Close Call For Champions, Cowells Arrow
By Jason Batup, Golf Consultant to The Bingo Association
Industry veteran, Tony Lister, and his Suffolk Swingers from supplier Cowells Arrow Bingo emerged victorious from The Bingo Association Charity Golf Day – but only just!
The event, held at Oulton Hall, near Leeds, on 8th June was attended by over 70 players from the industry, with another 15 joining the event for the evening reception and dinner.
The great turnout allowed the Association to have exclusive use of the golf course, with the 18 groups of 4 each starting from a different hole on the course. With players entering their scores in an App as they progressed, it soon became clear that the competition for the best team prize was being fiercely fought, with several teams appearing at the top of the leader board before it came down to Team Cowells Arrow and Team LOL Bingo (a mixed team consisting of Mike Smith of LOL Bingo, Darrel Stoten and Mel Kassim of Mecca Bingo and Chris Wrigley of ISD). With 3 holes to play the leader board was frozen and the players were left on tender hooks to learn the final result.
It couldn’t have been closer, with both teams scoring 95 points from their best 2 scores of their 4 players on each hole. There cannot be a tie, so it went to ‘countback’, to see which team scored more on the last 9 holes and this turned out to be the Ipswich based printers, Cowells Arrow Bingo, comprising Paul Goodchild, Tony Lister, Steven Pink and their legal representative, Tom Grant, who also picked up the prize for being Nearest The Pin on the 220 yard hole 14.
The individual winner was no such close thing, with Mecca Bingo’s Andy Crump shooting his way to a very impressive 47 points, claiming the Maygay Cup with a victory by 4 points from LOL’s Mecca man, Mel Kassim, who won the Best Front 9 prize (The Club 3000 Jug) with an amazing 28 points. With no-one allowed to take more than one of the individual awards, Gary Payne’s 22 points on the much harder back 9 holes was enough to win him the Batup Bowl for the Best Back 9.
The Association was delighted that this year’s entrants included three ladies, and the top performers were split by just 2 points, with Janet Anderson (representing Castle Bingo as a guest of Tom Howarth) taking the Leading Lady honour (The Salmon Salver) with 31 points: 2 ahead of last year’s winner, Arena Bingo’s Martha Batup and Ladies Longest Drive winner, Shauna McViegh of Wexel Gaming.
The other Nearest The Pin prizes were won by Bingo Godz top man, Simon Hannah (2nd hole), his buggy buddy, Arena Bingo’s Luke Batup (6th hole) and an incredible hit from 170 yards to 6th from the 11th hole by Carlton Bingo’s Jason Malley. In the battle of the big hitters, Merkur Bingo’s Steve Ambrose had set the mark with a very impressive hit of 289 yards on the steeply uphill 13th hole. However, he hadn’t counted on Mecca man Andrew Sessions (playing with the Inspired Inc team) knocking it 12 yards past him to take the Longest Drive award, breaking the 300 yard mark and having the Club professional say that he had not seen a drive that long on that hole for a very long time!
After a short break, the evening’s proceedings began with a short talk from Lyn Staunton of Variety The Children’s Charity, the Association’s national charity, who announced that The Bingo Association had won an award from Variety’s International Board, in recognition of the huge impact that the industry’s support has had on the lives of so many children. The charity raffle, in aid of Variety, raised a most impressive £1,644 from the very generous attendees, adding to funds raised by the industry.
The evening was rounded off with awards and raffle prizes announced by Association CEO Miles Baron.
The Bingo Association would like to thank the companies and organisations who generously sponsored the event:
Main Event Sponsor: Shipley’s Creative
Golf Balls: Carlton Bingo
Main Awards: ECM, NRM, ISD Ltd, Mecca Bingo, Club 3000 Bingo, Inspired Inc, Majestic Bingo, Poppleston Allen, Buzz Bingo, Merkur Bingo, National Bingo Game Association.
Bucket of beers on each table: Regency Purchasing Group.
The venue and date for the 2024 event will be announced as soon as possible.