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The Accountants' Golf Challenge 2009

10th Sep 2009
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When golfing greats like Tiger Woods and Miguel Angel Jimenez step out for the Ryder Cup championship next year, we can only hope they’re not too distracted by the fact that some of the UK’s greatest accounting minds have already tamed the specially designed course.

Accountants and accounting professionals from around the UK met this week on the Twenty Ten course at Celtic Manor to enjoy a day of friendly, good natured competition on the same course that golf’s most prestigious contest is to be played in less than 12 months. We hope that echoes of this week’s titanic battle will have faded by the time Captain Montgomerie and his Ryder Cup team take to the course; we wouldn’t want them feeling overawed.

Produced in association with Iris Software, this year’s golf challenge was a great success, though the going was tough, as you would expect on a course designed to harass some of the best players in the world. Even highly experienced players were stretched to their limit, and there were several attempts to scientifically prove the theory that brand new golf balls are magnetically attracted to water. “The rough was a particular challenge,” said one player. “Once it had you, it didn’t want to let you go.”

“If I’d wanted to spend this much time in the sand, I could have gone to the beach,” commented another, after hacking his way out of a particularly devilish sand trap on the 7th.

But despite sporting frustration, an unexpected break in the weather meant that players were treated to almost perfect conditions for most of the day. And with a complimentary drinks service, provided by PracticeWEB, on hand to deliver well-needed refreshment around the course, dehydration, an athlete’s deadliest enemy, was kept at bay.

Several competitions were fiercely contested on the day, with a very impressive effort by Neil Curtis, Mike Grosheron, Andrew Mellett and Nick Black clinching the team prize, playing off Neil Curtis and his winning teamof Hole 12 with a mighty team total of 88.

Ben Maxwell, playing off of Hole 5, achieved the day’s best individual score with 39, and won a weekend hire of an Aston Martin V8 Vantage, courtesy of SupercarExperiences.com. The Longest Drive competition was won by Andy Downes, while Jonathan Shellard carried off the prize for the Nearest the Pin competition.

With so many water hazards around, the Yellow Ball Contest was always going to be a sore test of skill. Each team had one yellow ball that had to be played round the course and under no circumstances lost. Not as easy as it sounds. Only two yellow balls survived to the end of the day, but the team that got theirs round the course in the least number of strokes was Neil Curtis’ double winning team, a successful day for those gentlemen.

Ex-England and Crystal Palace footballer Geoff Thomas was able to use the opportunity to drum up support for his charity, and managed to raise over £3000 to go towards drug research for blood cancer.

“We had a great time yesterday, mixing with the great and good of UK accounting in such a plush and iconic setting,” he said. “We were really grateful that people were willing to put their hands in their pockets and support our cause; the money we raised really will make a difference. Thanks to all the players and the Sift Media team for making it a great event.”

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