It was over the rolling countryside of Northamptonshire and in glorious Autumn sunshine that the 2008 National Christian Golf Cup Final was held at Hellidon Lakes on Sunday 28th September.
The winners of the regional competitions held in Surrey, West Midlands and Essex represented by Molesey Community Church, Walsall Christian Fellowship and Leigh Beck Baptist Church respectively competed over the relatively short, but tough Hellidon Lakes course for the national title organised by the Christian Golf Society.
It was Molesey Community Church who started the 18 hole team aggregate Stableford final in the best form, with Mickey Simmonds (14 handicap) contributing heavily to his team’s scoring over the first half-adozen holes. Leigh Beck Baptist Church also started promisingly, with Steve Blackwell (28 handicap) scoring 11 points through the first six holes. Regrettably his partner Sid Sutton (9 handicap) was suffering from an injury and despite his best efforts, he was slower into his round than his partner.
Walsall Christian Fellowship had started poorly and trailed the other two teams by a significant margin after this opening salvo. However it was all to change as all the players were starting to get to grips with the undulating greens and subtle vagaries of the course. In particular it was Walsall Christian Fellowship represented by Phil Yates and Keith Watts (both playing off 24 handicaps) who started to get their game into gear. Over the next eight holes they scored 41 points as a team, catapulting them through the field and giving them a healthy six point lead over Molesey Community Church in second place.
It was this burst of superb scoring from both players that enabled them to hold onto their lead through the closing holes and despite a late run from Mark Davies (2 handicap) and Mickey Simmonds they couldn’t pull Molesey Community Church closer to the team from Walsall Christian Fellowship and so it was Phil Yates and Keith Watts who were victorious for the West Midlands with a five point gap to spare over Surrey’s Molesey Community Church with Leigh Beck Baptist Church in third.
Phil Yates and Keith Watts representing Walsall Christian Fellowship in the West Midlands wer crowned National Christian Golf Champions 2008 and received a fabulous holiday each at the Spring Harvest Holiday Camp in Le Pas Opton, France courtesy of the prize sponsors Spring Harvest Holidays.
Co-organiser Martin Eady commented, “It was a fantastic event at a lovely venue. We saw some very impressive golf played by all the teams and more importantly there was a great camaraderie amongst all the teams and organisers during the day and at the evening dinner and presentation. It was exactly what the organising team had been praying for throughout the year. We are hoping we can involve even more churches from the length and breadth of the country in 2009”.