It was “6th floor Delight” for the  team under the Captaincy of  Society President, Lord Rothermere, as they came home the clear winners of the Christmas Scramble.

Played under clear blue skies on the Berkshire Red Course, the “6th Floor Delight” team beat runners-up, the “Wise Men of High St Ken”, to make it a real family affair. 

Lord Rothermere’s “star player” was the Society’s most enthusiastic new recruit, his youngest son, Alfred, and the runner-up Captain of the “Wise Men of High St Ken”, was elder son Vere.

Having joined the Society earlier this year, Vere was challenged by younger brother Alfred, as to who would win. Vere may have lost this year but is determined to make amends next time in the battle of the brothers! 

With the prize table loaded with Christmas hampers, puddings, chocolates, wine and the traditional “Paxo Stuffing”, there was fun and laughter all the way with a good turnout of Northcliffe’s finest golfers. 

The tough Red Course with 6 x Par 3s, 4s, and Par 5s was in great condition with challenging long holes and slick greens to deceive the very best golfer. 

Added to the success of the day was both the fund raising raffle and auction that raised nearly £6,000 that helps to subsidise next year’s fixtures plus the Society’s annual donation to charity. 

Society Chairman Vyvyan Harmsworth and MailonSunday photographer Ian McIlgorm added to the fun and laughter with joint auctioning skills of the donated items that included cases of champagne, golf bags, putters and a range finder, green fees at top golf courses, overnight golf trips to North Foreland and Preisch Golf in France and even a villa in the Caribbean. (Still available if you need a holiday destination!)

The winning “6th Floor Delight” team also included family member and long time supporter of the Society, Rupert Harmsworth, plus former Hardelot golf director Ken Strachan and his son Darren. Ken oversaw many of the Society’s Inter-Company tournaments in France and is now Director General at Preisch Golf in France.

They scored an impressive net 55.5 to win the Centenary Trophy and luxury Christmas hampers.  The Trophy donated to the Society in 2010 by North Foreland Golf Club marks 100 years since it was founded by Lord Northcliffe in 1910.

Vere’s team were close up in second with a net 56.1, beating Craig Fawcett’s “Weapons of Grass Destruction” who were attempting a hat-trick of wins, having won in 2018 and 2019. (The 2020 Scramble was cancelled because of covid restrictions.)       

In 4th with a net 60.3 were “The 3 Wise Men and a Wiser Woman”, Captained by Clive Heard with Stephen Stout’s “Men of Property” 5th with 61.7. Then came Ian McIlgorm’s “Horses for Courses” with 61.7 ahead of Martin Smith’s “Smith and Groans” in 7th with 62.3.

Holding on to the Paxo stuffing prize for another year, the “Paxo Four” of Captain Guy Zitter, Geoff Levy, Peter McKay and “MAC” maintained their “winning” ways to take home the stuffing. 

  Champagne for “Nearest the Pin” on the six Par Three holes were won by Stephen Stout (2nd), Laurie Brannan (5th), Darren Strachan (7th and 18th), John Heywood (10th), and Ian McIlgorm (16th).

There were 8 winners in the “Back the Winner” contest, with £20 each won by Vere Harmsworth, Mike Germain, Ian McGowan, Roland Agambar, Keith Cottington, Clive Heard, Harry Grindrod, and Lisa Heywood with £40 raised for the funds. 

  Because of covid restrictions, the Match Play final for 2019 had been delayed to this year between David Crump and Phil Barber with Phil Barber winning after a great game at West Hill. (The 2020 and 2021 competitions were cancelled). 

  Covid delays also meant that the 2019,2020 and 2021 Order of Merit play-offs between the top 4 players for the “Golfer of the Year” title, were decided after a Committee decision that the winner should be whoever topped the list for each of the years. Captain Nick Stevens won 2019 and 2020 and David Crump this year’s competition thanks to his amazing hat trick of 3 back-to-back trophy wins at Society golf days. 

Bringing an end to another season of golf, the only things missing from a  memorable Christmas Scramble were Father Christmas, his sleigh, reindeer and possibly snow.

 Pictures:  David Crump                                                                                                        Words: Garth Burden