For our regular followers, I’m sure you will have already seen that last week we completed our #2SuitsAndAGolfCourse charity challenge. I say we, but I very much mean Nick Forsyth and Tracey Dickens (Birkett Long).
A fundraising plan hatched one weekend while enjoying a round of golf at their member club – Stoke by Nayland. Supersizing the usual 18 hole challenge by stipulating that each hole had to be played at a different course in Essex or Hertfordshire – and all in a day.
Nick arrived home later that day and within a few hours, the provisional 200 mile route taking in 18 Golf Courses had been created and the challenge was on!
With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, the charity sector has been impacted significantly with services postponed and community fundraising scaled back. We therefore felt that this was the perfect opportunity to support Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and Farleigh Hospice with our unique challenge.
We set up two Just Giving pages and donations from clients, staff, family and friends soon started coming in. For an increased donation, we also offered the opportunity to be a ‘hole sponsor’ which really boosted our fundraising totals and we would like to extend our thanks to everybody who supported us.
We were blessed with glorious Essex sunshine all day and with a gruelling 14 hour schedule that didn’t allow for any breaks, this really helped keep our flagging golfers moving.
IF YOU HAVEN’T DONATED YET – THERE’S STILL TIME…
Our Just Giving pages will remain open for donations for another week or so. You can donate to either Essex and Herts Air Ambulance or Farleigh Hospice using the links below.
FARLEIGH HOSPICE: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lambchap-birkettlong
It is looking likely that our fundraising total will exceed £10,000. This really is a fantastic result which will be so appreciated by our two charities.
17 September 2020 – How the day (and golfing) unfolded…
Nick Forsyth shares his account of the day.
Undertaking a challenge like this takes a good deal of organising and assistance and after obtaining the agreement of the Courses – who were all delighted to help – I realised that the essential out ride teams probably didn’t have the knowledge of the individual courses or the holes that we were playing so a dossier was prepared with google satellite maps to show the holes, photograph locations and where the office and pro shop was.
That meant upon arrival it looked to Tracey and I that all was well. Essentially it was but it might not have been as it appeared to us minutes earlier.
Course 1 – Frinton Golf Club (Hole 18). Estimated playing time 6.30 am. Hole Sponsors: Pearson Wealth Management & Corbel Holdings Limited
Frinton was blustery, a 2 to 3 club head wind when it is always a tail wind on prior visits. We met their Captain, Ian Chamberlain, who had turned out to support us and he walked the hole with us before we took photographs on the patio with Tom from Birkett Long and Dave (my driver) hiding behind the banners holding them up against the wind.
Course 2 – Clacton-on-Sea Golf Club (Hole 2) Estimated playing time 7.30 am. Hole Sponsors: Firs Park & Fenn Wright
A dash to Clacton followed with me posting my walking to the tee box video whilst we kept up with Tim Tracey’s – our coach – and driver for the day. Craig had drawn the even holes and on arrival at Clacton met a deaf cleaner who offered or knew no information before one of the directors appeared to take me to the tee in a buggy. I nearly hit the green which those who know me is a near miracle on a par 3 and walked off with a 4.
The issue we had on the early holes was getting used to the differences between greens – nearer the end we just hit the putt or chip and it turned out better suggesting the old adage of “just hit it” has some merit.
Course 3 – Colchester Golf Club (Hole 1) Estimated playing time 8.30 am. Hole Sponsors: Ellisons Solicitors & Daniel Connal LLP
At Colchester – after a delightful drive when our concern was rush hour traffic – we met golfers. And they stood aside and were happy to do so knowing we were expected. They chatted about the challenge and like a lot of people got to grips with it and agreed it was going to be tricky. I hit my first par, we both hit great drives to amazement of the onlookers and my approach got me on in regulation.
Course 4 – PlayGolf Colchester (Hole 18) Estimated playing time 9.00 am. Hole Sponsors: Impression Europe & Aston Lark Limited
Bacon rolls had been ordered on route from Playgolf and were collected and enjoyed before we hit the 18th hole and after another par hit the A12 to go to The Essex.
Course 5 – The Essex Golf and Country Club (Hole 18) Estimated playing time 9.45 am. Hole Sponsors: Blackwells Farm Shop & Kent Blaxill & Co Limited
It was here that we met with Clair from Essex and Herts Air Ambulance after we had played the par 5 18th – a third par after using my front 9 mulligan off the tee.
Course 6 – Colne Valley Golf Club (Hole 17) Estimated playing time 10.15 am. Hole Sponsors: Holmes and Hills
From here it was to Colne Valley where I hit the tricky par 3 17th for the first time but still got a 4 after a disappointing 3 putt.
Course 7 – Braintree Golf Club (Hole 16) Estimated playing time 10.50 am. Hole Sponsors: Lane Physiotherapy Limited
From here it was a run through the back roads to Braintree and the par 4 16th. Another par after a perfect tee shot and back to the tee for a photograph where we met two surprised members who hadn’t seen anyone all morning and were surprised we had just played the hole and were back on the tee.
Course 8 – Benton Hall Golf and Country Club (Hole 18) Estimated playing time 11.30 am. Hole Sponsors: Red 100 Limited
Benton Hall beckoned and penalties for us both off the tee, staying well away from the river but succumbing to the brambles and ditch. We sabre rattled the trees down the right and after escaping I recorded a disappointing 8. That’s the trouble with stroke play you have a couple of big numbers along the way. I also got told off after Lee was called away to rescue a bag and trolley that had ended up in the river on the 8th and suggested I travel on the back of Tim’s buggy. Lee hadn’t cleared it with the greens team and he stopped his tractor to remonstrate!
Course 9 – Maldon Golf Club (Hole 3) Estimated playing time 12.10 pm. Hole Sponsors: Hoskins Financial & CVR Global LLP
Maldon was next and here we met the team from Hoskins for photographs before playing the 3rd. After recording 5’s – a consequence of duffed approach shots we hustled via Ulting to the Warren.
Course 10 – The Warren Golf Club (Hole 13) Estimated playing time 12.50 pm. Hole Sponsors: Fenn Tool & Elwell Taylor Ltd
Here we met Debbie from Farleigh and recorded a Facebook live interview. Tracey was on fire hitting her approach to 3 foot for a birdie whilst all I could manage was a par.
Course 11 – Bentley Golf Club (Hole 10) Estimated playing time 1.50 pm. Hole Sponsors: McLaren Construction
We chased onto Bentley at Brentwood via Margeretting and the back roads to play the par 5 10th. This time it was a birdie for me after 2 good hits from the tee and fairway before a buggy ride back to the tee for photographs.
Course 12 – Abridge Golf and Country Club (Hole 1) Estimated playing time 2.30 pm. Hole Sponsors: Danlec Electrical & Stockplace Investments Limited
We hit the road for Abridge and got separated turning onto the main Ongar Road. We won the drive and found Katie sitting behind the tee enjoying some shade whilst working on her socials telling folk where we were. I had worked out stroke indexes for the card and put this as SI1. It turned out to be a good choice as 2 6’s were recorded on this very long opener but the fairways were lush after irrigation has been added by the new owners.
Course 13 – Theydon Bois Golf Club (Hole 18) Estimated playing time 3.05 pm. Hole Sponsors: MBS Accounting Services Ltd & The Finishing Line Limited
The only course I didn’t know was Theydon Bois and it was next on our travels. I played the hole badly which was disappointing as they were extremely friendly and John their secretary walked the hole with us trying to assist me in the search for the 2 balls I hit. Another 6 which got me some stick from my hole sponsor but no worries it was a charity day.
Course 14 – The Hertfordshire Golf and Country Club (Hole 1) Estimated playing time 3.50 pm. Hole Sponsors: Lambert Chapman LLP.
Our next stop was Hertfordshire and The Hertfordshire. I had suggested to Tim it had some good holes and he was keen to know when we would return – wait till East Herts I told him – before sending him and Dave to the gate to collect us when we walked off the green. Another tough hole not helped by my block but I managed a bogie 5.
Course 15 – Hanbury Manor Golf and Country Club (Hole 1) Estimated playing time 4.40 pm. Hole Sponsors: CSS Recruitment & Training & Horizon Construction (East Anglia) Limited
On to Hanbury Manor – or not in our case as we missed our turning on the A10 and had to go to Standon to turn around. This delayed us and we got a little behind but we drove as close to the 1st tee as we could before managing pars with some solid putts.
Course 16 – East Herts Golf Club (Hole 10) Estimated playing time 5.15 pm. Hole Sponsors: Rider Comms & Healthcare Homes Group Limited
East Herts – the hidden gem – was next and we met a working party enjoying drinks at the half way hut after repairing divots on the course. That’s why its in such good condition whenever you visit. My best – or equal best tee shot – of the day gave me 60 yards which I bladed to 6 foot and walked off with a par. Tracey meanwhile played the Seve shot between the bunkers to roll down onto the green.
Course 17 – Bishops Stortford Golf Club (Hole 1) Estimated playing time 6.00 pm. Hole Sponsors: Forward Corporate Finance
We then put foot down to get to Bishops Stortford. We got through the traffic lights at Hadham without stopping which was a blessing and then onto the tee. The course looked fabulous and our sponsor Rob Dukelow-Smith was complimentary about my tee shot which ended up exactly where the pro told me to put it. My approach wasn’t so good leaving a chip I over hit before we both hit long putts that went in for pars. The light was against us so with only 1 buggy I had to run back to the tee as Mr and Mrs Dickens were in it. It took them about 300 yards to catch me but I was a distant second when we got back!
Course 18 – Saffron Walden Golf Club (Hole 18) Estimated playing time 6.50 pm. Hole Sponsors: Matthew Swan for NatWest & Lloyds Bank Plc
Rob kindly took us via the back routes to Saffron Walden so that we missed the traffic and could see the Church spire as the line for our tee shot. Light was fading fast and we hit then took photos allowing players to hit and walk down whilst we putt out. My tee shot had the line but was short leaving me a chip on for a long putt for par. I was delighted. Tracey on the other hand hit a glorious tee shot that took the right line and ended up middle of the green before putting up the hole and knocking it in for par. Isn’t that the way two different ways if achieving the same score.
And after a quick video on the green thanking our hole sponsors and the teams that had supported us, our day was done at 7.20pm just as the sun had set in Saffron Walden.
Thanks must go to the support team from Lambert Chapman – Craig Weavers, Duncan Forsyth and Katie Gardner and from Birkett Long – Thomas Emmett. Rianna Billington and Sarah Humphreys. Also to our two drivers Dave Burt from Danlec Electrical & Lighting Limited and Tim Dickens from CNet Training.
We must thank all of you who have supported us and we think we have raised £10,000 for our charities which is a fantastic result.
The mystery of the missing wedge…
So we get to Saturday. I can’t find my wedge and panic sets in. Have I left it on the previous hole or at Saffron Walden? It’s at neither. Oh well it will get handed in – maybe. Then I get a WhatsApp message from Tim. “Nick have you lost a PW?” Yes I reply, “Its gone on holiday to Turkey” comes the message back together with a picture of Tracey holding it. Oh well as long as it makes it behave better on full shots I thought!
There is still time to donate to these excellent charities if you would like to. Visit Just Giving.com and search Lambert Chapman choosing between Essex and Herts Air Ambulance or Farleigh Hospice.
The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the Author and other professionals may express different views. They may not be the views of Lambert Chapman LLP. The material in the article cannot and should not be considered as exhaustive. Professional advice should be sought in connection with any of the issues contained in the article and the implementation of any actions.