Alumni and former Sports Scholars James Wallace, Sandy Kirton, Kristian Branum-Burns and David Corben

Record turn-out for memorable 8th Alumni Golf Day

Alumnus John Gilbert reports on another extremely successful Alumni Golf Day

A record 77 players took part in the 2013 Golf day spanning some six decades of university life. During the previous seven events some 150 alumni had re-connected with the University, with old friends and increasingly made new friends.

The Alumni Golf Day has also been a valuable source of funds to support golf scholars to help boost the University of Exeter’s golf ranking.

This year’s event was particularly special as we were able to toast the tremendous success of the University Golf Club – now the top golfing University in the UK - and about to take on Europe’s best golfing universities in September.

University of Exeter Golf Captain Laurie Potter, Danny Vallis and Chris Fleming, all members of the winning Exeter British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) final team, alongside Director of Golf Craig Townsend played as a scholar’s team. Another team, comprising former golf scholars Sandy Kirton, Dave Corbin, Kristian Brauns- Burns and current scholar James Wallace provided a second ‘near scratch’ team.

On the day, neither scholar team made sufficient birdies to challenge the leading teams where four teams were separated by just one point.

Interestingly for the sports scientists present, the winning side was an ‘untried’ combination on the day. Brian Stopp, Martin Wright, Chris Innes-Hopkins and Keith Mullins (92 points), finished just ahead of the ‘established’ alumni golf day team of Danny Smith, Jon Whiteley, Dave Millard and Mark Taylor edging out previous prize-winners, David Woodroffe, Matthew Dyas, David Johnston together with Seb Orton (newcomer), and regulars  Chris Brown, Doug Fenwick, James Henry and first-timer Nick Hardy (all on 91 points).

Former golf scholar Sandy Kirton won the nearest the pin prize on the third hole; Jon Whiteley was closest to the pin on the eighth hole, winning the ‘Cutting Edge’ prize – in memory of founding Golf Day alumnus Chris Edge.

After lunch, University Director of  Sport Phil Attwell highlighted some of the great sporting achievements of the past year and briefly described some of the exciting projects underway, including the near completion of the Russell Seal Fitness Centre on what many older alumni remembered as Top Field –now transformed into a state-of-the -art multi-sport complex. Phil urged any visiting alumni to take a look at Exeter’s wonderful sporting facilities.

At the traditional after-lunch auction Rod Alexander carried out his customary battle to generate bidding competition and raise valuable funds in support of the new practice facilities. Thanks to the generous prizes supplied by alumni and the amounts offered by bidders, some £8,000 was raised on the day, taking the eight-year total to some £75,000.

Our thanks to all involved in making the day so special – especially to the staff at St Georges Hill GC- for a very warm welcome and providing a splendid lunch.

Next year’s event will again be held at St Georges Hill GC on Friday 15 August. Before then the Exeter Invitation meeting is being held at Huntercombe GC on Tuesday 15 October. For further information please contact John_Gilbert@blueyonder.co.uk

Alumni Golf events are organised by John Gilbert and Rod Alexander. The University of Exeter thanks John and Rod for their ongoing and invaluable support. A gallery of images is available to view on the Alumni website.

Date: 20 August 2013

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