Foul! That was the only way to describe the conditions that greeted us at the challenging and beautifully presented Renaissance Club, which sits next door to Muirfield in East Lothian . As 100mm of water descended on the West Country, we were lucky that it only poured down on us. The competition was reduced to nine holes and although the course stood up to the downpour remarkably well (not a puddle in sight) it was with relief that many of the competitors arrived at the clubhouse after the front nine and stayed there!
The winner was a most loyal supporter of the Championship, Trevor Glover (9) Chesterfield , managing an amazing 16pts, leaving three other qualifiers, Allan Rodger (4) Hirsel, Martin Yates (5) and newcomer Helen Warnock (14) Harburn all two points adrift on 14. Our congratulations to them all for their golf and for mastering the conditions. They are the first to book their places at Royal Liverpool in May next year, when the Championship Final returns to Hoylake for the third time.
There was a very good turn out, with the venue attracting visitors from far afield, one or two of whom appeared to be a little over-trained thanks to the generosity of Doogals McNeave (formerly Douglas Neave, secretary of Royal Ashdown) their ‘host’!
There was a full team of supporters, Fergus Bissett from Golf Monthly, Dean Poynter and Eddie Comerford of Eagle, Matt Shaw of TeeOffTimes, a last minute and very welcome appearance of Chris O’Hagan of Clubview, but most impressive of all, Phil McInley, Eagle’s MD flying up from ‘down south’ to make the tee just after ten; it was a poor reward for his sterling efforts.
Others taking part were Martyn Senior , Brian Lever, John Masterton, Alan Feltham, Keith Adderley, Gerard Flannigan, Stan Owram, Stephen Armstead, David Holmes, Scott Ballentine, John Holmes, Val Saville, Richard McLuckie, Bob De Rose and Neill Ellice.
Our thanks go to David Armstrong and his excellent team at The Renaissance and especially to Ian Henderson of Golf Finance who, as a member, smoothed our path. It was far from the ideal start to this year’s Championship but everyone appeared to enjoy their day and surroundings – so no damaged done.