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Club Team Handicap Tournament - Droitwich GC on Thursday 10th May 2018

Some 120 players from 23 clubs across Worcestershire took part in the 3rd running of the Worcestershire Club Team Handicap Tournament, which was held at Droitwich GC on Thursday 10th May. The format of the day was that club teams of 3 players were competing over 18 holes in a stableford competition, with all 3 scores to count towards the team score. In addition to the David McDermott Bowl for the best team score, the Brenda Smith Cup was available for the best individual score. 

Despite the terrible weather over the winter, and in recent weeks, the course was in superb condition thanks to the efforts of Gary and his team. 

In sunny, but slightly breezy and deceptively cool conditions, the first of the three balls started at 8.48am, with Stuart Pell from the Droitwich A team being given the honour of striking the first ball of the day. 

Stuart, and his partners, Paul Slavin (Ombersley A) and Gerald Woodcock (Bromsgrove A) were thus the first team to finish and posted three good scores, led by Stuart's fine 36.With each team's players being equally spaced throughout the day, it was some time before any team had two scores on the board. However, it became apparent quite quickly that the two Droitwich Teams were likely to be in the final shake up as Droitwich B were given a great start by their first player, Rex Taylor, with 38 points. Other teams featuring strongly were Halesowen B, Bransford B, Wharton Park A and Gaudet Luce A and B. 

However, the nature of the event meant that nothing was likely to become clear until the 3rd player in each team posted their scores. With tee times covering 6 hours, it meant a long wait for some of the teams and various team members, who were dispatched to the scoreboard on a regular basis to report back on their team's progress.

As some teams fell away, others rose up the leader board, and there were a number of last minute changes. Finally, the team result became clear and the Droitwich A Team of Stuart Pell, Mike Gough and John Buck, with a total of 101 points, were declared the winners of the Dave McDermott Bowl. They edged the Halesowen B Team of Grant Dipple, Martin Tumelty and Gary Lynch into 2nd place on 94 points, with Bransford B (Stuart Crump, Neil Pask & Lee Tally) taking 3rd with 92 points. Wharton Park A and Cocks Moors Woods both had 91 points, but Wharton Park A took 4th place by virtue of a better back 9.


Mike Gough (left) picks up the Dave McDermott Bowl on behalf of his team mates Stuart Pell & John Buck, from WUGC Vice President, Dave McDermott.

After a 5 hour wait, with three players - Stuart Pell (Droitwich A), Richard Jones (Stourbridge A) and Josh Thomson-Smith (The Abbey) - recording 36 points, Rex Taylor's 38 for the Droitwich B Team held out to win him the Brenda Smith Cup, for best Individual Score. On countback, Stuart Pell took 2nd place, Richard Jones took 3rd place & Josh Thomson-Smith took 4th. Malcolm Mitchell (Gaudet Luce B) had the best 35 points on countback from John Buck (Droitwich A), Alan Arnold (Cocks Moors Woods), and Gary Lynch (Halesowen B).


Rex Taylor is presented with the Brenda Smith Cup for best Individual Score during the Club Team Handicap Tournament. The trophy is presented by Brenda Smith herself.

A good number of players waited patiently for the prize presentation. On behalf of Droitwich GC, Jim Gray (past Captain, President and Chairman) welcomed all the players to the club and hoped that they had enjoyed their day. Bill Thompson (Worcestershire Union of Golf Clubs Chairman) responded by thanking Droitwich GC for hosting the day so successfully, and thanked the catering and bar staff for looking after everyone so well. Bill also thanked the greens team, led by Gary, for producing the course in such excellent condition. Thanks were also given to the club Manager Clive, and professional Phil, for the efforts they had put in to ensure the day ran so smoothly. Finally, Bill thanked the County organisation team: referees Brenda Binnie (Droitwich GC Lady Captain) and John Whitehead; the starters Jim Gray, Dave McDermott and Tony Edwards; the administration team of Debbie Pritchard, Jim Gray, Dave McDermott and Tony Edwards for the considerable amount of time they spent on running the administration of the event.

Brenda Smith (WUGC Life Member) presented the individual prizes, culminating in the presentation of the Brenda Smith Cup to Rex Taylor (Droitwich B).

Dave McDermott (WUGC Vice President) presented the team prizes, with the Dave McDermott Bowl being given for the winning team presented to Mike Gough (Droitwich A), who accepted the trophy on behalf of his team mates, Stuart Pell & John Buck.

In his speech, Mike Gough was keen to echo the thanks already given to everyone at Droitwich GC for looking after everyone so well on the day. He also thanked the County officials for the considerable amount of time and effort put into organising the event from start to finish. He pointed out that he was delighted to be able to play in a major County event without being a low handicap golfer, and hoped that the County would put on more events for the non-elite golfer in coming years.