Praying the golf goddess will send good weather
All week I’d been obsessing about the weather, checking the forecast every 20 minutes of so. I knew that it would make a huge difference to my enjoyment of my golfing charity day and, more importantly, to the success of the day and the amount we raised. Would people pull out of the 9 hole competition if the weather was truly awful? Surely people would stay at home in the evening instead of coming up for a drink and a curry in the evening if it was pouring with rain. Fewer walkers would be happening to see the signs I’d put up on the paths around the course and we’d miss out on cake sale.
A charity day filled with people
The weather turned out to be still and warm with sunny intervals. I hear that there were heavy showers in Brighton and Hove, but all we had were a couple of moments of refreshing drizzle. In other words, it was perfect for 17 hours of golf. It was pleasantly cool when we teed off at 4:51am and we were treated to a stunning sunrise. By the time we finished the first 18 holes, at 9am, the course was busy with our seniors. After the second 18th at 2pm, the clubhouse was humming with the sound of people chatting and eating cake. When I came up at the end of the third 18 holes, I found golfing and non-golfing friends enjoying drinks and curry on our lovely terrace. I went back out for my last 9 holes of the day and putted out to cheers and clapping from everyone outside the clubhouse, which was really lovely.
All that was left was to do the draw and announce the winners of the 9 hole competition and of the raffle. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place won rounds for four at the beautiful courses that are the Nevill Golf Club, Piltdown Golf Club and Seaford Golf Club. We had more rounds at Lewes Golf Club and Worthing Golf Club in the raffle, a painting by Erin Burns and a print by local architect and artist Alej Ez, two WalkFit vouchers, tickets for the Theatre Royal, a gorgeous rucksack from Badger clothing, a goodie bag from Brighton gin and a golf lesson with Anthony. Then I basked in the praise and appreciation of the lovely people who were there, I had some curry and went home to take some much-needed rest.
In the end, we raised over £2,000, split between online donations (£715), cake sale (£235), the raffle (£580), the competition (£410) and the curry (£86). It’s an excellent result, which will make a big difference to the work of Sussex NightStop with young homeless people, so I’m delighted with that. I was hoping that it would be a day for all our members to get together and enjoy, so I was really happy to see people enjoying the cakes, the competition and the curry throughout the day.
I had a fantastic time. I was expecting to suffer from blisters and to get very tired mid-afternoon, but I was completely fine until the last round at 7:30pm, where I faded quite significantly, which showed in my score: over my seven rounds I had 20, 15 (blip, sorry team!), 20, 19, 20, 20 and 15 Stableford points. I had timed the day so Alex and I would have half an hour in between rounds in case a group took longer and also to have a little rest. That meant that after every round I got to sit around, have a cup of tea and a piece of cake and chat with whoever was around. Then off I went to play with the next group. I genuinely can’t think of a better way to spend a day. Tom was right after all! The only slight negative is a touch of golfer’s elbow that started in the last couple of hours. I was supposed to play in a 36 hole competition today, but instead I’m resting to not aggravate my burgeoning injury. Hopefully it’ll go away.
Greater than the sum of its parts
This was the first charity day I’d organised and I kind of made it up by putting together things that I love: people, golf, cake and curry. It turned out all those main elements combined perfectly to maximise earnings: the people who played in the competition all had tea and cake after playing and some of them came back in the evening to have curry while the last group played their round. Other members and non-golfing friends who didn’t play in the competition also came up to enjoy Emily’s curry on our beautiful terrace. And of course all these people milling around throughout the day bought raffle tickets. So all the various elements of the day combined to get to a great amount for Sussex NightStop.
A fantastic team effort
Of course, I couldn’t have done it on my own and while I was out playing golf, my team was in the clubhouse selling cakes and organising the raffle. Prior to that, my army of bakers had produced said cakes. I also relied on the experience and advice of senior members to work out the logistics of organising a competition on what is already a competition day at the club. I was very lucky to have the support of everyone, from the entire ground and office staff, to the seniors’ Captain and section, which are supposed to have the course to themselves all morning, the club Captain and obviously my own ladies’ section and the lovely Alex! And the Sussex NightStop volunteer was fantastic in sourcing some great prizes for the raffle and making posters to advertise the event.
The charity day was truly a collective effort; my part was to provide the idea and impetus and play a lot of golf, while other people contributed in making it run efficiently. All the hours I spent working out the logistics of it and organising everything were vastly repaid when I walked up the last 18th hole around 9:30pm and saw so many people enjoying themselves outside the clubhouse and cheering as Alex’s last group finished their round. The sense of community and common purpose was overwhelming and at that moment, I couldn’t have been prouder of Brighton & Hove Golf Club.
Would I do something like that again? Yes, absolutely! The only I’d change is that I’d try and have more self-control around the cake table. But they were so delicious!