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Confidential Allstars in Charity Golf Challenge

Published on August 1st 2005.

As golf tournaments go, the recent Frank Kenyon Trophy Challenge held at the Manchester Golf Club, should have been a nice easy round to raise a bit of cash for a local hospice. Instead, the elements took over with someone upstairs opening the heavens to unleash the type of weather usually associated with the likes of St Andrews and the Scottish links courses.

At 8.30am I received a call from fellow team member Dan Allman: “Have you looked out the window?” came the dulcet tones. I could hear the noise before I’d even opened the curtains – the brummy tornados had whistled up the M6 to provide a bit of swift justice to us for having the nerve to take the day off to play in a corporate golf tournament.

Things also took a turn for the worse when Sam turned up with a severely ricked neck, having been told by Osteopath Coby Langford the night before that she would not allow him to play. However, mad as a hatter but as brave as an ox, Sam was not to be outdone and turned up to replace the name of ‘Jack Nicklaus’ that we had originally put down on our team sheet. Still hopeful that the Golden Bear might arrive at the last minute, we had to announce to the lady registering the teams that Jack couldn’t make it - a bigger loss even that MD Andy Mullett pulling out the day before.

With highly professional sportsman-like preparation coming in the form of sitting in the clubhouse, having a bacon sarnie and a cuppa, an announcement came over the tannoy for the Manchester Confidential 4 man team - The Confidential Allstars - to make their way to the tee.

Instead of having spirits dampened, the team – Dan Allman, Mark Redfern, Sam Chapman and myself - grabbed our balls and prepared to tee off into the raging winds and torrential downpours complete with already wet waterproofs and dampened clubs.

With British Open style announcers and even video recorders filming the first tee off, butterflies immediately fluttered into our stomachs as the realisation that this might just be more serious a tournament than we first realised dawned. Dan and I hadn’t played a proper round of golf for 9 months and Sam was a near cripple, things didn’t look good……

However, butterflies were soon shot down with a swift 3-Iron off the first tee straight down the middle (OK, sliiiightly left). All four of us got off to a flier and we were away for our 18 hole battle.

The scoring system for the tournament was based on the Stableford system – easily followed by regular golfers but for non-golfers it’s a bit like explaining the offside law to girls who don’t follow football, so you can ask me at the next Manchester Confidential ‘do’ rather than trying to explain it here.

The course itself is already an impeccably kept and challenging course, full of par 5s and littered with long and doglegged par 4s. The par 3s were also pretty lengthy, and made doubly hard by the weather. Suffice to say, the scoring was affected and a high score could be ruled out.

There was still some decent play though which made for an enjoyable round, a par 5 at the long 13th and some lengthy (and amazingly straight)hitting in the conditions, although I did manage to almost hit the four-ball team in front of us TWICE as I aimed for the green - they were standing on the next tee.

Highlight of the day however was Sam attempting to squeeze the ball through a couple of trees, only to see the ball batter against the tree, miss his head by about 3 inches and fly 30 yards behind his starting position.

A ‘halftime hut’ was set up to provide the team with drinks (beer and wine!), chocolate and sausage rolls, all of which came as a welcome relief.

The weather cleared up for a while before it again took a turn for the worse during the last 5 holes, which were so bad our hopes of winning the trophy seemed to be dashed – I lost two balls on one hole, Dan was driving into the trees, Sam’s divots were going further than the ball, even our 10-handicapper Mark was struggling.

Finishing off in the clubhouse later on, we were duly informed that our efforts weren’t for nothing, as by the time we left to go and get changed for the evening do, the Confidential Allstars were lying in joint first place. This may have had something to do with the fact that we actually played ok, or it may have had more to do with the fact that a few teams (Clock, for example) had walked off as they couldn’t handle the weather.

This was, however, a false dawn as the evening do later on announced the actual winners, Congratulations to the winners (and organisers!) ‘Team Kenyon’ in a fishier decision than when Michael Fish chose to have fish and chips for tea. They won with 69 points, ten more than the Confidential Allstars who finished seventh in the end, a respectable finish.

More importantly, everyone managed to raise over £11,000 for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice. Just as importantly it was a great day all round with noone taking it too seriously, and an excellent networking exercise for the companies who took part. Thanks to Ian Kenyon for all the organisation.

Fancy getting involved in the next one? Drop us a line below if you fancy getting your company involved in a corporate golf day…

Tim Gough


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