Saturday, 27th May 2017, 10.30am and the spirit of Seve Ballesteros was in the air on the first tee at Los Arqueros Golf and Counrtry Club as the Club Championship got under way.
The 52 players who started the two days event were all wearing the Ballesteros Foundation wristband. The Foundation - www.fundacionseveballesteros.org - which raises money to fight brain cancer and promote golf among the young - was set up to celebrate the Spanish genius's 'humility, perseverance, resilience, determination, integrity, tolerance and respect.'
All those qualities would be needed over the 36 holes of medal competition which followed, plus the thing every golfer needs - a large slice of luck, vision and imagination.
It was tough going for many, there were bad breaks and not a few bad shots which added to the vast collection of balls at the bottom of ravines.
One of the big numbers came at the par 4 12th... we'll protect the name of the shattered player who marked down a 12 there.
The players were chasing a huge range of prizes. The organising committee had worked wonders and collaborated with seventeen sponsors who donated enough prizes for 26 awards. The presentation party, which followed the event enhanced Los Arqueros' well deserved reputation for laying on a memorable party. There was sponsored beer from Scher Hof and a wine tasting session sponsored by WiGoGo--wine, golf and gourmet, and an impressive barbecue buffet set out by the club restaurant.
Special mention was made to Mr Augustin Garcia, the Club President and past Capitan of many years, who could not attend the event as he is recovering from major surgery and to Gunter Fiedler who is 87 years young and plays golf 3 times a week, an inspiration to us all. A special mention to all the sponsors and to all the winners, there are no losers only those who don’t take part.
Special thanks to Nicola Whelan, Lady Vice Captain who collaborated with Tourism Ireland www.tourismireland.com who offered flights and accommodation for 2, in Dublin, and with Valle del Este Hotel-Golf-Spa, Vera, Almeria www.valledeleste.es, Iberostar Royal Andalus www.iberostar.com and Golf Novo Sancti Petri www.clubgolfrealnovosanctipetri.com (who were introduced by the incredibly professional and pro-active Manuel Ortega Garcia from the Junta de Andalucia). In addition, Nicola and Sandra Dean (wife of the Club Captain) worked tirelessly to garner support from local businesses, to provide an array of fantastic prizes for the golfers and draw prizes for all who attended the prize giving ceremony.
The festivities went on past midnight, winners celebrating, and the rest just happy to have survived a golfing examination, which would have tested, even the great Severiano Ballesteros.
Among those who persevered and triumphed in the different categories were:
Saturday stableford - Dennis Dean (37 points); Wine fridge and wine, Sponsored by UpElevadores and DeVere Financial
Sunday stableford - Leon Huisman (36); Wine fridge and wine Sponsored by Habisben Management Services and DeVere Financial
3rd place Margaret Elwood; Wine Sponsored by WiGoGo
2nd place Neelam Nayyar; Meal for 4 people Sponsored by Prado Monte Halcones and DeVere Financial
Winner CJ Sherdley (153); Holiday Valle de Este Almeria Murcia Sponsored by Junta Andalucia
3rd place Robin Littleford; Wine Sponsored by WiGoGo
2nd place Ian Conquest; Meal for 4 Sponsored by Noche Ristorante Banus
Winner Brian Henry (143); Holiday - Valle del Este Hotel – Golf – Spa, Vera, Almeria
And the top two categories:
3rd place Linda Custance (215); Wine Sponsored by WiGoGo
2nd place Nicky Masters (195); Golf Tour Bag Sponsored by Ayumtamiento de Benahavis
Winner Inna Bladen (184); Weekend for 2 in Dublin including flights and accommodation Sponsored by Tourism Ireland
3rd place Dean Cox (164); Wine Sponsored by WiGoGo
2nd place Antonio Navarro Rodriguez (160); Golf Tour Bag Sponsored by Ayuntamiento de Benahavis
Club Champion Steve Bailey with a two round total of (155) Annual golf buggy, Garmin GPS, Sponsored by Los Arqueros GC, Magnum Wine Sponsored by WiGoGo