This is the first time Greencard Tour Event has been based in the beautiful town of Harrogate. This area of the UK has several top golf courses and our itinerary included rounds on Moortown, Pannal, Harrogate and Alwoodley.
Excellent New Venue at West Park Hotel Harrogate
We stayed at the recently refurbished West Park Hotel. This contemporary boutique hotel, part of the award-winning Provence Inns group, has been transformed from the original Victorian coach house into 25 spacious and luxurious room and suites, a fantastic restaurant and bar area, plus an exterior courtyard perfect for al fresco dining and drinking. The high level of accommodation, friendly staff and proximity to the town centre, with its large selection of restaurants and bars made this a truly excellent venue.
Off to a Blustery Start at Moortown
We had a mixed weather forecast for the week ahead with sunshine and wind the order of the day for the opening round, held at Moortown Golf Club. This classic Alistair McKenzie designed moorland golf course is a great place to play golf with all the holes offer a great deal of variety in look and feel. However, with the wind blowing carding a high score was going to be tough.
As expected there were only a handful of players who managed to score more than 30 points. The leader after the first day was Patrick Vaulkhard, who finished with an excellent 37 points. Peter Abbott also appeared to enjoy the windy conditions and came in with 35. Kevin Pepper and Peter Sumner both completed their rounds with 34 points.
Neil Marr Gets Close to the Magic 40 in Round 2!
The following day we made the short drive to Harrogate Golf Club for the second round. This is the oldest club in the area having being established in 1892. It has hosted National Championships and regularly stages County events. This was the shortest course on our itinerary but also the tightest and accurate play from the tee was essential in making a good score.
Glynn Pepper left his driver in the bag and his solid iron play gave him 35 points. However, the day’s best came from Neil Marr with a superb 39 points.
Neil McGarva and Neil Dalton both finished with 34. David Rothwell and Peter Sumner both finished with scores of 33.
Patrick Vaulkhard Leads at Halfway With Pack Closing
At the half way stage, Patrick was still leading after his second round 31 gave him an overall total of 68 points. However, his lead was a slender one with Peter Sumner just one behind and David Rothwell just one further back in third. Glynn Pepper and Neil McGarva were still very much in the hunt on a total of 64.
It’s Roe Day as the Sun Shines Through on Stunning Pannal
The third round was held at Pannal Golf Club. The sun was shining and the conditions were perfect to play this beautiful course. Located in stunning woodland and heathland with outstanding views of Harrogate and the surrounding areas, it is recognised by the R&A as an Open qualifier venue and in July 2015 co-hosted the English Amateur Championship.
The day belonged to everybody who had the surname of Roe! Peter completed the round with a tremendous 37 points, just one ahead of Janette Roe. This moved Peter into the top six and Janette into contention for leading lady.
Glynn Pepper Takes Over at the Top
Meanwhile at the top of the leaderboard, Glynn had moved into the lead with an impressive 36 points and 100 in total. David Rothwell and Peter Sumner were both one point behind whilst Patrick Vaulkhard was still in the hunt on 97.
The Grand Finale at Awesome Alwoodley
The final round was held at the superb Alwoodley Golf Club. Designed by Alistair McKenzie and Harry Colt in 1907 this stunning heathland course is ranked in the top 20 in England. It has been used as a Regional Qualifier for the Open. Clearly inspired by his work here McKenzie went on to design the great Augusta National, home of the Masters.
The course is a combination of heathland and moorland with beautifully manicured fairways. If you miss the fairways, there is plenty of heather and gorse, which supplies the backdrop to this special course.
Weather Plays a Part in Tight Scoring
It had rained heavily overnight but by the time we set off the rain had moved away. However, the conditions were not easy with winds gusting across the course. It was clear from the outset that any score of 30 and above was going to be an achievement. Indeed only Tim Elliott, Claire Howells, Paul Speakman and Jean Dalton managed to better this score.
Finding the Fairway Key to Success
The leading group was also finding it tough going and at the turn Glynn had scored 12,
David 13, Patrick 14 and Peter 15. It was all to play for on the back nine with only a couple of points separating the leading group. As tough as the front nine was with the wind blowing, the back nine was even harder as each of the holes had either wind against or across. Finding those fairways was going to be the key to success.
Glynn began to find some more consistency and his back nine score of 15 left him on 27 for the round and an overall total of 127. Peter had played well all week but had a difficult last few holes eventually securing eighth place on 120. Patrick ended the day with 26 which was enough for him to claim an excellent fourth place overall.
Glynn Pepper Breaks 16 Year Tour Win Drought
So the only person left who could catch Glynn was David and his score of 26 gave him a total of 125, two behind Glynn and third place on countback from Tim Elliott. Maggie Lowe claimed the leading lady place on 116 and 11th place overall.
Our congratulations to Glynn on his excellent win, his last victory coming some 16 years ago. Congratulations must also go to Peter Roe, Ian Robinson, David Rothwell and Tim Elliott who all gained sufficient Tour Points to qualify for the Finals week.
Looking Forward to 2018 Return
This was an excellent week, the fantastic golf courses and the high quality of our new hotel mean the area of Harrogate is fast becoming one of Greencard’s UK favourite venues. We will return here in 2018 for what I am sure will be another very enjoyable event.