The NAPGC Men’s Championship National Final is now played in late July to allow the Scratch winner to compete in England Golf’s Champion of Champions event held in early September at Woodhall Spa. This year we also continued with the format of running the Men’s Championship in the morning on the Bracken course with the option for 0-9 handicappers of playing another 18 holes on the Hotchkin course on the afternoon in the Scratch Championship. The field did include 3 players who were only entered in the Scratch competition not having qualified for the Men’s Championship through a regional qualifier. We nevertheless had a very strong field for the National Final with 23 Category 1 players in the field of 79. Over 90 places had been offered to qualifiers and reserves in reaching this number.
The conditions on the day were perfect for golf with a clear sky, a light cool breeze and the course in near-perfect condition after rain the previous day. We did have a brief threat of thunder and a short heavy shower early in the afternoon. These conditions were not reflected in the scores though with only 2 players bettering net par, one of whom was only returning a score for the Scratch competition. Against a par and SSS of 72 the CSS reached 75. Charlie Wilkinson of Cheshunt, nett winner in 2016 took the gross overall championship with a gross 73 off scratch. Dan Phillips of Rose Hill was the only player in the competition to better nett par with a nett 71 off a 4 handicap.
Another change to tradition in 2016 had been to move the Regional Champion trophies from the Scratch Championship into the Men’s Championship allowing more competition for each region. A gross 75 from Danial Parsons (Horsenden Hill) won the Southern Region. Steve Green (Rose Hill) won the Midlands Regions again with a gross 76 and a gross 80 from Damian Stones (Roundhay) took the Northern Region trophy. This left Chris Preston of Cannock Park with a gross 78 as the best gross score in Division 1 for the Piccadilly Division 1 trophy.
In the other divisions the Piccadilly Trophies for Division winners went to Ken Meyon of Thorney Park in Division 2 with a net 72; Vikash Patel of Rickmansworth with a nett 77 in Division 3 and Jake Jacobson, also of Rickmansworth, with a nett 75 to win Division 4.
The presentations were made in the afternoon with Scratch players still out on the Hotchkin course allowing most people to be on their way home by late afternoon. Finally I would like to thank the very efficient team of Ed and Jane Mitchell on the desk, John Booth on the tee and our two referees – Richard Beadell from England Golf and Stuart Cella, Chairman of Competitions for the NAPGC – both of them out on the course all day.
Dan Phillips Men's Nett Champion Charlie Wilkinson – Mens Gross Champion
Steve Green -Midlands Regional Winner Vikash Patel – Division 3 Nett winner
Jake Jacobsen Division 4 Nett Winner