PAC Annual Golf Day 2023
Westerham Golf Club, Kent
Friday 16th June 2023
11th January 1941 - 16th June 2023
Westerham Golf Club was bathed in sunshine for the 10th Anniversary PAC Golf Day. As always the focus was on fun and friendly competition with all eyes firmly on the coveted Charity Claret Jug. Paul Harwood co-ordinated the event and outlined the local rules of ‘Texas-scramble’ for the 13 teams eagerly anticipating the ebb and flow of the world’s most frustrating and unpredictable sport.
Early birds limbered up on the putting green, in the bar and on the terrace. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces who return each year for this event. Alongside those stalwarts and locals there were plenty of new recruits plus a welcome mixture of Guy’s Alumni and a group of students who are fast becoming the bedrock and future of Penguins Against Cancer. Registration was very smooth and efficient thanks to Charlie Gush and Tania Harwood. Throughout the 10 years of PAC, Charlie and Tania have supported these golf days, come rain or shine: registering the players, sorting out mulligans and prizes and driving buggies around distributing Prosecco as much needed refreshment.
Over-night, in the early hours of Friday 16th June, on PAC Golf Day, Tania’s father, Terry Wellard, sadly passed away. Terry was a wonderful family man and a generous supporter of PAC: playing regularly at our charity days and bringing along teams too. He would have been delighted to know that Tania still came to help us and that Paul, her husband, and Terry’s grandson, Will, still turned out to play. This year’s PAC Golf is dedicated to Terry. In his memory, a grant from Penguins Against Cancer will be made to Action Bladder Cancer UK, to be used directly in support of those suffering from terminal bladder cancer. (A proposed grant of £5,000 has been approved by PAC trustees.)
The Golf got underway in timely fashion and the usual wise words followed every slice, hook, splash and sand-storm. Westerham is a challenging course with plenty of hills and hazards; it also allows for teams to cross paths frequently, thus fueling the competitive spirit and unhelpful commentary. This year’s golf in particular typified the family feel of PAC events with so many sons and fathers in the same teams, and partners attending the evening dinner.
Nearest the Pin on the 11th was preceded by the drinks challenge on the 8th. The pin shot was won by Mike Titterton (from Team Dwyer). On the advice of the Club Pro, we changed the traditional ‘Longest Drive’ on the 18th, to a nearest-the-pin-in-2-shots. Pat Gush squeezed his approach shot over the water and between the pin and the leading marker to snatch victory. Every dog has its day - even Muttley.
As each team finished we enjoyed a cold beer in the clubhouse and watched the others coming down the stunning 18th while the preparations for dinner were finalized in the background. Last teams home were the tired looking students, by which time the 19th hole was buzzing with anecdotes and tall-tales filling the summer air. The atmosphere was wonderful with the conversations flowing between old and new-found friends mixing together on the terrace.
The PAC Claret Jug and Champagne was lifted by Team Bickley: Rolf Nuijens, Michael Kelpi, Gary Arthur and Andrew Rippingale. We are so proud of all the golfers for their spirit, support and their generosity: PAC has raised and disbursed over £366,000 and the golf tournaments have contributed significantly. As a PAC member, you are able to nominate recipients of PAC Grants; the focus must be on cancer treatment, research or palliative care for cancer patients. This year’s golf event was aimed at growing membership numbers and promoting our charity. Nevertheless, with a small magic raffle, purchasing of mulligans and donations to the Prosecco wagon we raised £1,009. More importantly, six new PAC memberships came from the Golf Day with their monthly subscriptions supporting the ongoing projects and strengthening all that we do. Thank you.
Next year’s golf is at Blackheath on Friday 20th September 2024. Please make a note in your diary; we would love to see you and your teams again. Please contact me if you have an item or experience you would like to donate for future auctions. Equally if you have something for our 10th Anniversary Ball on 4th November 2023, I’d love to hear from you. Finally, if you would like to attend or organize a table for the ball please contact me (07958 581818).
Players: Pat Gush, Andy Mathieson, Robbie Mathieson, Pietro Panetta, Paul Harwood, Will Harwood, Paul Gray, Marcus Arman, Rolf Nuijens, Michael Kelpi, Andrew Rippingale, Gary Arthur, Alan Mistlin, Alan Jones, Hew Jones, Ian Cogswell, Michael Wistow, Gerry Murphy, Steve Farmer, Ralph Bull, Paul Summers , Eddie Coulson, Fin Coulson Scott Stoneham, Lewis Stoneham, Terry Dwyer, Gwyn Pugh, Ben Phillips, Mike Titterdon, David Bartlett, Robert French, Tom Phillips, Mark Lee-Amies, Katie, Charlie, Tom George, George Ashton, Ben Ridley, Josh John, Ben Settle, M Zhang, Tom Downie, Toby Davis, Dylan Chase, Rory Duncan