Golf Monthly Centenary Society golf day
Marriott Hanbury Manor, Hertfordshire
Tuesday April 5th, 2011

To celebrate its 100th birthday, Golf Monthly is hosting a series of six centenary qualifiers for readers this year in association with Marriott and Srixon/Cleveland Golf. The action kicked off this week at Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire, a prestigious venue normally the preserve of members, their guests and hotel residents.

Early morning rain quickly passed through leaving the 40 contestants facing overcast and blustery conditions for the 6,678 yard challenge ahead. The short par-4 1st may have been driveable for some, but yielded just one birdie all day for Andrew Guyton.

Hanbury’s strong quartet of par 3s proved particularly troublesome whether the wind was across, against or helping. Indeed, the 177-yard 16th proved the toughest hole of all with the field averaging just 1 Stableford point. Conversely, the 3rd – normally one of Hanbury’s toughest par 4s – proved the easiest test downwind, with a field average of 2 points, aided by 4 pointers from Nick Gould, Stephen Convy and Phill Slusar.

The trickiness of the par 3s was highlighted in the optional ‘twos sweep’ where the pot of £70 was split just two ways – Robin Bristow with a chip-in on the 4th and David McPheat on the 11th. That 4th – straight into the wind – was also our Nearest the Pin hole, with Darren Farmer’s 5-iron to 8ft in the second group never bettered.

It was a great day for Darren, who also pocketed the Longest Drive prize on the 17th and won the higher handicap band with 31 points to book his place in the final at Marriott Forest of Arden in October. Best of the day though was 12-handicapper John Samson, whose 37-point haul eclipsed the average score by 11 points.

After play, all competitors had a go at the ‘Cleveland Chipping Challenge’ on Hanbury’s excellent putting green, where Srixon/Cleveland rep Phil Weyman had set up a wedge station allowing all players to try out the brand’s very latest products. Anthony Lawrence’s deft shot to 4ft proved good enough on a devilish chip carefully selected by the GM staff team.

The prizegiving took place in Hanbury’s Poles Hall – a converted former chapel – following an excellent meal of gammon and some delectably fancy desserts. As players departed, several were pencilling in entries for one of the five remaining qualifiers to give them a second bite at the Forest of Arden cherry.

0-7 handicap    Graham Miles, 35 pts (Forest of Arden qualifier)
8-12 handicap   John Samson, 37 pts (Forest of Arden qualifier)
13-16 handicap   Nick Gould, 34 pts (Forest of Arden qualifier)
17-25 handicap   Darren Farmer, 31 pts (Forest of Arden qualifier)
Nearest the pin (4th)   Darren Farmer, 8ft
Longest drive on 17th   Darren Farmer, 253 yards
‘Cleveland Chipping Challenge’   Anthony Lawrence, 4ft

Congratulations to all prize winners and qualifiers. Places are still available at all five remaining Golf Monthly Centenary Society golf days.

North East – May 19, Marriott Hollins Hall, £40
Scotland – June 7, Marriott Dalmahoy, £45
North West – July 21, Marriott Worsley Park, £40
Midlands – July 27, Marriott Breadsall Priory, £40
Wales/West – August 2, St Pierre, £45
(Grand Final, October 13, Marriott Forest of Arden – Qualifiers only)

Pictures to follow