Surrey kept the best to last and scored a narrow victory in the England Golf’s tournament for County Presidents and Secretaries at Frilford Heath Golf in Oxfordshire.
The team, who were the final group in the competition, came in with 83 points to pip Hampshire and Staffordshire, who both scored 82.
The star of the day was the Surrey ladies’ handicap adviser, Christine Staff, who had 41 points on her own account, while county vice-captain Sally Parrish also won much praise from their playing partners.
Men’s county President Terry Christy said: “The ladies were brilliant and Christine was exceptional. There weren’t too many boys’ holes, we were outclassed.” Past President Roger Vincent added: “We carried their clubs, we said well done!”
The format proved a winner with the team, with new contacts forged and Christine commenting: “It’s brilliant.” Terry added: “It’s been lovely and if we play as a four again Roger and I probably won’t bring our clubs, they’re totally unnecessary.”
Sally and Roger are both members at Burhill, while Christine belongs to West Surrey and Terry to West Byfleet (image © Leaderboard Photography).
Hampshire’s appearance in the competition was notable for the men’s President, Barry Morgan (Liphook), who was playing his first round of golf for a year and who had a heart bypass operation in February.
He was joined in the event by men’s county secretary David Wheeler (Brokenhurst Manor), ladies’ President Bridget Moore (Meon Valley) and vice-captain elect Kay Walshe (Hockley).
“We all contributed but David and Bridget both scored on 12 holes. It was my first game for a year and I was delighted to get back – and they all carried me round!” said Barry.
Staffordshire’s challenge was led by Roger Waite, the men’s county President, who played the grandstand shot of the day when he holed a hybrid from about 230 yards for an eagle two on the ninth.
“I’ve had maybe one other eagle in a lifetime of golf!” laughed Waite (Bloxwich), who was playing with county secretary Martin Payne (Fulford Heath), ladies’ county President Val Mason (Handsworth) and ladies’ second team captain Rachel Bishop (The Chase).
The eagle helped the team to amass seven points on the 427-yard hole and contributed to a total of 82 points. They scored well throughout the round, having four other holes on which they collected six points, including the fifth where Val chipped in for a birdie three.
The tournament was played as part of England Golf’s new Golf Week, which celebrates team and handicap golf with a five-day festival of events.