Was it really the middle of October? Wonderful weather and a perfect course, the most polished and professional of welcomes; will the ‘perfect day’ ever be matched? It is hard to imagine, but then that is the beauty of The Golf Club Secretary – Open Championship!
The winner, after a spectacular return from horrific injuries sustained in a buggy crash, was John Douglass (8) Liphook with 38pts, three clear of runner-up Steve Searle (6) Southwick Park. Martin Gillett (5) Hobbs Cross was third on countback with 34pts from fourth placed Steve Murphy (9) Shirley Park. The other qualifiers for the Final at Ganton next May were, on 33pts, John Broome (12), Matthew Streets (3) Ladbrook Park, on 32pts, Peter Clarke (3) Flackwell Heath, on 31pts Stewart Zuill (8) Swinley Forest and Brian Cullen (6) Crews Hill. Finally Paul Gaylor (10) Hartley Wintney, Michael Morley (16) Hadden Hill (with the aid of a local caddie, a very worthwhile anniversary gift from his wife!) and Bob Blower (10) Hampstead all had 30pts. Congratulations one and all.
For the Captain, Committee and members of Sunningdale days such as these must be commonplace, but it is hard to imagine that they truly appreciate what exquisite pleasure they generously give to so many. Our thanks to them and all their staff, especially Stephen Toon, for making us feel so welcome. PLEASE may we return in a few years time!?
Special thanks to Deputy Secretary Michael Newland for overseeing our visit and for his wine arrangements with Messrs O W Loeb. Francis Murray’s comments rang very true “Even if you have a tough time on the course I am confident you will enjoy lunch!”
Last but by no means least our thanks to Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal, Philip McInley of Eagle Promotions, Paul and Stefanie Mainstone (Jonas), Mike Harris of Golf Monthly, James Rogers of ispygolf and Richard Dancy of Golf Locker Security.