Epping Golf Club recruits 20 new members a year from its ‘Mighty Masters’

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 17, 2011 16:07

During the Easter holidays Epping Golf Club hosts its annual ‘Mighty Masters’ golf tournament. This free golf day is advertised to novice junior golfers and their parents who play their golf on driving ranges and pitch and putt courses, or those who would just like to find out about golf. If any experienced players do apply it is made clear they cannot win prizes but are welcome to be helpers.

We try to limit the entries to 100 novice juniors, but, as always, many more turn up on the day and supporting parents and golf club helpers swell the total numbers to around 300.

Epping GC waives the green fees for the day and pays for the refreshments, but Epping Forest District Council and Essex Golf Union’s Grass Roots committee subsidise this and Epping Co-op gives a picnic bag to every child. There is no comparison with a normal golf meeting; participants arrive in all manner of clothing and have to be kitted out with donated clubs and balls before receiving basic instruction. With lots of willing and experienced volunteers, the initial overwhelming chaos slowly forms into an orderly pattern of play.

During the day local golf professionals, neighbouring club members, Golf Foundation staff and EGU officials turn up to help Epping GC.

There are no handicaps or age restrictions. Competitors choose from three, nine or 18 hole events and often extend or reduce their entry after the experience of the first couple of holes! There are side show events like putting, chipping, tri-golf and all-day instruction. There are also special rules of engagement: Air shots, lost balls, out of bounds and any score exceeding three times par don’t count. ‘Unfortunate shots’ can be retaken at the accompanying helper’s discretion, (which helps keep the field moving.)

At the end of the afternoon all the competitors and their parents (many of whom have walked or played a round with them) gather for a prize giving. A team of lady members provide a sandwich lunch for everyone present and a local company generously sponsors a glittering array of prizes and a variety of smart tents for the organisers.

Essex Golf Union officials take all the registrations and hold the details to put prospective golfers in touch with their nearest club. They also tackle the tricky task of deciding the winners in each of the categories, including the side shows. If truth be known, the best prizes go to those who cheat most skilfully!

On average, about 20 juniors or their parents join the club as a result of the ‘Might Masters’.

Neil Sjoberg is the manager of Epping GC

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 17, 2011 16:07
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