The first Regional Qualifying Tournament for The Golf Club Secretary – 20th Open Championship took place at Luffenham Heath on Thursday, 1st October. Conditions were perfect, shirt sleeve order (with some rather ‘iffy’ examples on display), course immaculate and very good scoring, on one of the other Open Championships qualifying courses.
The shirts and a great deal more can be viewed, courtesy of our in-house photographer at http://www.majesticcrystal.co.uk/#!luffenham-heath/c1lky
The winner was former GCS – Open Champion (2011 – Ganton) Matthew Bowman (14) Morpeth, who had not only made a last minute entry but had travelled a fair distance down from Newcastle to score 36pts, to be the clear winner by two points. Runner up on 34pts was the ever steady Martin Gillett (5) Hobbs Cross on countback from John Hemphrey (5) Park Wood. Fourth was Andy Izod (11) Peterborough Milton on 32pts. The remaining two qualifiers were Mo Brooker (11) and Neal Milton (4) Sheringham on 31pts.
There were two other past Champions in the field Bill Dunn (Radcliffe on Trent), winner in 2014 at St Enodoc and Neill Ellice (Ipswich) winner in 2004 at Royal Liverpool, both of whom are still amongst the Championship’s most loyal supporters.
Special mention too for Will Shucksmith of National Club Golfer, a guest, who stood on the first tee with minus 3 points (+3 handicap if you can’t work it out!) and manage to come in with 33pts or level par!
Our thanks go to the Captain and Committee of Luffenham Heath, who at times didn’t quite know what had hit them, but their welcome was warm. The Club’s staff and caterer were most helpful and obliging and a credit to host Secretary Tim Stephens. Thank you to them all.
We had three other guests Adam Roberts of GMS, Steve Dickinson of Rigby Taylor whose ball striking, especially from distance to the green, was a delight to behold. Also James Tucker formerly of Denham now advising others on how to manage their ‘wealth’ and whose informative article on how secretaries should tackle the Government’s ‘auto-enrolment’ scheme will be published in the newsletter shortly.
As ever we were very well supported by our Patrons. Barry Gibbs from his new venture insuractive, Richard Barker, now Director of International Sales at the conglomerate that includes BRS Golf, GolfNow.com & Teeofftimes.co.uk. Where would we be without Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal? The finest chocolatier in the country and a fountain of knowledge on who is where and doing what in the world of golf management. The ever present Dean Poynter of Eagle. A warm welcome back, after many years, to Tammy Hewins of intelligentgolf. And finally, but by no means least, the formidable squad from all parts of Golf Monthly, Chris O’Hagan, Joel Tadman and cricket’s own Tom Clarke. Our thanks to them all for making a great day and an ever more successful Championship.