with a fine championship course, but even more golf friendly smaller course which would be a error to miss out on if you visit here.
In fitting with the summer weather we had, it tippled down all day, the Championship course off the back tees was far long for me having to carry my bag as i had to, i was physically shattered by the turn. It required straight driving, Greens were superb, my only complaint, the 4 par 3s, quite long, all approaching 200 yards were too similar and lacked any character, which was quite out of sinc with rest of course. The 18th is a Gem.
A Fine day was not ruined by the rain and I will return