RAFBF Charity Golf Tournament
On the 13th July 2017, the first annual RAF Benevolent Fund Golf Tournament was held here at RAF Marham’s golf club, with all proceeds raised by the event being donated to the Fund.
The RAFBF, as we know, helps support RAF families across the country and overseas; both serving personnel and veterans.
The weather in the days leading up to the event was starting to lend itself to the idea that the teams would be better suited to wearing waterproofs than chinos. Thankfully, this was not the case as the weather held out for a great day of golf, with the sun even making an appearance towards the end.
The format for the day was Texas Scramble, with 9 teams of 4 players participating for the newly coveted RAF Benevolent Fund Annual Golf Tournament trophy. Other prizes were also up for grabs with a longest drive challenge on the 5th hole and a closest to the pin challenge on the 8th hole.
With all the teams ready to tee off at 11am for a shotgun start, where each team starts on a different hole at the same time, the tournament was underway. With a vast mix of experience and skill levels across the teams, there was little to choose between the teams through the first 9 holes. As the day drew to an end, a lot of players became increasingly curious of how other teams were fairing. With teams filtering back into the clubhouse, the scores were calculated taking into account each team’s average handicap for their final score. Competition was fierce and only 2 shots separated the top 3 teams. In 3rd place and captained by Chief Tech Phil Collins was the Lightning Force HQ (LFHQ) with a final score of -8. In 2nd place was one of the 3 teams entered by 1 ISR Wg, ably captained by SAC Steve Davidson, with a final score of -9. Taking top spot with a winning score of -10 was 12 Sqn who were led by their captain SAC Nathan Trickett who jubilantly celebrated with his teammates holding the trophy aloft.
Having been pipped at the post for the overall title, not all was lost for SAC Davidson’s team as they made a clean sweep winning both the longest drive and the closest to the pin challenges. Chief Tech Phil Collins looked to have secured the longest drive challenge until SAC Richard Banks produced a superb winning drive down the fairway, to surpass the marker by a good 10-12 yards. Following a crisp drive on the par 3 SAC Davidson, the former club captain, ended up within inches of the hole. This proved to be an unassailable shot that allowed him to claim the prize for being closest to the pin.
The post tournament BBQ put on with the help of the Marham chefs allowed all players to socialise and discuss the quality of golf (or lack of!) throughout the day. All in all a fantastic day was had by everyone and thanks must go to everyone that helped organise it. In particular SACs Steve Davidson, Anthony Sidebotham, Sam Johnson and Cpl Amy Turton for their efforts in arranging various elements of the day. A special thanks must also go to the RAF Marham Golf Committee for accommodating the tournament and allowing green fees to be donated to the RAFBF. Finally a huge thank you to everyone that participated in the event, we managed to raise £222.03 for the charity overall and I look forward to seeing everyone at this event again next year.
SAC J O’Brien
1 ISR Wg RAFBF Representative