Wednesday 12th October 2011 saw 21 eager competitors assemble at the magnificent Marriott Forest of Arden in the West Midlands for the Golf Monthly Centenary Society Grand Final in association with Cleveland/Srixon Golf, following a series of qualifying competitions at Marriott Resorts throughout the summer.
Their prize included a night’s stay at the luxurious resort, followed by the Golf Monthly Centenary Society Grand Final itself the following morning over the famous Arden course, host to several European Tour events in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The format was full-handicap Stableford over the demanding 6,707-yard layout, on which water comes into play several times, and where a number of pins were in decidedly tricky spots.
As the cards filtered back to the GM scorekeeping desk, it became apparent that those who had qualified had kept their games pretty sharp throughout the season with only four of the 21-man field failing to break the 30-point barrier, a considerably higher percentage than in any of the qualifiers. So when the winning score turned out to be 34, it was no surprise that countback came into the equation in the final shake-up.
In the end it was the dream 11.10am threeball of Bill Martin, Martin Bedborough and Mike Chapman who monopolised the prize table, all recording 34-point returns. Bill claimed top spot in the 0-12 handicap category from Mike on back nine countback (18 to 17), while Martin took the 13+ bracket from Emmet O’Donnell.
The overall trophy was even harder to decide as Bill and Martin both had matching back nines of 18, so it was finally resolved on a back six countback where Bill’s strong finish had seen him rack up 15 points to Martin’s 12.
Completing the prizewinners were David Simmons and Fraser Murdoch, both in the first group out, who effectively ended both the Nearest the Pin and Longest Drive competitions before they’d really started with impressively accurate and long shots respectively. David’s teeshot to a couple of feet on the 8th also won him the entire Twos Sweep for the only two of the day.
Congratulations to all our prizewinners, and a big thank you all who entered and took part in the Golf Monthly Centenary Society qualifying rounds throughout the summer.
Photos from the Golf Monthly Centenary Society Grand Final