Golfers win rare night time competition at Stapleford Park

Stapleford Park Night Golf : Glowing champions from left, Glenn Sharpe, Julie Sharpe, Denise Field and Bryan Birchall. Photo: Lionel Heap

Stapleford Park Night Golf : Glowing champions from left, Glenn Sharpe, Julie Sharpe, Denise Field and Bryan Birchall. Photo: Lionel Heap

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Golf is a game that is difficult enough in broad daylight, but intrepid players at Stapleford Park, near Melton, teed off in pitch darkness last Friday to help raise hundreds of pounds for the air ambulance appeal.

And Rutland and Stamford golfers must have been eating plenty of carrots to help them see in the dark as they were right to the fore on the night.

The winning team was made up of Glenn and Julie Sharpe from Castle Bytham, Denise Field from Thistleton and Bryan Birchall from Oakham who, after a percentage of combined handicaps were taken into account, negotiated their way round in just 17.1 shots - despite the fact that the two women players only took up the game six months ago.

Denise sank the birdie putt on the final hole while Julie also sank a couple of birdie putts. Bryan said: “It was something we didn’t really expect to win but we shall certainly be back again for the next one.”

It was the first time that night golf had been tried at Stapleford Park but organisers hailed it such a success that a similar event is already being planned for later in the year.

In second place were Bud Abbott, James Ablett, James Eversden and Dean Wilkinson on 18.4, and in third were Tony Lowther, Graeme Hepburn, Ian Dunk and Chris Ford on 18.8.

Neon glow sticks were used to mark the boundaries of the tees, fairways and greens and a blue glow stick was attached to the flags while the 10 teams of four who took part were issued with special ‘glow in the dark’ golf balls - none of which were lost on the night.

A cloudy sky meant there was no moon or stars to help, although some teams used torches to help negotiate their way between greens and the next tee on the six holes which were played in Texas Scramble format. With proceeds still being totted up, several hundred pounds are expected to have been raised for the Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance Appeal.

Colin Eversden, who helped organise the event, said: “This has raised money for a fantastic cause.”