Sarah Forrest explores three very different golf courses in aid of charity
With fewer tin rattlers outside the supermarkets and on the high streets and with the desire for golfers to get out and play some different golf courses, are charity golf days the perfect combination for a win win?
Here we catch up with the organisers to seek the truth about the true worth of this income stream.
Edgbaston GC - The Albion Foundation
Edgbaston is a beautiful established parkland course in Birmingham, an oasis of a golf course lies amongst the hustle and bustle of a busy metropolitan area.
A good golf course with undulations to consider, target greens and amazing playing conditions.
The day was in aid of The Albion Foundation (opens in new tab), the official charity linked to West Bromwich Albion Football club.
They use the power of football to give back to the community.
Intrinsic with the local area is their desire to make a positive difference, growing and fulfilling potential in local people of all ages, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Golf sits well with the foundation’s ethos of their three key areas; Wellbeing, Behaviour Change and Active Lifestyles.
Is golf therefore the Ying to footballs Yang with the added bonus of playing a great course in excellent condition to benefit the foundation?
Spokesperson Ben Gregory-Rigg says “Obviously the golf days are a great opportunity for fundraising, which we rely on as a charity, but it is great to also demonstrate how the financial donations lead to benefitting our work in the local community.”
Lanhydrock Hotel and Golf Club - Prostate Cancer UK
A three star hotel with 18 holes of golf on site make this a good place to rest your head with a not so typical resort course.
Lanhydrock is a good all round golf course.
It meandered its way around the landscape with ease playing well albeit tight in places with fairly generous greens.
A total of 72 golfers defended upon this venue in aid of Prostate Cancer UK (opens in new tab).
John Ogden aka 'Big Oggie' is a passionate man and demonstrated an aptitude for being able to morph into a variety of roles to make the day the success it was.
More a friends and family golf day, it operated and felt like one big family.
YouTubers Rogue Golfers were on hand with cameras to make their contribution and John himself had cameras poised at every opportunity.
With the inner performer sometimes taking over the ability to play golf coupled with such quirks as 'nearest the surfboard’, made for a fun day.
Golfers travelling from as far as the North of England and enjoying family holidays on the back of the golf day pretty much summed up the event.
John has a story to tell; his father passed away with prostate cancer and his brother is currently undergoing treatment.
Whilst raising funds for the charity was fundamental to the days success, being able to offer the golfers a fun day out was also forefront of John’s mind, who says “Cancer in all its forms visits our lives and changes them for ever - the circle is complete if we all do our bit."
Mannings Heath Golf and Wine Estate - Melanoma Fund
We had the opportunity to stay in the on-site 17th century Fullers Cottage with its perfect location just a short walk to the clubhouse.
The golf day itself carried a hard hitting message - Slip! Slap! Swing! - highlighting the need for golfers to cover up in the sunshine.
More than just golf, the Melanoma Fund (opens in new tab) had skin cancer specialists on hand giving private screenings.
The lighter side of golf day was more than catered for with Jeremy Dale engaging and cajoling the 60 strong golfers with ease.
With big elevation changes, up and down the golf course went, meeting up with legendary Paul Way for the par 3 5th as the beat the pro.
Got to say I loved that hole, a punchbowl green, rubbish left and hills right. There’s only one way - forward.
Spokesperson Michelle Baker, not a golfer herself, but now a possible convert, citing her enjoyment of all things golf says “having run the Melanoma Fund for the last eight years, my work has become more of a vocation than a job, and it’s a cause that I feel very passionate about.
"Raising awareness of cancer in itself is very fulfilling, and creating impact around prevention to those at the highest risk, such as those in sport, marries with my love of the great outdoors.”
This inaugural golf day attracted 60 golfers from all over the UK.
On a mission to keep skin cancer off the fairways, Slip Slap Swing is gaining momentum with each passing season.
Golf's Charity Days - how much do they raise?
Three very different golf courses, three very different charities.
Match this with the golfers' desire to play different golf clubs and the golf charity day is surely a win win.
But what of the earnings? Some may baulk at the cost to attend one of these days, however I would urge golfers to take stock and accept it isn’t all about the golf, it is much more than that.
Golfers can play different courses, meet new friends, and be part of something much bigger by simply participating.
Earnings averaged out over the three golf days to be £5,000 each - these much needed funds will be well spent to better ours, our neighbours and our loved ones lives.
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