Golf lovers from the world of business, media and sport came together on Monday (October 9) to compete in the Golf Foundation Pro-Am, supported by the European Tour. This year, the 31st edition of this popular tournament raised more than £15,000 to help young people with disabilities to enjoy the playing and personal benefits of golf.
The European Tour has been the great supporter of every Golf Foundation Pro-Am since the first in 1986. This year’s event was held at London Golf Club for a sixth year, with 20 teams from around the country enjoying their golf day while backing the nationally recognised charity which helps boys and girls to ‘Start, Learn and Stay’ in the sport and encourages them to learn valuable ‘Skills for Life’ associated with the game.
Playing on the excellent Heritage course at London Golf Club – a European Tour Destination – amateurs were guided by European Tour and European Senior Tour players to get the most out of their playing experience.
There was strong scoring among the teams with three fourballs recording 88 points, leading to ‘Team CEO’ grabbing fourth place on the countback (their Pro, Zane Scotland, scored a -7, 65) and European Tour Productions securing third place (led by Pro Peter Tarver-Jones). In second place, with 90 points (-18 par), was team ‘Dynamo Silver’ led by Rob McGuirk. Meanwhile, with a score of 91 and -19 under, Pro Wraith Grant guided the all-women’s team of ‘PGA Ladies’ to a memorable victory, with Maureen Roberts, Di Horsley and Debbie Allmey, who are all great supporters of the Foundation, receiving the loudest applause of the day for their terrific win.
All the players taking part showed their generosity to the Golf Foundation, in their team bookings, entering on-course challenges and buying auction items, which continued three decades of fundraising that has secured more than £500,000 to help make golf more accessible to youngsters from all backgrounds and abilities. The auction and a ‘heads and tails’ game were run by Ian Irving, a comedian whose jokes and stories kept everyone on their toes, and his fine effort helped raise nearly £6,000 at the dinner.
Golf Foundation Chairman Stephen Lewis said: “Everyone involved in our Pro-Am has been incredibly generous and we promise to spend every penny wisely. All the funds raised this year will help this charity to support more young people who have a disability to enjoy the benefits of golf, from having an opportunity to experience the sport for the first time with expert supervision to following a pathway into our golf clubs.”
The investment from the Pro-Am this year forms a key strand of the Foundation’s HSBC Golf Roots programme. The charity relies on support from all golfers as it introduces 500,000 young people to golf every year through HSBC Golf Roots, with the aim by 2018 of having 50,000 extra kids per year enjoying the experience of golf at a club, with 15,000 going on to play regularly, as the Foundation supports the national governing bodies.
Stephen Lewis added: “We would like to thank every amateur who played in our Pro-Am and also all the Tour Professionals who did a fantastic job, plus the great team at London Golf Club for making us all feel so welcome and creating such a good test on the stunning Heritage course.
“After 31 years this Pro-Am remains a very important part of our fundraising activity and we are hugely grateful to the European Tour for their support. Thanks to all the backing we receive throughout the year, from leading organisations in golf to all the club golfers out there who want to show their support for juniors, the Golf Foundation is able to make a massive difference in the lives of many young people.”
Stephen’s comments rounded off a memorable day, particularly for Alex Colville, who won the ‘longest drive’ prize (winning a Titleist putter), and for Huw Bennett who won the nearest the pin challenge, winning a fine ETIQUS watch.
The Golf Foundation wishes to thank all those companies and organisations which have shown their support for the Pro-Am, including donating auction items and prizes. These include HSBC, London Golf Club, Titleist, the European Tour, The R&A, ETIQUS, Glenmuir, The Groucho Club, The Ryder Cup, PING, Tractor Hire, SRIXON, Woburn Golf Club, Princes Golf Club and everyone else who kindly donated prizes.
The Golf Foundation HSBC Golf Roots www.golf-foundation.org