THE first City A.M. Golf Day took place at Kingswood Golf & Country Club in Surrey, designer James Braid’s “finest parkland golf course in England”.
Braid, the five-times British Open champion who is famous for his golf courses at Carnoustie, Gleneagles and Hankley Common, built Kingswood in the 1920s during the same building boom as Surrey’s other private estates such as Wentworth, St George’s Hill and Coombe Hill.
Over the past three winters, the bunkering on the championship course has been completely remodelled to adjust to today’s longer hitters, and City A.M.’s 40 big shots wasted no time stepping up to the bar under the expert eye of City A.M.’s columnist Sam Torrance OBE, the 44 times Pro winner.
The pressure built up after every shot as the players followed the scores live on their handheld devices, but it wasn’t long before City A.M.’s Martin Muncaster and Chris Amor from Omnicom agency OMD UK emerged as the frontrunners in the individual competition.
The contest was so close it came down to the last putt on the last hole, where Muncaster three-putted to lose by one to Amor, who is as we speak clearing his diary to fix up his prize of a round of golf against Torrance – just as soon as the former pro recovers from his shoulder complaint.
Muncaster, who came second on the countback after tying on 38 points with Joel Williams from the Gaucho restaurant group, said: “The pressure got to me as I knew that I needed to make the hole in two putts to win, but I rolled a two-and-a-half footer around the cup to miss out.”
Further down the individual leaderboard, former England cricketer Andy Lloyd came in twelfth place with 33 points, and footballing legend Trevor Steven finished in twenty-eighth place with 28 points.
The three players calling themselves Red Rum – Mark Taylor from MT Squared, Steve Booth from Arena Media and Jim Kelly from Welbeck Group – won the team contest, while honourable mentions go to Kelly, who won the longest drive on hole six, and John Stevens from Mindshare, who got closest to the pin on the seventeenth.
City A.M. thanks Kingswood, Callaway, Golf Buddy, VPAR and Your Golf Travel, who made the day possible. Full results can be seen at http://corporate.vpar-golf.com/live/cityam.
GOLF ON THE HOUSE
Kingswood Golf & Country Club offers full annual membership at £699 for the club’s pay-as-you-go scheme where golfers can book all tee times, play in all tournaments and access maximum advanced booking rights. Country Club membership costs £299 and offers more restricted rights, but players can still book weekend times before 7.30am and after 11.30am, and will receive four vouchers to play within the peak weekend tee times. So come along for a round of golf in April or May, when joining fees are reduced by 50 per cent – as an extra incentive, if City A.M. readers decide to sign up, the first round is on the house. For full membership details, see www. kingswood-golf.co.uk.