Thursday, 11 August 2011

Clive Gott's Memorial Golf Day

Yesterday Dom and I drove up to Kirbymoorside Golf Course, just on the edge of the North York Moors. It was Clive's favourite course in the UK. His golfing friends had wanted to honour his memory by holding a golf tournament with proceeds going to the charity that I am setting up.

On the day Clive died we had met a young golfer who he had sponsored for some lessons. He had also donated money to a local football team for their kit.

On our final car journey together he commented that he had never got round to getting their wet weather kit - hence my idea to fund raise in his name to do this in due course.

One of his friends, Dave Sear, took the lead to organise the day at Kirbymoorside and we had 10 teams that played a 'Texas Scramble'. He did a sterling job in getting prizes donated for both the trophies, half way refreshments and raffle.

It was pouring with rain on the journey there. I was cursing Clive as I had asked him to sort for sunshine! By the time the first time teed off it was down to a drizzle and stopped for most of the day then, so it was okay.

I was pleased at how strong I felt and not tearful. Everyone was so friendly and I got so many hugs! Some players I knew well, others I had heard Clive mention and others were new to me. After coffee and bacon sandwiches the teams set off. It is a stunning course and I could see how Clive would have loved it.

Dave had set up a table with all the prizes on - most impressive!

As the final team began Dave and I made our way to the 'half way club house' by the 9th hole where we served pies, biscuits and drinks donated by some of the players. It was an ideal opportunity to chat to everyone and find out their connection with Clive. I felt so proud of him! What struck me was that many did not realise what he really did. Even those who had played with him for several years were in the dark about his speaking career and the impact he had on many. To them he was 'Clive from golf'.

Isn't that typical of him? He didn't blow his own trumpet in other circles, e.g. at golf, down at the local pubs. He didn't 'use' people to get him gigs. He simply enjoyed the company, exercise, challenge and chatter whilst playing golf.

Dom used the refreshment break as an opportunity to take team photos. He is building his portfolio for event photography. Photos are here

Once the last team had been refreshed we went back to the main clubhouse and bit by bit the teams returned. There was a wonderful buzz about the place as people ordered some food and compared scores. At one point I felt a well of tears about to burst through as I thought how Clive would have loved it all! I could almost see him sitting amongst the players. I had taken framed photos of him to put on tables.

Finally all the teams returned and Dave called everyone to order. He asked if I wanted to say a few words. If??!!! I could have spoken all day but I didn't. Just long enough I hope to have given Clive the mention he deserved and to say a little about him. The prizes and raffle went well. It was fantastic that virtually everyone stayed until the end. I felt that showed how much they were enjoying it.

We had three prizes to auction - a rug, hamper from Nestle and a signed rugby ball and shirt from Leeds Rhinos. They got us £150. Many thanks to those who bid.

As Dom and I left I felt a huge feeling of pride and appreciation for everyone involved.
  • For Clive for continuing to be an inspiration
  • For Dave who put so much passion and effort into making the day such a success
  • For Dom taking photos so professionally and being so sociable with people
  • For all those who had donated prizes
  • For those who had turned up on a damp, grey August day to remember Clive and play golf!
  • The staff at Kirbymoorside were excellent all day in meeting our every need. 
  • For those who could not attend but sent me messages of support all day.
  • Sponsors including 
  • Mr Richard Walker Clifton carpets, American Golf , Forest Park Golf Club, Mark Winterburn (Professional Forest Park Golf Club), Mr Paul Blackett Kraft Foods, Mr Michael Ross Nestle'
The day has raised around £600! Fantastic!

As people left the comment was generally the same - 'See you same time next year'.

One of the players was telling me how he had recently met Heather Small at an event. She gave her time freely for a charity and was only too happy to sign autographs, etc. Apparently a lovely person who appreciates the breaks she has been given in life!

So it feels fitting to share this in the light of Clive Gott's Memorial Golf Day.

And what a great way to celebrate his birthday! Today he would have been 53.

Elaine x

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