Report on the Senior Captain's 72 Hole Challenge for Great Ormond Street Hospital : 20th June 2018
On the day before the longest day of the year, Wednesday 20th June, my alarm was set for 3 a.m. with a view to starting the challenge of playing of 72 holes in a day at 4.30 in order to raise as much money as possible for the my charity Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The Challenge Team
Shortly after arriving in the club car park I was joined by four equally mad Seniors - Vice Captain Kim (who supported me for all 72 holes) Dennis, Paul J and Barry who accompanied us for the first 18 holes. We set off from the 1st tee slightly early at 4.25 a.m. in very pleasant conditions at a pace that Brian Wilkins could only dream about! Two hours and 50 minutes later the ‘famous five’ ball had finished the first 18 holes!! Highlights of the round were Dennis scoring about 9 points on the front nine and about 26 on the back nine. Gordon- it is obvious Dennis is not great with early starts so my suggestion would be to try and get about a 3 a.m. start for your Summer Singles quarter final!! Barry (who says he is struggling with his putting) drained a 30 footer for a great par on Locke Spinney. It was all too much for Paul and he sloped off early after the 13th when Dennis reminded him to put a 4 for 5 points down on his card after birdying the hole. Meanwhile Kim and I played some steady, if unspectacular golf.
Arriving in the car park again at 7.15 a.m. there was actually sign of life again in the form of Bob Doe and Paul James arriving for the Swindle. The pro shop was also open so Kim loaded up the clubs and the cool box into a buggy (kindly given to him gratis for the day by the Club Shop - thanks Guys) whilst I continued to abide by the rules of the challenge and walk the course. For the second leg of the challenge Paul (ask me anything you want about Derby County and I'll keep the conversation going for the whole round) Shooter and Graham (I can't understand why my handicap was cut last year when I only won 8 competitions) Killington. Standing on the 10th tee (skillfully selected so that we wouldn't end up in the Ladies Competition later in the morning) Paul and Graham suggested that we might want to choose this round to play them in the Captain's v Vice Captain's Challenge. We politely refused which proved to be a wise move as Graham birdied the 10th with a great downhill putt and Paul eagled the second by chipping out of the greenside bunker!
The standard of play continued to be of high quality as the round progressed and I had my golfing moment of the day when I holed from 125 yards to eagle the 1st hole. Kim had his moment at the 16 where he birdied the hole after a good drive, fabulous approach shot and a putt that never looked like missing. Having seen no one on the course for the first 18 holes who should we see on the second hole? No other than Ready Golf Brian! He was playing his Summer Singles match and was somewhat miffed that his opponent (Siv) had just put his ball on the green with his drive and a pitching wedge! - I can see there being another Graham K this year!
We concluded our second round at 11.15ish and headed for the clubhouse for a well-deserved coffee and to try and tap up the Ladies for a few quid by having a go on the Guess the Score Sweepstake. Leaving Kim's wife Mary Anne in charge of the board we headed off once more to the 1st tee for the third round of our adventure. This was the leg that fatigue might start to set in so out came the energy drinks and ham salad rolls.
I also thought it was the leg that Ray (Bushtracker) Wells was joining us but I was clearly having yet another Senior moment or deliriousness was setting in because Ray told me that he was doing the final leg at 4pm. Undeterred Kim and I continued to set a good pace and soon realised that we would be finished well before that. Halfway through the round Gordon (only 40 points in the Classic Competition because my back was hurting) joined us and walked along with us to give us moral support. Secretly I think he was checking out the holes to see which holes to play off the reds, yellows and whites in the Special Swindle on Friday because miraculously he bid us farewell after exactly 18 holes!!! Seriously though having additional Seniors with us helped tremendously- thanks Gordon.
After another short coffee break and a phone call to Bushtracker asking him to get to the club a bit earlier we set off on the last 18 holes just before 3.30 p.m. Feeling surprisingly sprightly we had reached the 10th by just after 5.00 p.m. where we were joined by our wives for the final 9 holes. For the first time in the entire day we started to be held up slightly, but to be honest by that time we weren't overly bothered. The end was in sight and a a well earned pint was waiting for us in the bar. We arrived on the 18th tee just before 7.00 p.m. and finished in style with Ray, Kim and myself all finishing with a par.
Although the day had been long it was more than worth it. I would like to extend special thanks to all those who joined Kim and I on the course and to everyone who made a donation. In addition, the Sweepstake board raised £180 - many thanks to the Ladies Section in particular for the £86 raised on the day. Some lucky person (to be revealed at a later date) has won £90!
Your kindness and generosity has helped to raise just over £1500 in total Great Ormond Street.
For the record the scores for the day were
Graham 79 80 81 82 - 322
Kim 92 91 92 91 - 366
It was revealed today that the single winning guess of Graham’s gross score in the Sweepstake (322) was by none other than Ray Wells who earned the grand sum of £90 for that guess – we were assured that the board was completed before he went out on the course!
Ray joins to play the last leg with the team - also co-incidently the winner of the sweepstake!