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The Inaugural BNI Merseyside Golf Day took place at Woolton Golf Club on Friday 12th September. The course was prepared, the weather was kind and the stage was set for some great golf. 10 chapters entered in to the four man team event with the best 3 stableford scores to count. The day started with the essentials....a bacon bap and coffee outside on the patio and the opportunity for some networking and to exchange pleasantries before the serious stuff got going on the course. Starter for the day Mr Tony French (Mavericks) gave the green light and after a quick team photo, courtesy of Bob Doherty, BNI Premier led the way and hit the first shots of the day.

It wasn't long before most of the teams were out and people's attentions suddenly turned to the arrival of the Bravo team and their entourage of imaginatively dressed caddies that came to assist for the day. The girls took the job very seriously and were an essential part of the team, not least on the 7th hole where they clearly decided the team was in need of a psychological boost, you couldn't fault the efficiency with the way they raced off up to the clubhouse in the buggy and returned with the beer supplies before the team had even teed off!! It seemed to have the desired effect on the mood and didn't do the golf any harm either as they finished a respectable 3rd with a combined score of 92 points. Second place went to Mavericks with with a combined score of 100 points.

Mavericks were arguably the pre tournament favourites with myself (P.G.A Pro),Frank Shotter and Roger Ibbotson all on home territory and the anchorman, Tony French, fresh from his practice round and morning golf lesson, making up the team. Things were going great for the anchorman until a bizarre incident on the 8th tee where Tony's tee shot hit the ladies marker and shot straight back past him........us.........the back tee........ and some trees to end up near the 6th fairway, 40 yards behind us. The 8th hole is hard enough without giving the field a shot and a 40 yard head start on it!!!! No points for Tony at that hole then!!

The Mavericks tried in vain but came up short and it was the team of LIMA 1 made up of Ady Calland, Steve Stark, Dave Jenkinson and Karl Hamel that came out on top and took the coveted trophy home.

In the build up to the event, there were clues to the chances of Lima 1 from the nature of the email exchanges I was copied in to suggesting there might be the odd bandit about so it came as no surprise to see them at the top of the leaderboard. The 3 counting scores of Ady Calland 34, Steve Stark 35 and Dave Jenkinson 34 were all very solid on the day and the victory was fully deserved.

In the individual event there was a three way tie for the top prize with Steve Light, Bill Carter and Terry Houghton all scoring 37 points. It was Steve Light who came out on top after a back nine count back. Steve did well to regain his composure after witnessing one of the most bizarre 5's imaginable at the 17th. His playing partner, Geoff Ellis had driven his ball on to a path next to the practice nets, rather than take a drop he decided to play it and his attempted recovery clattered into the wooden boards at the side of the path and somehow ricocheted back on to the fairway. Two shots later he found himself in the greenside bunker......on the 6th hole!!!! From here he proceeded to hit the shot of a lifetime to finish in the hole for a 5 nett 4, much to the amusement of his playing partners!

The nearest the pin contest at the 7th was won by Paul Hogg with a superb shot that I had the pleasure of witnessing. Being a P.G.A Pro I can't help analysing every technique I see and when Paul took his address position with a very hookie grip and very closed clubface and I wasn't fancying him to hit the green. How wrong I was, a sweetly struck iron shot that never left the flag, pitched softly on the green and rolled to 2ft!!! Another classic head scratching moment for the P.G.A Pro and great evidence that there's plenty of room in the game of golf for individuality and there is no set method to play it. All part of what makes it the great game that it is. Nearest the pin at the 11th was won by Dave Jenkinson with a cracking shot that finished 3ft from the hole. Longest Drive was won by ex P.G.A Professional Ben Pumford with a drive of approximately 290 yards.

The fish and chip supper was the perfect way to round of a great days golf and as I was ready to leave the club at approximately 9.30pm that evening, the caddies were still going strong enjoying a few well earned after golf drinks!

The feedback from the day has been excellent, with all teams looking forward to future events. With the first event out of the way the plan is to keep the events growing and attract more chapters for some great golf days next year.

Watch this space

Dave Thompson

For all queries contact Dave Thompson (P.G.A. Professional at Woolton GC) 
Tel. 0151 486 12980151 486 1298 / 07919 28151407919 281514 EMAIL pro@wooltongolfclub.com