The British Open Putting Championship October 2016
It is three years since Colin Jenkins and his team took over the golf course at Basildon. The course has been completely re-energised and overhauled, which has resulted in a healthy uplift in visitor numbers and business in general. One of the things Colin particularly wanted to do was to build a superb and very large putting green at Basildon. As the photographs show, the new putting green is indeed extensive, with its undulating slopes a real challenge for all concerned. The exceptional putting green is already in superb condition, especially bearing in mind that it was seeded only just over 12 months ago.
The switchback layout covers three quarters of an acre and is on the site of the old clubhouse. Incorporating the existing putting green, the championship challenge has been laid out over 36 holes.
Brian Parker, who is 70 and a senior season ticket holder at Basildon, was the first player to record a hole-in-one at the event. His ace came on the seventh hole and crowned a thoroughly enjoyable day for Brian. He added: “I’m recovering from having had a stroke and find it difficult to play more than nine holes at present. This event has been so much fun and I have greatly enjoyed it. It allows me to be competitive and involved in golf, even though I’m not able to play a full round at present. I hadn’t realised how tough some of the putts would be, as the undulations make picking the right line quite tricky. It was lots of fun and I’m definitely going to enter next year.”
Despite the new sport of putting being gender neutral, there was a good number of ladies competing in the event. They had a great time and one of ladies made the following comment:
Today was the first time that I’ve had a proper putt on the putting green, as it is only recently opened in its full glory. I greatly enjoyed it and found it very rewarding and a great way to socialise with my friends, as well as to compete in a friendly manner.
The event was won by Josh Tobin, who triumphed after a play-off involving the leading four players.
Colin Jenkins, a director of Basildon Golf Course and co-founder of British Putting, is delighted with how the event was received:
The battle in staging this event was twofold. First, we had to get the course into the right condition. With a cold spring we just didn’t get the sort of quality growth we needed, so our plans to open in the early summer had to be put back.
Once we had the course in a suitable condition, we let the public play on it. The reactions were overwhelmingly positive, but as with most new things, they didn’t realise exactly what we were trying to achieve initially. We would obviously rather had more people playing in the final, but with over 60 people putting in the finals and hundreds more in the weeks leading up to it, we are very pleased with the level of support we had in our first year. Our greenkeeping team have been exceptional in their devotion to duty and in ensuring that all of the putting surfaces were in tip-top order.
All competitors were asked to make a £1 contribution to the Golf Foundation with the total raised being over £150.
For more details, please phone us on: 01268 533532