The annual event of the Warrington Group Masonic Golf Society was again held at Haydock Park Golf Club. The course is an attractive well established parkland course of 18 holes, 6058 yards, designed by James Braid, with most fairways being lined by well-established mature trees. Greenside sand traps and fairway undulations present difficulties to both high and low handicappers alike. Haydock Park is an ideal venue and has hosted the group’s golf day several times in the past. The course was in fabulous condition; both fairways and greens were immaculate.
The weather forecast indicated the possibility of some rain, however, the likelihood disappeared as the day progressed, but an occasional swirling gust of wind did hinder the predictable golf ball trajectory, particularly above tree level. Following a light lunch of soup and sandwiches the wind subsided and gave way to sunshine with increased temperatures, but cooler temperatures were possible when out of the bright sunshine.
This year saw the event opened to include ladies, both wives and friends of Masons, which proved to be a little strange at first but both parties soon overcame their inhibitions and chatted freely over lunch.
1:40pm saw Dave Goddard (organiser), Ian White and Barry Severn teeing off as the first group, followed by four more groups of three and four ball gentlemen. Two three ball ladies teams completed the field. The weather continued to improve throughout the day and upon completion of the course players showered and congregated on the terrace at the side of the club house, sometimes referred to as the 19th hole. A convivial atmosphere was exhibited with comments like: “I shouldn’t have missed that put on the 12th”, “I just caught a tree on the 10th and missed the longest drive”, “I thought I had a brilliant approach shot on the ninth, but it just ran off the back of the green” and “I didn’t do so well but it was a fabulous day”.
An excellent three course meal followed which was served in the pleasant surroundings of the clubhouse restaurant and enjoyed by all. Many complementary remarks were made with respect to the whole day, the weather was fantastic, the course was in exceptional condition, the food was first class and the company excellent – a truly fabulous day.
Dave Goddard thanked the course staff for their help in providing the event with great facilities and beautiful course, the catering staff for the excellent food, the event sponsors for their generous and kind support of the event, the members who assisted with scoring and card checking, everyone for supporting the day and John Starkey group publicity officer, for attending, recording and publishing the event.
Dave introduced Chris Eyres, the immediate past group chairman who presented the winners with their prizes which were; Ian White for the R W Collins Trophy, Dave Goddard for the Ron Hankin Trophy, Geoff Yates for being nearest the pin on the fourth hole, Barry Severn for the longest drive on the 10th hole, Michael James for being nearest the pin in two on the seventh hole, Jean Starkey for the new Phil Gartside Memorial (ladies) Trophy, Geoff Yates for the Visitors Shield, Jean Starkey, Carol Gartside and Cynthia Withenshaw for the Rainbow Trophy and Frank O’Neil for the Perseverance prize.
Chris thanked everyone for competing and special thanks went to Carol Gartside for providing and presenting the new ladies trophy in memory of Phil.
Dave again thanked everyone for their kind support and announced that the raffle, held earlier had raised over £120 for charity. Quite a few players asked Dave for the advanced date for next year and thanked him for organising a most enjoyable and fabulous day.