The threat of showery weather conditions greeted the participants of the Warrington Masonic Golf Society competition as they arrived for a lunch of soup and sandwiches at Haydock Park Golf Club.
There was an air of expectation during lunch as the golfers, being outwardly very polite, weighed up their adversaries. Did they look fit? When did they last play golf? Are they playing to their handicap? Do they play well in difficult conditions? Perhaps eating so much before the big occasion might hinder them. Hopefully!
Pre-match niceties over, the keen players made their way to the practice putting green to hone their actions and instil confidence, whilst others, more casual, chatted freely in anticipation of a good afternoon. There was an array of clubs and trolleys parked up outside the professional’s shop as players made their final preparations, stocking up with bottled water and chocolate bars. Envious eyes were cast at the buggy borrowed for the day to enable John Benson and Chris Eyres to participate without keeling over from exhaustion after nine holes!
Dave Goddard, the organiser took the privilege of teeing off first. Playing with Alan Ellis and Alex Roberts, they each drove sweetly down the centre of the fairway and the game was on! Ominous signs for the rest of the players as this gold star three-ball were to all feature in the later awards ceremony.
During the afternoon, as the wind got up, it became clear that the early groups had the better of the weather and as the blustery conditions developed driving on some tees became more and more difficult. Nonetheless there were some impressive performances and the newcomers to the event were satisfied with their play and enjoyed the afternoon off work.
The day was rounded off with a few drinks and a splendid three course meal was enjoyed in a most convivial atmosphere. Andy Barton (group chairman) thanked all for their support and gave special thanks to the sponsors, Rainbow Cosmetics, Gov Data and Alan Inge, for their continuing support which is much appreciated. He also thanked Dave Goddard for organising the event and the management team of the course for their help and support.
Andy then made the presentations to all the lucky winners as follows: RW Collins Trophy for the best Stableford score by a Warrington Mason was won Dave Goddard and the runner up was Frank O’Neil. Ron Hankin Trophy for best Stableford score by a Warrington Mason aged 60 years and over was won by Wayne Robinson and the runner up was Barry Jameson. Rainbow Trophy for best combined Stableford score for two cards in any group was won by Chris Eyres, John Benson, Ian Holden and Mike James. Alan Ellis won the Gov Data nearest the pin on the 18th hole. Alan Inge Trophy for the longest drive on the 5th hole was won by Ian Holden. Nearest the pin in two on 10th hole was won by Alex Roberts. Visitors Shield for the best Stableford score by a non-Mason went to Ian Holden and the Perseverance Prize for the lowest Stableford score from any player went to Jake Parsons.
Andy concluded by wishing everyone a safe journey home, saying he hoped he would see everyone next year.