Greetham Valley’s owners Robert and Frank Hinch were surprised and delighted to receive an invitation from Carlsberg to join their Area Manager Mark Wellings to play in the Celebrity Am-Am competition on the final day of the British Par 3 Championship. Little did they know what they were letting themselves in for!
The Championship was held, for the 18th year running of the 83 year history, at Nailcote Hall near Coventry. Proprietor Rick Cresswell has created the most fantastic 9 hole Par 3 course on just 9 acres of land – incredible when you think Greetham Valley’s 9 hole Academy course is on more than double that amount of land!
The course was incredibly pretty – and infinitely tricky, with very tight fairways – lined with intrepid spectators! – ornamental lakes, overhanging trees, treacherous bunkers and table top, sloping, curved, postage stamp and otherwise almost impossible to land on safely greens.
The Carlsberg/Greetham Valley team was completed by none other than Len Goodman of Strictly Come Dancing fame (severrrrrnn!!!) and what good fun he was! He has played the course at Nailcote Hall many times over the years and undoubtedly played the best of the fourball. Overall, the team came 10th out of 29.
Also playing later in the day were GV members Les and Eve Mills, playing with Cafe du Monde owner David Latcham and their celebrity, Welsh international footballer Daniel Gabbidon – another excellent player on this course!
The Championships came to a close with a charity gala dinner and ball in the evening. Many of the playing celebrities stayed for this grand finale, including William Roache aka Ken Barlow, Ron Atkinson, Neil Back, Tony Jacklin and what seemed like most of the Jacklin family! The Carlsberg/Greetham Valley table was joined for the evening by West Indies fast bowler Franklyn Stephenson and his lovely wife Julia, herself a Barbadian international golfer. The music and fun finally stopped at 3am!
If you want a fun golf day out or with a stay over (lovely hotel in a medieval building with very friendly staff), Nailcote Hall is perfect – without spectators the fairways will probably seem a little wider! Well worth a visit.