Ian Gaunt, Assistant Director of Sport at St Andrews University, staged a superb finish to win the first hickory-only PowerPlay Golf event held at Kingarrock Golf Club on 4th June.
Gaunt, who played professional football for Walsall FC, scored an amazing 22 Stableford points over the last 4 holes to total 29 points in winning the 9-hole ‘PowerPlay Golf Kingarrock Hickory Cup’ tournament. His spectacular finish, which included three successful PowerPlays, edged Neil Paton, Head Pro at St Andrews Old Course Hotel, and 13 year-old Douglas McEvoy, son of PowerPlay Golf founder Peter McEvoy, into joint second place on 25 points apiece.
All entry fees for the event were divided between two Scottish charities: Erskine House, and The Bill McLaren Foundation.
Heralded as a meeting of the old and the new, 40 golfers played golf’s new global ‘two flag’, risk-and-reward format using hickory-shafted clubs around the beautiful Kingarrock course at Cupar, near St Andrews.
Kingarrock only allows hickories to be played and provides golfers with an experience of how golf was played in the past – and the juxtaposition of golf’s newest global format with equipment from eighty years ago certainly impressed winner Gaunt.
“I loved the experience”, said Gaunt. “It took me a few holes to get the hang of it but once I got into my stride I used my PowerPlays well and had a very exciting finish. It was a great concept to combine the two ideas”.
Neil Paton agreed “As a teaching pro I think that players will learn a lot by playing hickories: it’s great fun, the smaller sweet spot requires a more accurate strike, and you need a more disciplined golf swing. By adding PowerPlay Golf’s extra demands on course management and decision-making, Kingarrock created a fascinating test of golf”.
Kingarrock Hickory Golf owner David Anderson said: “When I ran the idea to stage a PowerPlay Golf event at Kingarrock past Peter, he immediately saw its potential, and the reactions we received from those who played vindicated our decision to combine these two elements at different ends of golf’s historical time line. We certainly hope to stage more PowerPlay Golf events here in the future”.
PowerPlay Golf co-founder and ex Walker Cup Captain Peter McEvoy OBE said: “Just like on the golf course, where you need to combine imagination with playing skill, those of us involved in running the game must also think creatively – if we are to ensure that the game continues to grow and adapt to the demands of modern life.
“Our two-flag format is now in 29 countries, and has gained countless devotees at almost 400 Official venues – but Kingarrock is unique in the world of golf, and I am delighted that our inaugural PowerPlay Golf Kingarrock Hickory Cup was such a success”.
PowerPlay Golf www.powerplay-golf.com
Kingarrock Hickory Golf www.kingarrock.com