Burghley Park Golf Club sees super support for captains' weekend
The captains’ weekend at Burghley Park on Saturday and Sunday was as popular as ever with skippers Mike and Michelle Powell determined that everyone would enjoy their day.
They had decided to try out a new format this year to encourage greater integration between all sections of the club with Saturday being an AM-AM format and Sunday being played as Better Ball pairs.
Mixed teams were encouraged and, as usual, the ladies rose to the challenge of dressing up for the theme of the weekend – ‘a day at the movies’.
In total, more than 300 players took part over the two days, 164 turning out on Saturday and 144 on Sunday.
Club captain Mike Powell said: “I was delighted by the support which Michelle and I have received from club members over the weekend and for their great generosity.
“Their donations to our captains’ charities (Air Ambulance and Guide Dogs for the Blind) came to more than £900 and the atmosphere on the course and in the clubhouse was fantastic.
“We both want to thank the many people who put so much effort into making sure the weekend ran so smoothly as well as the greens team and the hospitality team who provided great playing conditions and very welcome refreshments throughout the whole weekend.
“As a husband and wife team we wanted to share the weekend with everyone and it was great to see more than 200 people on Saturday evening to enjoy Sam Sharman’s buffet and music from the band Full Frequency.”
Forty-one teams of four contested the Saturday AM-AM event with added spice being provided by the impressive efforts which many of the ladies’ teams had made in dressing for the weekend theme.
With 90 per cent handicap allowance, and no more than two single figure handicappers allowed in each team, a close contest was anticipated and that’s exactly how it turned out.
Victory went to Steve Dawson (seven), Matt Payton (10), Jon Tyrell (11) and Stewart Ward (seven) with an impressive 101 points, giving them a three-shot cushion over Penny Campbell (19), Carole Hollman (19), Anne Hughes (17) and Karen Stroud (24) with 98 points in second spot.
It then got tighter with countback being required to determine who would finish third.
After the numbers had been crunched, Ian Jacobs (six), Kev Lawrence (11), Geoff McDonald (nine) and Jim McFerran (10) claimed the final podium place on 96 points.
Fourth place went to Helen Cox (15), Mel Griffiths (18), Sara Harris (26) and Karen Whittingham (26) on 95 with Tim Chapman (16), Chris Churchill (14), Brian Churchill (15) and Brian Eldred (10) fifth on 95.
Nearest the pin prizes went to Tommy Johnson, Brian Peck, Chris Taylor and Pete Hickman with Terry Austin taking the longest drive award and Deb Ellis the straightest drive prize.
Sunday’s Better Ball pairs event attracted 72 entries and, with the fairways running fast and both players to score around Burghley’s Amen Corner, scoring was stunning.
Early starters Cathal McHugh and Stewart Kirkpatrick came in with what looked like a potentially winning score of 50 points which gave the rest of the field something to think about.
That seemed to work as scores improved during the day, to such an extent that the early leaders found themselves ending the day out of the prizes in 10th place.
Just to keep up the excitement, the winning score was carded by the last pair out on the course, Gill and Graham Bedford who came in with a stunning 59 points which put them miles ahead of the chasers.
Having spent the previous day at a family wedding they were clearly very relaxed, producing 13 net birdies and net eagle between them.
Second place went to the father and son pairing of Richard and Charlie James with 53 points while the rest of the prizes needed countback to split them.
Third spot went to Dave Lennie and Chris Quinn on 52 with Stewart Pringle and Darren Russon fourth on the same score and Richard Keal and Callum Pridmore fifth also on 52.
Nearest the pins were won by Callum Pridmore, Graham Camp, Nicky Plumtree and Gill Bedford while Pridmore also took the longest drive prize with a spectacular 301-yard drive on the 10th. Pippa Le Sage claimed the straightest drive prize.
Burghley Park’s annual charity AM-AM last week, sponsored by Molson Coors, was as popular as ever with a generous prize table which always attracts players.
This year the prize list was dominated by visiting teams with the clear winners being David Bell, Roger Lewis, John Hurst and Michael Jay from Scraptoft with a score of 97 points.
Bell and Hurst were also in the winning Scraptoft team last year and clearly find the Burghley track to their liking.
The March and Ramsey team of Tim Stevens, Darrell Ladds, John Church and Neil Fuller took second on 92 points, on countback from the Milton side of Richard Berry, Richard M Berry, Scott O’Connor and Steve Small in third.
Anthony Barnes and Tristan Drane from Burghley Park, playing with Robert Smith and Jamie Wilson from Gog Magog and Thorpe Wood, took fourth place on 91 points.
The guests prizes, for teams containing players without an official handicap, went to Bob Blundell, Tony Tatton, Trevor Parnell and Jason Blundell on 95 and Dean Parker, Raymond Trevor, Bryan Johnson and Dave Hudson on 92.
Jon Young, presenting the prizes on behalf of Molson Coors, said: “We’re delighted to continue our support of this worthy event which is one of the club’s major charity days and are very pleased to see so many of our customers here.”
Burghley Park’s B team in the Lincolnshire Ladies Handicap League have now completed their campaign and secured their position as champions of Division Six South with a crushing 3-1 home win over Tydd St Giles.
The side made the best of the good weather (a great improvement on the away fixture which was almost rained off) with the lead pair of Gail Hunt and Jane Saggers overwhelming their opponents 6&4 to establish a good platform.
Anne Fensom and Chris Taylor ensured that Burghley would get at least a point from the fixture with a convincing 5&3 win before the match was won, and promotion confirmed, when Judy Cade and Gill Bedford held their nerve to win their contest one up on the last.
Lynda Lancaster and Mary Sharp fought hard but were up against determined opponents and lost 3&2, making the final score a 3-1 win for Burghley.
Captain Mary Sharp said: “The team spirit has been excellent this year and I want to thank everyone for their commitment and determination. We look forward to the new challenge we’ll face next season.”
Burghley Park’s Bev Harpham and Deb Ellis put in a great performance at the England Golf Australian Spoons Midlands North regional final at Burton-on -Trent Golf Club last week.
The duo had won their place in the national foursomes competition with an impressive 39 points at the qualifying competition held at Burghey and finished a creditable third at the Derbyshire course.
Parallel competitions for the Brenda Capon Trophy were held recently at Burghley Park with 76 men and 31 ladies taking part.
Terry Austin (nine) emerged victorious in the men’s event, starting steadily to reach the turn with 17 points before bursting into life on the back nine which he completed in just one over par gross for another 22 points. His 39 points meant he won the trophy and was cut to eight.
James Hargreaves (four) played consistently as he put together two halves with 19 points to finish with 38 points and edge out Teddy Crooke (three) on countback.
Crooke had the consolation of carding a gross 71 which saw him cut to two and continue his progression this year.
Sara Harris (26) claimed the ladies’ event, carding 18 points on both halves for a winning 36 points. Kay Hircock (14) took second place on 35, beating Stephanie Crook (23) on countback.
With five matches in the last couple of weeks or so, Burghley Park’s seniors are putting together a good run of form to the delight of captain Phil Hunt.
After an embarrassing 7-1 defeat at Woodhall Spa earlier in the season, there was considerable trepidation about their visit to Burghley and captain Hunt had worked hard to ensure he could get a strong side out in an attempt to rescue the Jim Shannon Trophy, played over two legs.
Despite a good start, with Burghley winning the first two matches, the visitors took the next two to ensure they would retain the trophy, before going on to edge out Burghley 4.5-3.5 for an emphatic overall win.
But then things got better as victories over St Neots (4.5-3.5), Ramsey (6-2) and Rutland County 5.5-2.5), and an away draw at Peterborough Milton saw a marked improvement in Burghley’s record.
Pride of place goes to Dave Devlin and Mike Wright, who both won all four of their matches, with Alan Kinch chasing them hard with his three wins out of three.