The day has always been supported by Golf Monthly magazine and once again Mike Harris, the editor, was in attendance with others from the magazine and as always had been generous with his time and supplying some wonderful auctions to be sold off in the post-golf auction.
This charity day was the idea of Rick Garg, He was a forum stalwart, fine golfer and family man and as I've mentioned before he was sadly taken, far too soon, suffering a massive heart attack while playing his home club, Centurion, in Hertfordshire. It left a huge void on the forum and everybody connected wanted to not only pay their respects to him via the day but to raise as much money as possible for a cause so close to him. Along with Rick, his close friend Richard Hart, had been the mainstay of organising this and each of the previous days. With the sad loss of Rick, he needed a new right hand man. Step up Robin Hopkins, who had been connected in the past by arranging some brilliant auction items that had raised lots of money for the charity. He has stepped up, got stuck in and stood shoulder to shoulder with Richard and together made sure no detail was left unattended to make it a perfect day for both the charity and as a fitting send off for Rick. These guys are regular blokes with their own jobs and family life yet each of them has given their spare time tirelessly to make each and every one of these charity days a roaring success.
|Rick Garg - Forum legend and the man behind the H4H charity day|
Rick Shiels Rick Shiels Facebook page - Rick Shiels YouTube page
Peter Finch - Peter Finch Facebook page - Peter Finch You Tube page
There were rumours they were going to film our exploits for one of their vlogs but even without this, it was a chance to watch two fun, sociable professionals close up. Both are trying desperately to qualify for the 2017 British Open and both are doing Quest for the Open videos on their You Tube channels and both channels are well worth a look.
The rumours of filming were true, although there were some technical issues at times. Peter Finch has recorded it as part of a bigger piece and so if you want to see four hours condensed into four minutes please look here Camberley Heath Golf Monthly Forum Day but be warned, some of it isn't pretty.
The day dawned cloudy but there was no rain forecast which was a big improvement on last year's event at West Hill which was played in an absolute deluge that tested both the diligence of those playing and the drainage capabilities of the course to the maximum. This time it was set fair, dry, if a tad chilly. Perfect Autumnal golfing weather
|The 1st hole at Camberley Heath|
"A good drive down the left is required to accommodate the left to right sloping fairway and give you a view of the green. Avoiding the large bunker on the right, a low approach is favourable as ball pitched short will find the green"
|The 17th at Camberley Heath|
It took until my third hole (the second on the course) which is a glorious par three, played uphill to a three tiered green to finally play a good shot and look like a golfer. The flag was situated on the top tier, back left as you look at the picture below. Playing a fraction over 140 yards, I clubbed up to a five iron and struck it well. It pitched on the second level, thought about holding on, and then rolled all the way back to the front right of the green leaving a horribly long putt of some 40 feet up two levels. In the end I did well to get it to within six feet and managed to somehow convert the par putt.
|The 2nd hole - a delightfully short par 3 that can give a golfer many problems - length isn't everything|
|The 6th hole - all aboard the birdie train|
After all the golf was done, we were treated to a great meal before perhaps the highlight of the day, the charity auction. This is hugely supported by many of the manufacturers, Golf Monthly, and by the forum members who generously arrange games at many prestigious courses up and down the country. It makes a substantial amount towards the overall total raised. This year, with money still coming in for the auction bids sold, the day itself has already raised over £12,000 for the Help For Heroes Charity.
There was one final award on the day. A special RickG award given to someone that had supported the event. It was carved from oak, based on a photo of Rick Garg and went to a magnificent lady called Sandy Catford who is a driving force at Go Kart the makers of a British built golf trolley http://www.gokart.co.uk/ She has often been the only lady playing on this day, a rose amongst so many thorns, and she and her company have been tireless supporters from the beginning. It was a complete shock to Sandy, who did well to fight back tears, but in her acceptance speech, she summed Rick and the nature of the man up perfectly. "What a bloody legend." A fantastic sculpture, and the worthiest of winners.
|The RickG award, deservedly awarded to Sandy Catford of Go-Kart|
There will be some more pictures of the day courtesy of Golf Monthly and once they are published I'll provide a link. This day continues to grow year on year and it is a fantastic cause, and should this blog or the cause itself entice you to make a contribution you can do so here
The Golf Monthly Forum itself is a fantastic melting point to discuss all things golf and non-golf related and if you're interested in getting involved and playing in next year's event, it is the place you need to be to be able to sign up. Join up, get involved and I'll see you next year to raise even more money for a great charity.