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Golf

Ladies of Marlborough Golf Club's cheque for the Target Ovarian Cancer charity

Ruth Hodgson (left) hands the cheque to Anne Ainsworth of Target Ovarian Cancer Ruth Hodgson (left) hands the cheque to Anne Ainsworth of Target Ovarian Cancer Ruth Hodgson, Marlborough Golf Club's outgoing ladies captain, has raised £3,208 during her year in office for her chosen charity Target Ovarian Cancer.

On Tuesday (April 5), in the presence of a large group of the Club's lady members, she presented a cheque to the charity's Wiltshire representative, Anne Ainsworth.

In a brief talk following the presentation, Ms Ainsworth gave a moving account of her diagnosis and her on-going treatment for this disease. 

In the United Kingdom about 7,000 women a year are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  

Just under half those diagnosed with the disease will live for at least five years.  As with most cancers, survival rates depend on how soon it is diagnosed.

Ms Ainsworth writes a helpful and informative blog on the charity's website - which can be read here.

 


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Outgoing Marlborough Golf Club Captain presents a cheque to his chosen charity

L to r: Alan Pryor, Brian Rollinson (OCF Ambassador) and Les Trute (the Club's General Manager) L to r: Alan Pryor, Brian Rollinson (OCF Ambassador) and Les Trute (the Club's General Manager) Alan Pryor, the outgoing Captain of Marlborough Golf Club, selected the On Course Foundation (OCF) as the charity to benefit from fund raising during his year's captaincy.  And on Friday (April 1) Brian Rollinson, an ambassador for OCF, was in Marlborough to accept the Captain's cheque for £3,533.41.

The money was raised during the year through raffles, a race night, a skittles evening and, of course, golf competitions. Brian Rollinson: "I'd like to give a big thank you to Marlborough Golf Club - to Alan and all the members."

The On Course Foundation supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick service men and women and veterans through golf.  The Foundation's members who are helped by the Foundation include amputees, those with lasting injuries, mental problems or who become disabled or develop long-term illnesses while serving.

OCF's mission is to build confidence and self-belief in their members through golf skills and employment events, and set them on the way to worthwhile employment opportunities within in the golf industry.

While Brian Rollinson was serving with the Green Jackets in Northern Ireland in 1983, he was wounded and still suffers from his injuries both physically and mentally.  He and his family still have to cope with his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with its debilitating flash-backs.

He had been an active an active sportsman and had run competitively for Wales.  Now he has taken up golf and plays off 18.   He is training to be a counsellor and wants to find a job with a golf club.

The OCF believes that golf offers a unique way for players of all skills and backgrounds to compete healthily, improving not only their physical but mental strength too: "With many lacking self- belief, it’s our aim to help our members realise their potential and set them on a fulfilling career path."

OCF was founded by John Simpson, who only has one good leg following childhood polio.  He got the idea when he was being shown round the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court.

John Simpson knew a great deal about sports from his work with IMG managing sportsmen such as Nick Faldo and Sebastian Coe.  Seeing the work being done at Headley Court, he realised there were opportunities golf could provide for the wounded, injured and sick service men and women, that other sports could not offer.  

They could benefit from the sport itself and could find jobs within the golf industry - whether as a green-keeper or with a club's hospitality team.  Launched in 2010, OCF now runs a large programme of work placements and advisors.  

It has an active branch in the USA and the annual Simpson Cup is a Ryder Cup style tournament for teams of 13 injured servicemen and veterans from Britain and from the USA. Started in 2012, this year's tournament is being held at the Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York.

 

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Trish King: the first woman to be Captain of Marlborough Golf Club in its 128 year history

Captain Trish King Captain Trish King “It had to happen one day, but I’m honoured to be the first,” said Trish King as she prepared to take over the club captaincy for 2016-2017.  She will be the first female captain in Marlborough Golf Club's 128 year history.

“My father would never have dreamt that this would happen, but I’m sure he would have been very proud,” added Trish.  Her father, Charles Whatley, joined the club in 1972 and became club captain in 1983.

Club officials are wondering whether this is the first father-daughter club captaincy in the country?   Erring on the safe side of claiming another first they reply: "Probably not, but it’s pretty unusual."

Trish King is a very well known and popular figure around the club and, Marlborough News Online is assured, "A pretty good player too - with an eleven handicap."

Little wonder then that the news of her new and ground-breaking role has been met with a wave of goodwill and offers of help from across the membership: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the response and I am going to do my very best to deserve it by reflecting the club’s reputation for friendliness and sociability."

"I want everyone - members and visitors - to feel that I am someone they can talk to.”

So what, she is asked, is the best bit of being the first lady captain? “Oh, all of it really," she responds patiently, "I want to reassure everyone that just because things are different it doesn’t mean that everything’s changed. I will carry on representing the whole club, men and women, juniors and seniors."

"The ladies’ matches will be run by incoming Ladies’ captain Jilly Hunter and her vice captain Sue Lyons and the men’s friendly matches by my vice captain Patrick Shaw. I just can’t wait to start!”

As one senior member put it: "It’s an exciting chapter in our history."  Trish King will be there at the Captain’s Last Supper to bid farewell to the man who nominated her, Alan Pryor, as he ends his year as captain.

There is one thing Trish King is none too keen on - the public speaking that comes with the job.  That celebration supper will include her first speech as Captain.  Once tee'd off...well, even if it has been a long time getting to this point, history is certainly on her side.

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Mayor's golf match revived - resulting in an honourable draw

L to r: Paul Clemerson (of 4MI Battalion - Mayor’s Team Captain) the Town Mayor & Alan Pryor (Captain, Marlborough Golf Club) with the trophyL to r: Paul Clemerson (of 4MI Battalion - Mayor’s Team Captain) the Town Mayor & Alan Pryor (Captain, Marlborough Golf Club) with the trophyMarlborough Golf Club hosted the Mayor’s Golf Match on October 15. This had been an annual event between two teams: one from the club and one selected by the Mayor of Marlborough.

But the fixture had lapsed recently as the town council has only one regular golfer, Ryan Atcherley.

The welcome revival match pitted eight club members against a team comprising Ryan Atcherley and seven members of 4MI Battalion. 4MI was a good choice because of its strong links with the town.

The teams were competing for an elegant new trophy, the Rose Bowl, aptly named as it was donated by the mayor herself, Councillor Margaret Rose.

The weather was kind and everyone professed to have enjoyed their game. Paul Clemerson, captain of the Mayor’s Team, said it was an honour to have been invited and praised the Club for a sensational course in excellent condition.

After the match, Club Captain Alan Pryor welcomed the mayor and invited guests and gave special thanks to Town Clerk Shelley Parker for making the arrangements for the mayor’s team.

Mayor Margaret Rose presented the trophy, saying that she was delighted with the event and hoped it would become an annual fixture on the golf club and town council calendars.

The two teams will certainly need to play again next year because this year’s result was a draw.

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Marlborough's young golfers take centre stage

L to r: Jamie Amor, Rosie Hills, Natasha ChapmanL to r: Jamie Amor, Rosie Hills, Natasha ChapmanMarlborough Golf Club's younger players have made a wonderful start to the year.  Ben Amor was a member of a winning England team and Natasha Chapman and Jamie Amor shared the Junior of the Year award - receiving the cup at a recent celebration event at the club.

The judges decided that they could not split the two young members' "brilliant contribution this past year."  Rosie Hills, who sponsors the Club's junior section, presented the cup.

Ben Amor with the team's cupBen Amor with the team's cupClub member Ben Amor was a member of the England A team for the Costa Ballena Quadrangle trophy and can be seen beside the mammoth cup presented to the winning team.  England A beat each of the other three competing nations - Finland, Germany and the hosts Spain.

Ben Amor and his partner Scot Gregory (Corehampton) won all three of their foursomes and Ben won two of his three singles games - losing by the narrowest of margins in the third.

The team's coach, Paul Ashwell, commented: "The week has gone very well.  We have had a great team spirit, a lot of fun and the standard of golf has been excellent.  I'm very proud of everyone involved."

Ben and Jamie's father Simon Amor, the Club's professional, was at the Marlborough Area Board to support their successful bid for a 'Youth Grant' to help them interest more young people in golf.  

The Club's AGM is on Monday, February 22 (7.00pm for a 7.30pm start).  Top of the agenda will be the decision to take the Club back into the ownership of the members and relinquish their Community Amateur Sports Club status - and consequently lose quite a lot of tax relief.   


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Golf: Marlborough Club's Jamie Amor helps Wiltshire boys to win the English county championship

The Wiltshire Boys Team with Jamie Amor kneeling second from rightThe Wiltshire Boys Team with Jamie Amor kneeling second from rightWiltshire's young golfers have won the English county boys championship - with not a little help from Marlborough Golf Club's Jamie Amor.

For Jamie it was 'a great week with the boys!':  “There were no star players, it was a real team effort. We each knew we had to play our best to get a point”.

At the end of the week there was a big silver cup that records Wiltshire are 2015 English County Boys Champions.

Wiltshire had qualified for the competition by winning the South West championship in July. Qualifying counties from four regions - South West, South East , North and Midlands - played a round robin of morning foursomes and afternoon singles at Kings Lynn Golf Club.

After a shaky start, going behind 3-0 to Durham on the first morning, the Wiltshire team rallied to earn a plucky draw. A narrow victory over a strong Hampshire side
saw them needing to win against Northamptonshire, who had won both their previous matches.

It was nail-biting stuff. After taking the morning foursome 2-1, there was still nothing in it after the first three singles matches were shared.

Step up Jamie Amor from Marlborough Golf Club. A morale-boosting 5 and 4 win opened up a two-point gap for the Wiltshire boys and with just a half needed for victory Dom Burgess (Salisbury and South Wilts) secured it having been dormie one down.

Fourteen year old Tom Stagg (Salisbury and South Wilts) put the icing on the cake with a one hole win in the final match for a convincing 6-3 result.

Jamie Amor was especially impressed by the Kings Lynn course as being 'tight and beautifully kept'. It is being listed as one of the best 100 golf clubs in England. It was designed by Peter Allis and Dave Thomas and is frequently referred to as an 'Augusta replica'.

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