While the golf pros were battling it out on the links of Chambers Bay in the US Open, an equally hotly contested tournament was unfolding on the fairways and greens of the Park Golf Course in Blackpool. It was the day of ‘The Blackpool Lodge of Tranquillity No 6544 Annual Golf Tournament’.
Inclement weather heavily dampened the turf but not the good old sporting spirit of the 23 valiant golfers who ventured out to give of their best in the way of wholesome exercise for the masses. Donned in their snazziest waterproof raiment they pooh-poohed the blustery wind and rain and jauntily strode out onto the greenery of the Park to do battle. Although the potential rewards were much more modest than those for which the pros at Chambers Bay were competing, these stoic amateurs were no less committed to their goals.
Organised by the secretary of Blackpool Lodge of Tranquillity Lodge Dave Boswell and its current master Ray Johnson, the tournament was in the form of a Stableford competition with additional prizes for the longest drives on the 12th and 18th holes and for nearest to the pin on the 10th and 16th holes.
Supporting the efforts of the lodge were golfing brethren from its mother lodge, Blackpool Lodge No 1476, joined in the day, accompanied by the master of Emblem Lodge No 6727 Michael Fisher and his team. A squad of eight golfers from the Bispham and Norbreck Tennis and Bowls Club boosted the numbers still further and very much stamped their authority on the day’s proceedings for, when the evidence was all in, they had scooped the majority of the prizes.
Returning to the clubhouse after having bravely tolerated the vagaries of blustery wind and rain, the 23 players were joined by family members and friends for the prize-giving banquet and traditional fund raising activities. Having enjoyed a hearty and welcome feast, the 37 diners generously raised an impressive £323 for the special baby care unit at Victoria Hospital.
Ray Johnson presented the prizes and despite the unyielding nature of the British weather, some rather fruity scores had been achieved. Heading the field and taking away the Boswell Shield as overall winner with an impressive 36 points was Bispham and Norbreck club member Ian Tolley, followed closely by Brendan Junior. In third place and also from the Bispham and Norbreck club was Colin Bailey.
Bispham and Norbreck continued to dominate the prizes by clinching the longest drive on the 12th hole, Brian McDowell being the beef behind the drive and Carl Bailey walked away with the prize for the nearest shot to the pin on the 16th hole.Saving face for Tranquillity Lodge, Ray Johnson captured the award for the nearest to the pin on hole 10 and Paul Johnson secured the longest drive on 18th hole.
The weather had thrown all it had at its disposal in attempting to spoil the day but the stoic grit of the gallant golfers rose to the challenge and proved that they could still enjoy their golf whatever the weather, and what is more, return some pretty impressive scores.