In spite of predicted heavy rain and thunderstorms, ’In The Rough’, the event industry’s charity golf tournament organised by the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), began and ended in glorious sunshine at The Belfry Resort, Sutton Coldfield, on 6 July 2017.
116 players from across the industry representing suppliers, organisers and venues, arrived at the world famous golf resort to do battle on the Brabazon course, well known from the Ryder Cup over the years and chosen by ESSA as a special treat for its 10th anniversary year. On arrival, the 29 teams of four were treated to gourmet coffees, courtesy of The Barista, and bacon sandwiches, before settling down to the golfers’ briefing at 11am and heading out to their respective tees in time for the 11:30am shotgun start.
As the competitors made their way around the majestic fairways and exquisitely smooth greens of the Brabazon, the many tee sponsors provided them with cold drinks, snacks, crepes & ice cream, and even a quick archery challenge. In spite of the challenging nature of the course, tight fairways and vast bunkers, not to mention lakes and flocks of perambulating geese, all the teams made good progress around the Brabazon, using their GDScore handsets to keep score and update the live leaderboard back at the clubhouse. The handsets allowed players to see how the other teams were performing to give the competition a live edge, and avoided the inconvenience of lost score cards and broken pencils.
The teams finished their rounds and assembled at the 19th hole, Sam’s Bar, for an afternoon of drinks,informal networking and catching up with old friends, colleagues and competitors, before going their separate ways to prepare for the gala dinner later in the evening. All 150 guests then assembled in the beautifully set and decorated Warwick Suite, under great chandeliers,for a three course meal, fundraising for ESSA’s chosen charities, the announcement of the tournament winners and awarding of the prizes.
The ESSA Cup, sponsored by Perton Signs, for the best individual player went to Paul Brady of Ceva Logistics who was part of the Exhibition News team, with Wes Britton of Creative Hire and James Rawlins of Electra Events & Exhibitions coming in second and third respectively. The Team Challenge Salver, sponsored by Alfa Display, for the best team was won by the Creative Hire team with their score of 81 points. The Stakeholders Salver, sponsored by headline sponsor BeMatrix was awarded to The Suppliers with 154 points, whilst The Venues and The Organisers came in second and third with 125 and 123 points respectively.
This year the two chosen charities were Sparks, the children’s medical research charity, and Macmillan Cancer Care, and the evening raised an estimated £4,000 to be shared between them.
Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, commented: "This year, being our tenth anniversary, we decided to push the boat out and secure the Brabazon, to help make it a doubly memorable day. Without wanting to tempt fate for 2018, every year the weather has held out for us, and this year was no exception. My thanks go to our headline sponsor, BeMatrix, and our event sponsors, ASP, GES, InEvexco, Jungheinrich, Mash Media and Perton signs, who made the day such a success with their support, and to the many tee sponsors from across the industry who provided liquid refreshment, sustenance and some welcome shade as they played."