After Regional Finals all over the country, the Grand Final of Britain’s Best Putter was played out on the stunning Belfry putting green. The 24 finalists battled it out in tense stroke play and match play rounds to find a champion, who would also win a holiday to the incredible LUMINE Mediterránea Beach & Golf Club in Southern Spain.
The Grand Final began with the 24 qualifiers receiving an Odyssey putter of their choice and a goodie bag including a polo shirt, wind shirt, Callaway Hex Chrome balls as well as prizes from Odyssey and Golf Monthly. Players were then given the opportunity to get used to the slick putting surface at The Belfry. Tour Professional and Callaway/Odyssey ambassador Oliver Wilson then joined forces with Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach John Jacobs to offer putting advice and a fascinating insight into the mind of a professional golfer.
The main event then got underway with a 36 hole stroke play contest. The top 16 qualified for the match play knockout stage, with players seeded based on their stroke play scores. There were some extremely impressive scores, with Robbie Chisnall from North West National Golf Club and Alan Armstrong of Cardross level at the top with 64 putts. Neither player could continue that form into the match play stages, both exiting in the first knockout round. This was perhaps less surprising when you see that Armstrong lost to 2012 Midlands Champion, Luke Burrows and Chisnall came up against +2 handicapper Nigel Sweet.
Less surprisingly, the third seed, +2 handicapper Ali James, made his way though the rounds and into the final with some extremely impressive putting. He was joined in the final by Burrows, who found his form at the right time after qualifying 16th seed. Early blows were traded in the final with James holing out at the first and Burrows levelling things up at the third. Things were tight until James showed his class with a number of single putts and then putting solidly to take an impressive 3 & 2 victory. The Cumberwell Park player secured the victory in front of the other 22 finalists and with Oliver Wilson watching on. As well as being crowned Britain’s Best Putter James also wins a holiday for two at the LUMINE Mediterranea Golf and Beach Community in southern Spain.
“I will probable take my brother on the holiday, as he was also a qualifier and we said if either of us won we would take the other,” explained James.
“I putted really well all day, with just one three putt in the stroke play and no three putts in the match play stages. Putting didn’t used to be a strength of mine but I’ve worked hard at it and ever since going left below right it has become a real strength.”
“This is a really good event that I would recommend everyone to play in. It’s not only a chance to compete and test your nerve, but it’s also a great day out.”
Following the main event competitors finished the day with a round of golf on the inland links style PGA National Course at The Belfry (thebelfry.co.uk).
You can see a gallery of images from the Grand Final here