The 2017 competition was held at Fairhaven Golf Club in Lytham. This is the fourth year that the event has been held at this magnificent venue and, once again, the 36 players required plenty of sun cream on what was a beautiful sunny day. The high wind combined with the fearsome rough on this excellent course made for a wonderful but tough day of golf.
The 18-hole competition is based on the Stableford system with full handicap allowance.
Following a close fought competition, involving some four and a half hours of play and the negotiation of 120 bunkers, the participants retired to the well-appointed clubhouse bar for some well-earned liquid refreshment that was followed by a superb carvery in the dining room.
After dinner, the Society Chairman, Ken White, addressed the assembly, commiserating with all those who had tangled with, or lost balls in the rough, or those who had spent considerable time in the large and sometimes very deep bunkers, ultimately failing to get out. However, despite these various problems he hoped that everyone had enjoyed the day and would support the event next year.
He concluded by introducing the Society Vice-Chairman, Bill Huck, who had the pleasure of presenting the prizes to the victors.
Malcom Berry, who is having the golfing year of his life having recently won a prestigious competition at Preston Golf Club where he is a member, continued his tremendous form and was this year’s winner. He scored a very creditable 35 points, which was no mean feat in the prevailing difficult conditions. He finished four shots clear of last year’s winner Ken White and a further two shots clear of third placed Mike Hatton.
The Leslie Cunliffe Trophy, which is awarded on a ‘hidden partners’ basis (partners having been selected at random) was won by Malcolm and Ken with a combined score of 66 points which was seven points clear of second placed partners Jim Ainsworth and Garry Norris.
The “Nearest the Pin” was won by Ken White with a distance of some 19 feet from the flag. This is not particularly close and was not expected to win. However, the difficult conditions of wind and a hard, fast green surrounded by bunkers, meant that it survived to the end.
The “Longest Drive,” in which the ball had to finish on the close mown fairway to be valid, was won by a visitor Paul Pendergest with a drive of some 230 yards. This distance was exceeded by some but, much to their disappointment, the balls finished in the rough and were therefore excluded.
The “Team” prize was based on the best three scores on each hole being recorded and added to provide a total for the 18 holes was won by Mike Hatton, and visitors Brian Shepherd, Steve Hodgkiss and Graham Simpson with a score of 113 points which was seven points better than the runners up, Jim Ainsworth, Jim Connell, Peter Nash and David Simpson.
The PDMGS Knock Out competition which is run over a period of months prior to the annual competition was won by Mike Hatton who was presented with the E. W. Wells Trophy.
The brethren who achieved top 6 scores form the Preston Masonic team for the annual Provincial Golf Competition which this year is to be held at Garstang Golf Club. As a result, the team for this year will comprise, Malcom Berry, Ken White, Mike Hatton, Jim Ainsworth, Garry Norris and David Winder.