23rd Open Championship

Ganton Golf Club, 19th/20th May

It is not difficult to report on The Golf Club Secretary – 23rd Open Championship, held at Ganton Golf Club as much of the detail remains the same as in previous years. Everyone had a great time; the Club is exceptional; the course very nearly ‘won’, proving very difficult for most as it should do for a Championship; the food and drink were excellent and plentiful; and the company was unrivalled.

Our thanks, as always, go to the Club, Captain David Walker and Members for their generosity in allowing us to once again stage the Final of our Championship at their historic Club and course. It is a privilege for us, as well as a joy, and one for which we are very grateful. Thanks too to our host Gary Pearce and his team, especially caterer Caroline – they could not have done more.

The winner was Matthew Bowman (12) Ely City with an outstanding 37pts. Matthew was another repeat, having taken the trophy when the Championship was last staged at Ganton in 2011. He achieved his win in some style too, with a hole to spare, as he didn’t score on the 18th! Everyone’s congratulations go to the Champion – see you at Saunton next year. Visit thegolfclubsecretary.co.uk/the-golf-club-secretary-open-championship/ for the Final results, where you will find out that in second place came a valiant John Aughterlony (12) Rochester & Cobham Park on 33pts, a mere four points behind the winner.

Sunday proved in many ways to be the highlight(s) with foursomes producing some wonderful scoring. Chris Williams (5) Hillside (who hasn’t had much rest in the last few months looking after Tommy Fleetwood and the British Masters) partnered Scott Ballentine (9) Royal Worlington & Newmarket (a very regular Finalist) dropping only six strokes they scored 39pts! Runners up were Darren Murphy (0) Harborne (amongst the best ball strikers in the field) and Graham Finney (17) Mickleover (a regular Finalist, who first qualified for the 10th Open). Their chocolates were very quickly consumed.

Yet another highlight was Philip Vince’s ingenuity in assisting with raising funds for Viv’s chosen Charity, PDSA. Given the task of delivering eight golf balls to a pin on the practice putting green (nearest the pin wins the bottles of champagne) for The GCS – Charity Challenge, he came up with the design and manufacture of a release mechanism worthy of Barnes Wallis (young guys go to Wikipedia…). Before dinner there was a Fly Past which worked like a dream and the smallest table won…

Dinner in the Dining Room was a very jolly affair and after an excellent meal and three rounds of Heads and Tails, the charity benefitted by more than £600.

The Supporters, without whom, as everyone knows by now, the Championship simply would not exist, were at Ganton in force. Thank you.

First amongst them, literally, was Matt Patton of Golf Car UK, who actually ‘won’ on countback with his 37pts. Matt is no longer playing off 14 – at Goodwood in July, he’ll be off 9. He has always wanted to be in single figures!! Rob Purvey was also in attendance playing in his first GCS – Final (scoring a very respectable 27pts in the process). The longest serving (since the beginning) Supporters are Prize Provider Philip Vince of Majestic Crystal and Phil McInleyof Eagle, who also had Liam Burns (+3) who managed 34pts and Malcolm Pennycott with him. BRS’s Richard Dixon and the very welcome Barry Johnstone came down from Scotland at the last minute. Also dashing down from Scotland was David Miller (+2) of Bluefin Sport (who actually came fifth on 33pts) and Neil Hartley, who had a stroll across Yorkshire. By far the farthest traveller, and therefore all the more welcome, was the Main Man from Golf Genius, Mike Zisman, who flew in from the US on Sunday morning and, donning his Ganton sweater and GCS tie, joined in with gusto. Our thanks go to Craig Higgs and to Nick Smith, also of Golf Genius, who oversee all our scoring needs quite brilliantly.

My personal thanks to Jezz Ellwood for being there and for assisting with the prize presentation and to Andy and Amy Crummey who dealt with all the ‘tasks’ they were given in an unflappable and efficient fashion.

Our thanks too go to another Supporter, Mike Humble of William Turner & Co, who supplied the 23rd Open Championship tie. This was universally acclaimed and worn – we promise it won’t be so sober and tasteful next year! Get them to provide you with a design?

Should you or any of your members be thinking of visiting Ganton in the future, be aware that the Dormy House is a wonderful spot in which to stay (eight beds in five rooms) all very tastefully named and furnished.

Go to the link and smile? We hope you enjoyed everything?

Foursomes Leaderboard

The Final Leaderboard