The Garden Industry Manufacturers Association Charity Golf Day was once again a hot and sunny affair with 20 teams battling it out for the various prizes on offer, and all aiming to raise pots of cash for two well deserved gardening charities, Greenfingers and Perennial.
Our Robbie recounts the day’s events…
After signing in at the clubhouse, there was just enough time to cram in a few vital bacon sarnies before heading out for the briefing and warming up on the range. There, I found Paul Taylor, National Sales Manager for client Forest Garden, awaiting the arrival of his star player… who unfortunately didn’t turn up, so he had to put up with me instead. The Forest team was complete thanks to star guests Lyndan and Fred from Hayes Garden World in Ambleside, who made the game lighthearted, enjoyable and above all fun.
To speed things up we were to start on the 10th, although obviously we still had to complete the full 18 holes from there – despite protests on the 18th that we simply double our scores from the back nine and head off for a drink!
Due to the heat, the golf turned out to be really challenging, but after a pitstop for some liquid refreshments, we took our chances to beat the pro and get nearest the pin. With over 23 individual winners throughout the day, we fancied our chances and each put in the £5 donation to enter. I was the only one to get close (a complete fluke onto the green) only to find that on this occasion, the pro had put his ball right next to the hole. Oh well, maybe next year.
We completed the 9th (aka the Hornby Whitefoot PR hole), which was our last, with a live video broadcast to our Facebook followers, which featured my impression of Peter Aliss and some very ‘unique’ tee shots from the players. Riveting viewing I’m sure, but will stick to the day job for the time being!
At the pre-dinner drinks I spent valuable time chatting to clients Linda Petrons from Greenfingers, Vicky Nuttall from GIMA and Matt Mein from i2i/Glee, and was also able to talk to other top industry figures including Jamieson Page from Town & Country, George Bullivant from Gardenforum and Trevor Pfeiffer from GTN Xtra. We were then sat down and treated to an excellent three course dinner followed by the main prize winning ceremony. Massive congratulations to clients Deco-Pak (headed up by General Manager Rod Slater and Marketing Manager Craig Hall) who didn’t do too badly – coming fourth overall!
After the prizes were handed out, we were entertained by Steve Kindon, an ex football player who managed to take us through his humble yet exciting career, punctuated with a speech impediment that was milked to superb comic effect! Steve got behind both charities to add a real burst of passion to proceedings, and helped raise over £2,000 from donations made through the raffle alone, and thousands more from generous bids during the charity auction.
All in all, a great day out, and valuable time spent with friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Well done to Andy Bestwick and everyone at GIMA for once again organising a fantastic event, and a personal thank you to Paul and the Forest team for their excellent hospitality, and for putting up with my putting!