Eight amateur golfers aged 50 or more will embark on the golfing experience of a lifetime at the London Golf Club in Kent next week courtesy of Staysure Insurance.
Each one, in tandem with a PGA Professional, has qualified for the final of the Staysure Trophy, the tournament sponsored by the insurance specialists for over 50s.
Then, after completing the 36-hole final that carries a £30,000 prize fund with £7,500 going to the winner, they will get to play in a tournament contested by the likes of golfing legends Colin Montgomerie and Costantino Rocca.
They will play in the first two rounds of the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship, a 72-hole tournament that carries a £400,000 prize fund and was won last year by Phillip Golding, a PGA Member.
“It’s a once in a lifetime thing and I’m really looking forward to it,” said 62-year-old Neil Keir, an 18-handicapper who, with PGA pro Ian Graham, will represent Crow Wood Golf Club, Glasgow.
“I haven’t been able to stop smiling since we won the qualifier and I think the smile on my face will still be there until we tee off in the final.”
It’s not just the amateurs who are enthused by qualifying for the final, however.
Stephen Bennett, the head PGA Professional at Waltham Windmill Golf Club near Grimsby who, with amateur partner Martin Quickfall, won the PGA Midlands regional qualifier, said: “I’ve played in loads of events like this over the years but this is the first time I’ve won one this big. I’m chuffed to bits.”
Bennett will also play in the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship along with 14 other PGA pros who qualified as a result of a top-15 placing in the PGA Senior Professional Championship at Foxhills earlier this year.
The eight clubs represented in the Staysure Trophy are (PGA pro mentioned first): Cottesmore Golf Club (Stephen Grouwstra and Colin Niner); Crow Wood Golf Club (Ian Graham and Neil Keir); Eaton Golf Club (Mark Allen and Roger Finney); Garforth Golf Club (Gareth Johnson and Lee Bazeley); Horsley Lodge Golf Club (Kevin Lock and Robert Revie); Slade Valley Golf Club (John Dignam and Owen Cassidy); Waltham Windmill Golf Club (Stephen Bennett and Martin Quickfall); Woodcote Park Golf Club (Wraith Grant and Brian May).