A sizeable gallery was treated to an excellent display of exhibition golf at Rutland County Golf Club as Ladies Champion Imogen Huxley showcased her talents alongside the European Tour sensation Charley Hull.
Fresh from her Solheim Cup heroics, Charley has a very full international diary of events this season - no sooner jetting back from Australia than finding herself on the testing county links in front of an appreciative crowd.
Surprised by the speed and quality of the greens, Charley soon settled down to provide 5-handicapper Imogen with an idea of what she may expect in terms of shot-making and course management as her own career progresses, but the home player also showed several glimpses of her own ability as well.
Both players are renowned for their power off the tee and the crowd were treated to some awesome drives from each player as the game unfolded on a bright and breezy day.
Charley was keen to accept the invitation to play at Rutland County in support of the club’s initiative to recruit more girls into golf, believing that “more effort should be made to attract new golfers to the sport.”
Having officially opened the new ‘Tiger Tots’ golf play-yard and viewing the putting green which the club has installed at the Casterton Business and Enterprise College, Charley added: “The practice facilities at Rutland County Golf Club, coupled with a good, year-round course, is an ideal location for newcomers to learn the sport.”
Charley showed her great quality as she and Imogen cruised around the course.
Both players sat down with their families for lunch and Charley later happily posed for photographs with members of the club.
Geoff Osborne enjoyed a red-letter day at Rutland County, recording his maiden ace at the par three 13th hole. Facing 140 yards into the teeth of a typical Rutland County breeze, Osborne punched a 6-iron which covered the flag all the way and settled nicely into the hole.
Paul Milsom is mining a rich vein of form at the moment with back-to-back wins in the last two weekend stableford events.
Milsom denied his latest 40 point haul was a result of tips passed on by Charley Hull as he carried her bag on Friday, after just edging out Chris Bower who finished with 39.
Bower discovered that playing with senior shafts in his irons was not helping his game and a switch to new clubs with stiff shafts was called for which, allied to his new pre-season fitness regime, has seen a remarkable shift in his golfing fortunes.
Local farmer Phil Drury finessed his way into third spot on countback with 37, just ahead of Mike Powell.
A good turn-out was again bolstered by the addition of the ladies whose best finisher was Meg Tasker on 33 followed by Michelle Powell with 32.
Alan Bainbridge scored 40 points to win Division 1 with the metronomic Kevin Whittle in second place on countback. Division 2 was taken by Mike Glenister with an outstanding 45, ahead of Phil Davis with 41.
In the final round of the Seniors winter stableford Mike Lenister came in first, followed by Phil Davis in second, Alan Bainbridge in third, Kevin Whittle fourth, Alistair Scott fifth, Arthur Dethick sixth, John Mason seventh, Ken Jakeman eighth, Jerry Jolly ninth and Ted Leighton taking the final point on offer.
In the end in the overall standings Kevin Whittle ran away with the event.
A solid fourth place for 9 points gave him a Winter total of 79 points and the title – a tremendous performance from the former electrical engineer.
Second place with 67 points was Gerry Webb and third with 56 points was Ted Leighton. Kevin Whittle also managed to achieve a highly respectable average of 7.9 points per game.