SHIPLEY GC, with the help of former Yorkshire cricketer Neil Hartley, overcame a change to their line-up to become the inaugural winners of England Golf’s new Club Team Championship.
The Yorkshire side, who had to alter their line-up from the one which had successfully negoitated the regional qualifier, scored 81 points in the final on the Blue course at Frilford Heath Golf Club in Oxfordshire, and finished two clear of the field.
The runners-up were another Yorkshire club, Waterton Park, who beat Leicestershire’s Hinckley on countback after they both scored 79 points.
The final was played as part of England Golf’s first Golf Week which has celebrated the grass-roots game with a five-day festival of team and handicap events.
The winning team was Hartley and his wife, Penny, together with Charles and Sharon Howroyd.
“I can’t tell you what a wonderful honour it is to win this, for the club and for the members,” said Charles. “It was very much a team effort and we slotted in very well.”
He and Sharon stepped into the team to replace Liz and Mark Waddington, who got Shipley through the regional qualifier at Fulford, but who were unable to play in the final.
Sharon went on to provide one of the highlights of the round when she birdied the third for four points.
Shipley GC has around 120 lady members and a very active mixed section with around 90 players turning out for the regular events.
Neil remarked: “As a club we seem to have embraced mixed golf over the last few years and it’s been great for England Golf to give us the opportunity to go to Fulford and to come here to Frilfold Heath and this marvellous three-course set-up.”
Much of the final was played in a downpour, but the players dealt with it cheerfully.
“Before we started we knew it would be a long round and that we mustn’t get frustrated,” said Neil.