And the SJA’s champion golfer of 2013 is … Gerry Cox.
Muswell Hill Golf Club on Monday might have been lacking the galleries of the Open Championship. Indeed, when the Association’s keen golfers arrived in north London, to play for the Phil Sheldon Trophy under the shadow of the Alexandra Palace broadcast tower, they pretty much had the course all to themselves.
But the competition out on the fairways and greens was no less competitive than anything Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy might have experienced… well, actually, it was a lot less competitive, but a great deal of fun for all involved. If a little damp.
After the best summer for a decade, and barely 48 hours after temperatures had hit 30 degrees, our 18 brave souls set off in chill conditions with near constant rain.
It may have been the SJA’s Autumn Golf Day, but few participants might have imagined when the hard-working organiser Nick Cherrie sent out his final details email with the suggestion that everyone should bring a towel, some might have used theirs to mop up the puddles forming on the greens.
Thus, under such difficult conditions, it is that 24-handicapper Cox’s 40-point winning score in the Stableford competition was so much more impressive.
With top photographer David Jacobs, one of Cox’s playing partners, scoring 33pts to finish third on count-back behind runner-up with Charlie Randall, it is little wonder that Cox, Jacobs and their Hayter’s colleague Nick Callow took the team award for their combined scores.
The presentations were made, once everyone had splashed their way back to the clubhouse, dried off and enjoyed at least one reviver at the bar. Gill Sheldon, the widow of the much-missed golf photographer, SJA and MHGC member, presented the trophy.
Given the conditions, it was unsurprising that, in addition to the longest drive and nearest the pin awards, that a special prize was made for the shortest drive.It was one of those days when the only birdies seen were ducks.
Thankfully, Graham Morrison – surely the only SJA member to own a vineyard – was present once more to donate some of his French property’s produce as prizes. Paul Trow, the previous Golf Day organiser, also provided some golf memorabilia to help make the day.
After missing out this year, and working together with the Press Golf Society, plans are already in place to stage a SJA Spring Golf Day in 2014 – with stalwart member Chester Stern, the club captain at Croham Hurst Golf Club in Surrey next year, playing host to the day on Monday April 14.
Put the date in your diary now – full booking details will be announced in due course.
- Between now and the end of 2013, anyone wishing to join the SJA may apply, with their initial fee covering their membership through until the end of 2014 – effectively 15 months’ membership for the price of 12. Click here for more details.
UPCOMING SJA EVENTS
Thu Dec 12: SJA 2013 British Sports Awards. Venue and ticket booking details to be announced soon
Mon Mar 24: SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, Grand Connaught Rooms, London
Mon Apr 14: SJA Spring Golf Day: Croham Hurst GC, Surrey. Booking details to be announced