Clive blows away the opposition
On a very windy day at the Walton Heath fixture it was the man in form who blew away the opposition.
There was brilliant sunshine and blue skies but players had to cope with some very strong and blustery winds that made both the New and the Old courses play more like a seaside links.
It may be called the New Course though first opened in 1907 and you could be forgiven into thinking the neighbouring Old Course, 1904, might be the better of the two famous courses to play, but it is almost impossible to select the best.
Both are heathland courses that have hosted so many memorable tournaments, from the Ryder Cup to regular European qualifiers for the US Open and later this year the British Masters.
There was a sense of excitement about playing this regular May fixture for the Northcliffe with both courses in brilliant condition as they were being prepared for this year’s European qualifier with top Professionals already practising on some of the holes.
Playing off his 6 handicap, Clive Heard, recently retired from DMG-media, played like one of the very best golfers who have ever tried to tame the New Course, with back to back birdies and a string on pars to win “The President’s Trophy”, donated by the Society’s President, Lord Rothermere, in memory of his late father who regularly enjoyed the Society’s golfing days .
His 38pts was one ahead of Adam Kemp from Marketing with Joe Marvel, who had travelled down from the Leicester financial centre having his best ever round with the Society with 36pts. Close up in fourth was Will Flint, winning on countback with 35pts from associate member Stephen Riley.
As a single figure handicapper, Clive was cut one shot to 5, with runner-up Adam cut one to 17 handicap.
Clive, a strong contender to win off his 6 handicap, backed himself in the fund raising “Back The Winner” competition and, with no one else selecting him to win, he collected £100 with £60 going to the funds.
There were five winners in the fund raising “2’s” competition with Clive, former Captain John Morgan, Nick Ratcliffe from DMG-events, Joe Marvel and Stephen Riley all collecting £10 with £14 to the Society. John’s “2” was on the tricky short Par-4 hole!
The afternoon competition on the Old Course again produced some tremendous scoring by the winners of the “Lady Rothermere Trophy”.
Scoring on every hole even though the strong wind continued to make play difficult, Mail on Sunday photographer Ian McIlgorm, drawn in this greensomes competition with John Morgan, won with 42pts from the Marketing pairing of Adam Kemp and Edmund Davison. In third place with 37pts was retired member Phillip Woods and guest John Heywood.
Former Society assistant secretary Derek Price was a guest at lunch, and said how good it was to see so much support continuing for the Society, formed in 1910 by the founder of the Daily Mail, Lord Northcliffe.
Prizes were presented by this year’s Captain Lee Terry, who said it was such a golfing treat to be playing at Walton Heath, especially with both courses in such great conditions as it prepared for the European qualifier.