AN EMOTIONAL END TO AN AMAZING JOURNEY

Report by David Thornton

Charnwood Forest Golf Club Ladies Team’s amazing run in the UK Golf Club Classic Final sponsored by Annodata finally came to an end in Spain when they were beaten in the final 4-1 by a very strong ladies team from Nizels Golf & Country Club in Kent.

Chants of “Ole, Ole, Ole…rang out across the wonderful amphitheatre of the 18th hole as the Kent supporters celebrated. I wonder if they knew that “Ole” is a Spanish term approving the skill of a matador at a bullfight, and that the Charnwood team, although falling at the final hurdle, had shown tremendous skill and tenacity from the start to the finish of their rollercoaster ride.

Semi- final nailbiter

The day before, they had reached the final with a thrilling 3-2 victory over East Devon ladies on the magnificent Montecastillo course near Jerez. The match was evenly balanced throughout and it all came down to the dramatic final 18th hole where Pauline Milner showed all her experience and calmness under intense pressure to seal victory with a par 4.

Charnwood’s reward was to finish in the top two clubs nationally after nearly a year since they won their first match. Could they do the unthinkable and go on and win the coveted Number 1 spot?

Hard-fought final
The other finalists were Nizels Golf & Country Club. Previous finalists in 2013 when the competition was sponsored by the Mail on Sunday, they were a strong opposition with over 160 female members to select from compared to Charnwood’s 60 members. Roared on by nearly 50 supporters they were favourites to win.

Team Spirit
It quickly became evident from the first few holes that Charnwood were up against some very good low-handicap golfers. Charnwood were soon behind in all five matches and the momentum was with Nizels. However, Charnwood showed the team spirit and determination that has been so impressive during their campaign and most matches went to the closing holes.

It is difficult to single out individuals but Julia Booth won her match, making a tremendous comeback from being 4 holes down to win on the 18th. She also won her semi-final match playing with outstanding consistency.

The final score was deservedly 4-1 to Nizels. Their supporters were loud, exuberant but also very respectful of Charnwood’s achievements in reaching the final given they have only 25 regular 18 hole playing members.

Mixed emotions
The tears flowed freely as the match finished, the celebrations began and went on until the early hours. The Charnwood ladies and their supporters had come to Spain to win and represent the club and the area with pride and passion. Losing felt unusual. After all, they had won six matches to get to the final.

On the golfing map
As the result sunk in and everybody in the Charnwood travelling group reflected on the tournament, the reality became as clear and beautiful as a Spanish sunset. They had come 2nd out of 384 UK clubs who entered. They had put “little” Charnwood Forest GC on the map – the many messages of support from all over the UK was evidence of that.

They had played some inspired golf on a variety of challenging courses and demonstrated why the women’s game is rapidly growing in popularity. Most importantly they and their supporters had the time of their lives.

When interviewed after the flight back to London, proud Team Captain Jane Bevan summed up how everyone felt.

“What a wonderful experience and a phenomenal achievement Charnwood ladies have enjoyed. Throughout the tournament they have played consistently good and strategic golf and have lifted themselves on each occasion to take on and beat larger clubs.
I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am to have been the Annodata Team Captain and would like to thank all the members who have played, caddied and supported us on this magnificent journey.”

Charnwood Forest Lady Captain and squad member Diane Thornton looked forward to a bright future for the club, saying,

“In my year as Lady Captain to have been a part of this incredible journey ending at such a special championship venue as Montecastillo has been a real privilege.
The club as a whole has been galvanized by the performance of the ladies’ squad and we hope we have inspired the local community to come and try golf.”

Perhaps we should leave the final words to ambitious University student Chloe Edmonds, at 19 years of age the youngest competitor in Spain.

“Charnwood Forest ladies have a special place in my heart and to share all the highs with the squad has been a truly brilliant experience for me and one I shall never forget.”

The Annodata UK Golf Club Classic 2022 will begin soon-bring it on!

The Charnwood team in Spain was:

Helen Sherratt (caddies Simon Sherratt/Jonathan Britain)
Pauline Milner (caddie Dennis Milner)
Chloe Edmonds (caddie Peter Richardson )
Julia Booth (caddie Lynn Cassidy)
Annette O’Meara (caddie Di Michalska)
Annie Martin (caddie Mark Fieldhouse)

Thanks

Charnwood Forest Ladies would like to say a big thankyou to:
• The squad members and caddies who helped us to reach the finals in Spain
• Everyone who supported us during our amazing journey
• Annodata for sponsoring the competition and Liam & Michael from Matchplay Golf for their excellent organisation
• Annie Martin for supplying our team shirts
• The Charnwood Forest GC Board and our sponsors Niche Motorhomes for support with funding

Niche motorhomes are a family-owned business based in Wymeswold near Loughborough. If you are looking for a luxury motorhome with lots of extras or a cosy campervan then you’ve come to the right place.

01509 426442       hello@N-MH.co.uk        www.n-mh.co.uk

Charnwood Forest Ladies being presented with the Runners-up silver plate.

From left: Rod Barthet (CEO Kyocera UK,) Annie Martin, Jane Bevan (Team Captain), Julia Booth, Helen Sherratt, Chloe Edmonds, Pauline Milner, Annette O’Meara, Andrew Smith (ICT Kyocera.)