It was the turn of the Slovenian Greenkeeper’s Association to host the 14th Don Harradine Memorial Trophy which is rotated yearly between Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia in memory of Don Harradine’s contribution to the greenkeeping profession, and the fact that he founded the International Greenkeeper’s Association in 1968. Darko Cecelja, Chairman of Slovenian Greenkeepers Association, reports
Host of the tournament was the Bled golf course which is the oldest and biggest golf course in Slovenia. Bled was first opened in 1937 and was sadly closed during the Second World War and remained inoperative for over 25 years as it was used as a military training camp. In 1971- 1972 Donald Harradine was commissioned to re-design and supervise the construction of the new golf course which slowly but surely attracted more and more golfers.
We all had our fingers crossed and hoped that the meteorologists made a mistake when they forecast rain for Monday the 30th as that was the day we had reserved to play our practice rounds. It did rain, but luckily on Sunday so the practice rounds could be played anyway, although the course was rather wet!. During that evening’s get-together party, planned strategies were discussed about the next day’s tournament and many memories were fondly remembered about the previous DHM events.
On the first day, we woke up on a cloudy but dry morning and the sun greeted the players after the mist cleared about an hour after the beginning of the tournament, finally allowing them to see the spectacular view of the mountains surrounding the course. The golf course was in an excellent condition despite the unfavorable climatic conditions of the previous days. The manager of the Bled golf course, Mr. Boštjan Luznar and his team of greenkeepers did a great job in preparing the course for play despite the numerous practical difficulties. Many players fought with the bunkers and the many trees which often trapped the ball in the woods, but overall we had a great day of golf despite the occasional bad game. Luckily most of the competitors played well, especially the winners!! The sun went in to hiding again, late in the afternoon and it became quite chilly, but the players’ hearts were warmed immediately by a most welcome glass of whisky served by some very charming hostesses at the club house!
The gala dinner was held on that evening in the Grand Hotel Toplice which has a wonderful view of the lake, the island and the castle. The prizes were presented to the winners in the usual great atmosphere experienced at those memorial dinners and I am really proud that the Challenge Trophy was transferred to Slovenia, as the winner of the gross prize this year was Aljoša Golob from Slovenia. In the guests category the gross prize was won by Dean Cleaver.
The other winners were:
Group A (hdcp 0 – 18,4):
1st net Florian Erhardsberger (Germany)
2nd net Marko Prekič (Italy)
3rd net Leonhard Anetseder (Germany)
Group B (hdcp 18,5 – 36):
1st net Alessio Chiusso (Italy)
2nd net Rupert Schmucker (Germany)
3rd net Hanspeter Ruhdorfer (Germany)
Group C guests (hdcp – 36):
1st net Franz Kaineder (Austria)
2nd net Angelika Engert (Germany)
3rd net Gotz Mecklenburg (Germany)
Longest drive men: Dino Kalender 255 m (hole number 18)
The longest drive ladies: Elvira Senn 144 m ( hole number 18)
Nearest to the pin: men: Tom Hellickson 2,42 m (green number 10)
Nearest to the pin: ladies: Elvira Senn (This prize was drawn from the hat as none of the ladies actually hit the green!)
I would like to congratulate all the winners!
As we introduced for the first time in Switzerland last year, we also bestowed a Special Award to the best young greenkeeper from each participating country. The greenkeeper’s associations from Germany and Switzerland did not nominate anybody this year although they promised to choose 2 young greenkeepers for next year’s tournament in Germany. The best young greenkeeper from Austria was Philipp Konigsmaier (Golf Club Attersee Traunsee) and the best young greenkeeper from Slovenia was Andrej Ziško (golf course Livada, Moravske Toplice). They were both chosen by their respective associations. Congratulations to both of them!
As he does every year Peter Harradine did not disappointed us with his famous speech. This year the speech was held in German and English so that everybody could understand and laugh at his jokes and the adventures he experiences during his travels. Part of the speech dealt with the useless technology and modernization of many new hotels that have too many light switches in the rooms and electronic cards that should open doors but do not usually work as they should. We were lucky that our hotel is old fashioned as it is over 82 years old without any unnecessary modern accessories and real keys to open the doors!.
After the official speeches, prize giving and excellent dinner we were entertained by a great musical group called Veseli Begunjčani. We danced and had a lot of fun up to the early hours of the morning.
I thank all the sponsors including Golf course Bled for supporting this worthy tournament and of course all the participants who, every year, take part in this great event. We are proud to see that this tournament attracts more and more young people as the years go by. Mr. Hubert Kleiner, the Chairman of the German Greenkeeper’s Association kindly invited us to the next Don Harradine Memorial Trophy which will be held on the 22nd and 23rd of September 2014 at the golf course Tegernsee in Germany.
See you all in Germany next year.
Don Harradine Memorial Trophy www.don-harradine-memorial.com