To celebrate the return of championship golf to the North East and to the Hunting course at De Vere Slaley Hall, four of golfs and the Senior Tours biggest stars took to the roof of the Edwardian hotel for a unique challenge. 2002 winning Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance, former Ryder Cup stars Gordon Brand Jnr and Costantino Rocca, as well as defending Champion of the PGA Seniors Championship Carl Mason scaled the hotel in a charity challenge that saw the famous four try and out shoot each other in a nearest the pin challenge.
The pin was 127 yards from the 18th green on a specially constructed teeing platform that sat between two turrets of the Edwardian Slaley Hall hotel. After a few warm-up shots the competition was in full flow when Rocca hit a knock down 9 iron to inside 2 feet of the pin. With the other three players unable to better this outstanding shot, the charismatic Italian was awarded a cheque for £1,000 to the charity of his choice; Rocca kindly donated the prize to Cystic Fibrosis with a further £500 being donated by the De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship to the Golf Foundation.
This was a great event. I have never hit a ball from the roof, but this was a lot of fun and I am delighted to have raised money for charity, commented Rocca.
Director of Golf and Leisure of De Vere, Daniel Hodson commented: This was a magnificent way to launch the tournament and I cant thank the players enough for lending their support to the Rooftop Challenge. It promises to be a fantastic week, with some great players and golf on show. We are very excited about staging this prestigious tournament in the Seniors Tour calendar on one of the UKs finest courses.
The main event started yesterday (21st August) and this will be the first time that Slaley Hall has hosted the PGA Seniors Championship. Tickets for the event can be purchased by calling 01675 477812 or at the gate.
The par 72 Hunting Course is a real treasure that is magnificently maintained, featuring rolling moorland, streams and lakes, towering trees and banks of rhododendrons. Well placed bunkers and tricky greens make this USGA standard course a real challenge. Slaley Hall also boasts the Priestman Course on the west side of the estate, designed by Neil Coles, which offers stunning panoramic views of the Tyne Valley.
Further information about the golf facilities on offer at the resort can be found by logging onto www.devere-hotels.com or by calling the Pro Shop on 01434 673350.