Golf Monthly Forum - Help For Heroes Fundraiser 2022

The 2022 Golf Monthly Forum fundraising day for Help For Heroes has raised a very impressive £11,000 at Hayling Golf Club

Golf Monthly Forum - Help For Heroes Fundraiser 2022
Golf Monthly Forum competitors enjoying the excellent autumnal weather at Hayling Golf Club
(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Golf Monthly Forum - Help For Heroes Fundraiser 2022

Following last year's event at Blackmoor, the 13th annual charity day for Help For Heroes organised by the Golf Monthly Forum took place on a sublime October day over the first-class links at Hayling Golf Club in Hampshire.

Help For Heroes - Banner

Help For Heroes banner by the first tee

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

There, a capacity field of almost 90 keen golfers from near and far were treated to perfect weather and a course in tip-top condition. Normally, the wind is a key factor, but happily, for most of the round at least, it was as benign as can ever be on this exposed part of the south coast not far from Portsmouth.

Hayling Golf Club - Hole 13

Looking down over the par-4 thirteenth at Hayling with Langstone Harbour beyond

(Image credit: Jason Livy)

The day began with a hearty breakfast in the art-deco clubhouse with its panoramic views over the 1st and 18th holes and out to sea. The various warm-up routines that then followed ranged from an intense work out on the driving range... to another cup of coffee and a cigarette on the balcony! It was then off to the allotted starting tee for the traditional, and very practical, shotgun start.

Help For Heroes 2022 - General

Competitors conducting a group visualisation of where they hope their drives will go on the thirteenth

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

The links itself is one of the very best courses on the south coast and a highly-regarded regular in the Golf Monthly Next 100 courses in the UK and Ireland. It plays to a par of 71 with three par 5s and four short holes, and the stretch from the 6th to the 14th is superb. 

Help For Heroes 2022 - General

Subtle and understated styling on show from one of the more reserved competitors

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Sensibly, play was from the yellow tees, and while the scoring was good, there were still plenty of tales of Titleists magically disappearing into the gorse.

Help For Heroes 2022 - General

One of the very welcome golfers from Battle Back in action

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Most importantly on a day like this, there was a great deal of fun. As well as the strong contingent of Forum members, there were representatives both from Help For Heroes, and from Battle Back Golf which was founded in 2009 and is a military initiative designed to utilise golf to support the wounded, injured and sick.

Help For Heroes 2022 - General

GM's Rob Smith with playing partners from the Forum Simon Betteridge, Simon Roberts, and H4H's John Carpenter

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

The great benefit of starting together is finishing together, and this always leads to a lively and friendly atmosphere back in the clubhouse with plenty of banter and laughter.

Help For Heroes 2022 - General

GM Editor Michael Harris holing out

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

There were glowing comments for the course which was showing a great deal of new growth following another difficult, long dry summer. And the praise extended to the very impressive carvery, a superb offering from Hayling’s catering team, especially when feeding almost 100 people at the same time.

Help For Heroes - Talk

Mark ‘Lofty’ Taylor, spoke movingly of his struggles and his gratitude to Help For Heroes

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Following the meal, it was time for Help For Heroes Fundraising Manager John Carpenter to talk about some of the organisation’s invaluable work. He then introduced us to Mark Taylor, a veteran, front-line soldier who told us his personal, honest, and at times harrowing story. It would seem fair to say that Help For Heroes effectively saved his life, and the organisation continues to do this for others on a daily basis. It is a vital, and rightly very highly-respected charity.

Armed with this insight, the charity auction, expertly conducted by regular host Mark Head, was well supported and raised further funds for the cause.

Help For Heroes - Champion 2022

Ian Murgatroyd, the 2022 Help For Heroes Charity Day champion, with the trophy and organiser Vicky Hart

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Scoring had been good, and it was Forum stalwart Ian Murgatroyd who prevailed with an excellent 38 points. Runner-up was Adam Duff on 37, with Adrian Bayly in third spot a further point behind. The guests’ prize went to James Hill from Battle Back with a hugely impressive 41 points, while the best gross was won by Broadstone’s Gordon Ross, a long-standing assessor for the Golf Monthly Top 100 courses.

The new champion also picked up Nearest The Pin on the par-3 5th, while Paul Nash was closest to the pin in two on the 13th and Sean Wheatley won the prize for his very impressive longest drive on the closing hole.

Help For Heroes - 2022

Tony Reed, recipient this year of the RickG Memorial Trophy

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

One of the highlights of these annual get-togethers is the awarding of the trophy in memory of Rick Garg, a golfer closely linked with the Forum and Help For Heroes who sadly passed away in 2016. This excellent piece of craftsmanship was carved by Ted Granger of Veterans Woodcraft in North Yorkshire, as was the winner’s plaque and the guest prize. The RickG Memorial goes to a committed Forum member closely involved with the day and whose contribution is greatly appreciated. This year it went to Tony Reed, known on the Forum as pokerjoke.

Help For Heroes - 2022

Organiser Richard Hart presents the cheque to Mark Taylor and John Carpenter from Help For Heroes

(Image credit: Tom Miles)

Following prize-giving, the final activity of the day was the presentation of the cheque by organiser and generous supporter Richard Hart to Help For Heroes. This year’s efforts saw the preliminary estimate as a brilliant £9,500, but by the time further funds had been gathered in, the figure rose to an amazing £11,000. In a time when almost everyone is having to be more mindful of spending, this demonstrates a terrific generosity among the Golf Monthly Forum and their guests. This also takes the 13-year total to an incredible £161,000.

Huge thanks go, as ever, to organisers Richard and his wife Vicky, this year with additional support from Kate Cave. Thanks also go to several keen volunteers from the Forum, and of course to Mark and John from Help For Heroes, as well as to everyone at Hayling Golf Club for their generosity of spirit and brilliant welcome. This really is one of the best golf courses in Hampshire and always a treat for any keen golfer.

Help For Heroes Logo


(Image credit: Help For Heroes)

Can You Help?

Help for Heroes champions the Armed Forces community and helps them live well after service. It has already supported more than 27,000 people and won’t stop until every veteran, and their family, gets the support they deserve.

Help for Heroes relies on the spirit and generosity of the great British public. If you’re interested in holding a golf fundraising day for Help for Heroes or want to find out more about becoming a community partner, please get in touch.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for over 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2021, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He has been a member of Tandridge in Surrey for 30 years where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.