Lincolnshire couple Spencer and Julie Gooderson became England Golf’s first PING Family Fourball champions today at Gainsborough Golf Club.
The husband-and-wife team from Spalding Golf Club (Image © Leaderboard Photography) topped an impressive inaugural leaderboard with 48 stableford points – and led a great celebration of the family game.
The competition was open to relatives playing in any combination and appealed to couples, mothers, daughters, fathers, sons, sisters and brothers, who ranged in age from 12 to 75. One father and son live over 100 miles apart and entered for a get together, while a father and daughter flew the flag for family golf with Union Jack inspired clothing (pictured below).
This new competition follows the enormous success of the PING Women’s Fourball, which has its 11th Plate and Grand Finals tomorrow and on Tuesday. Dave Fanning, PING Europe’s Marketing Director, said: “We and England Golf both wanted to put on an event which was inclusive of everyone who plays golf. It’s been a huge success and we have really enjoyed hosting this. Hopefully we can make it bigger and better and continue to grow the game of golf at every level.”
Spencer Gooderson, who plays off six, commented: “Golf is a great family sport. There aren’t many sports where the whole family can play together on level terms.”
The Goodersons entered with Spencer’s parents, Peter and Olive, while their 10-year-old son, Louie – who has just got his first 28 handicap – walked round with them. “We’ve covered the whole spectrum,” laughed Peter. “They won and we came last!”
Julie, who took up golf only two years ago and has a 29 handicap, added: “It’s been fantastic, I’ve loved it – and not just because we won.”
The Goodersons led a packed leaderboard. The runners-up were father and son, Paul and Daniel Plant, of Bondhay Golf Club, Yorkshire, who scored 47 points and pipped another father and son on countback, John and Rob King of Eaglescliffe, Durham.
The Plants also played in family force, with mum Amanda partnering her other son, Adam, who celebrates his 15th birthday tomorrow. “It’s just been brilliant,” she said.
They’re all fans of family golf, but Paul said: “We never pushed the boys to play but they started when they were five and seven. We just go out and enjoy it.”
Daniel, 17, is now the Bondhay junior captain and today he gelled well with his dad, who added: “It wouldn’t have mattered if we had finished last, we’ve enjoyed it.”
The Kings are both members of Eaglescliffe but rarely play together at the club. “I play with the old ’uns and he plays with the young ‘uns,” said John. However they had an outing together earlier this year and grabbed this opportunity – but once again missed out on top spot. “We’ve never won anything in 25 years of playing together!” said Rob.
They’ll be playing more family golf at their club next week when they’ll each be partnering one of Rob’s sons in a generation game competition.