Warrington Group’s first ‘hole in one’

The Warrington Group’s Golf Society’s annual event was again held at Haydock Park Golf Club. Light cloud 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.

The gents’ teams before teeing off.

The gents’ teams before teeing off.

This was the second year that ladies have been invited to play and two separate competitions were run simultaneously, one for the gents and one for the ladies. There was a welcoming atmosphere of eagerness and apprehension during lunch as the golfers, being outwardly very polite, weighed up their adversaries. Each player eyed up their opponents in an attempt to estimate their chances of good scores or otherwise. The usual questions followed to help determine possible pending performance, ‘Have you played this week?’ ‘What was your score? ‘Are they playing to their handicap? Perhaps eating so much before the big game 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 hired for the day by Gwilym Jones which enabled him participate without keeling over from exhaustion.

Dave Goddard, the organiser, took the honour at the first tee, playing with Barry Jameson and Ian White, they each drove sweetly down the centre of the fairway and the game was on! The light clouds quickly cleared giving way to slightly variable sunshine which continued to improve throughout the day.

The ladies’ teams before teeing off.

The ladies’ teams before teeing off.

During the afternoon, the sunshine steadied and its warmth was enjoyed by all. Four groups of gents were followed by two four ball groups of ladies. One lady having suffered an injury a few days earlier, decided to accompany one of the ladies’ groups and just enjoy their company and perhaps gain a little insight towards the next year’s event. Following the ladies teams the last gents four ball teed off at 14:40.

The overall number of players had increased from last year by nearly 10 per cent, even though one team had to call off due to illness.

Nonetheless, there were some impressive performances and the newcomers to the event were satisfied with their play and enjoyed the afternoon off work. Four of the gent’s groups had finished their game and were enjoying some much needed liquid refreshment sitting in the sunshine on the 19th hole, when the first ladies team was teeing off on the 18th.

Jean Starkey was the first to walk up to the final green, eagerly looking for her ball and thinking it must have just run off the back of the green but certainly out of sight. However, the ball was nowhere to be seen, when Mary Hartill, a team member, declared: “Your ball is actually in the hole.” There was a standing ovation from the spectators on the terrace and a look of total surprise and disbelief on Jean’s face, which quickly changed to delight at the sight of the very pleasant surprise.

The day was rounded off with a few drinks, one supplied by the celebrant and a splendid 3-course meal was enjoyed in a most convivial atmosphere. The prizes were then distributed. Trophies were presented to the winner by Andy Barton the Warrington Group Chairman. Winners’ results were as follows:

Pictured left: Jean discovering her great achievement. Picture right: Dave Goddard (left) presenting Jean with the special prize donated by Barry Jameson.

Pictured left: Jean discovering her great achievement. Picture right: Dave Goddard (left) presenting Jean with the special prize donated by Barry Jameson.

R W Collins Trophy winner was Wayne Robinson. Ron Hankin Trophy winner was Dave Goddard. Nearest the pin was Barry Jameson. Longest drive went to Frank O’Neil. Nearest the pin in 2 was Alex Roberts. Phil Gartside Memorial Trophy (ladies) winner was Jenny Burne, which was presented by last year’s winner Jean. Visitors Shield went to Mike Eden. Rainbow Trophy went to Wayne Robinson, Geoff Yates (not available) and Fred Oxon. Perseverance Trophy winner was Mike Williams.

This was the first time that a ‘hole-in-one’ had been achieved in this competition since it began several decades ago and therefore a prize for such a happening is not normally offered (because of its rarity). However, Barry Jameson, a senior Provincial grand officer, a member of the group and of the management team of the course very quickly obtained and very kindly donated a special prize to present to Jean which was a boxed bottle of ‘Lanson Black Label Champagne’. Apart from still being in shock, Jean was extremely pleased to receive the champagne and thanked everyone for their congratulations and particularly Barry for his good wishes and very kind donation. She concluded by asking if she could book in for the competition next year!

Andy announced that almost £200 had been raised for charity and thanked everyone for their contribution and for their support with special thanks to the sponsors, Rainbow Cosmetics, Gov Data and Alan Inge for their continuing support which is very much appreciated. He also thanked Dave Goddard for organising the event and the management team of the course for their help and support. Finally, he wished everyone a safe journey home saying he hoped he would see everyone next year.

Article and pictures by John Starkey.

The winners appearing in order as the list above from top left to bottom right.

The winners appearing in order as the list above from top left to bottom right.