GRAZIOLI & WATKINSON ROLL BACK THE YEARS
On Saturday 13th July 2019 the Club held its third Charity Day in aid of the Herts Air Ambulance. Over the years members have helped raise thousands of pounds for the service which came to the aid of Club Professional Steve Barker after a serious accident in 2016. This year players assembled to play in a four-ball better-ball format. The green staff had set the course up so that it would provide a stiff test, many of the pin positions were tucked away and scoring would be difficult. As usual they had worked hard to ensure that the course looked and played at its best for such a special occasion. Once again there was a large entry sheet and much anticipation as players waited for their tee off time. A slight breeze and some cloud cover to greeted the pairs on the first tee. Club Captain John Dixon opened proceedings with a fine drive down the middle and very soon everyone was out on the course.
The first indication that scoring would be better than expected was made when the first group of Captain John and his partner Brian Stenson, playing with father & son duo Jonathan & Samuel Knight returned scores of 67 & 65 respectively. As the early groups returned more low scores were posted. Alan Best & Dave White put together a 65 of their own to become co-leaders and were later joined by James O’Sullivan & John Procter in an unprecidented three-way tie at the top. The good scoring continued, Gerry Smith & Neil Hummerstone recorded a 66 the same as their playing partners Peter Phillips & Steve Monks. The leaderboard was littered with low scoring, it appeared that just about all the groups had played well. As players arrived back at the clubhouse for some well earned refreshments the general consensus was that nobody would better the three 65’s. The scorers were busy double checking the cards to make sure that the count back calculations were correct and preparations for the trophy presentation were in full swing. All that remained was to wait for the final few groups to finish. Sport and perhaps golf in particular, has a way of proving that anything is possible. Nobody really gave Dino Grazioli and his partner Barry Watkinson any chance of beating the leaders. Both have been popular members for many years and both have enjoyed some competition success in the past. However, it would be fair to say, that despite always supporting the Club’s competitions and events, they had lost sight of the winners enclosure in recent seasons. Today though, things were different. Their card read like a masterpiece, full of birdies and pars, which when added together produced the magical total of just 64 shots! At the presentation both players thankfully accepted their trophies and the generous applause, which rang out from the clubhouse veranda. It had been the perfect end to a perfect day. Most importantly of course, was that together everyone had helped raise £500 for the Charity. In his closing speech, Steve thanked everyone for their continued support. The final total was expected to rise even further thanks to the kind donations received throughout the season so far.
The week before the Club had held another small charity event in aid of the England & Wales Blind Golfers Association. As well as donating all the entry fees from the event members also had the chance to bid for a couple of four-ball vouchers for rounds at local clubs. The winner of the medal was Bob Rawlinson after he posted a fine 68 which left Gerry Smith in the runners-up spot. After the auction was concluded the amount raised was a wonderful £424. The association was grateful for the support of all those that took part and delighted with the success of the day.
On Sunday June 30th Widford School held its annual fund raiser at the Club. Everyone who took part had a most enjoyable day helping raise £775 for the school. The organiser of the event Mr Greg Prowse thanked the Club and staff for helping make the day such a success.