Fresh from the success of The British Masters, it was perfect timing for Lookers Charity Golf Day at Close House, just one week after they hosted the event. The great and the good of North East business and motoring community came together for a round of golf and evening with Alistair McGowan to raise thousands of pounds for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The day began as all days should, with bacon butties overlooking the beautiful Northumbrian countryside from the warmth of Close House No19 Clubhouse. The crisp autumn morning made the green glisten and the cars sparkle, a perfect welcome for the raft of professional and amateur golfers attending. After a hearty breakfast, the golfers headed out and teed off to the shotgun starts on both the Lee Westwood Filly and Lee Westwood Colt course.
Entertainment around the course kept guests fed, watered and challenged. We had trick shots from Paul Barrington and Geoff Swain, Beat the Pro competition, a Titleist Tyre Chipping Challenge and even some massages around the course! The sun stayed shining while our guests enjoyed the Filly and Colt courses, and kept track with a live VPAR scoring system. Some of us from Lookers even tried our hand at chipping too, with varying success. Will Robson, from Close House, showed us all up by making a hole in one on the Tyre Island Chipping Challenge, in aid of The Graham Wylie Foundation.
After a full day of golf, attendees donned their finery for an evening of entertainment and gala dinner at The Hilton Newcastle Gateshead. Guests were met by gin-iouses manning the fabulous gin bar, and were able to sip their reception drinks at our bespoke tyre tables. Our raffle was a success, offering a range of prizes from Fortnum and Mason hampers to Tom Tom watches, Michael McIntyre tickets to cases of champagne. The guests then settled in for an evening of entertainment, hosted by Alistair McGowan.
The impressive auction featured an array of sporting, leisure and downright adrenaline fuelling prizes. Corporate tickets to see Newcastle United play, a round of golf with Darren Clarke and a weekend’s stay at Belle Isle Estate, a private island with its own Irish castle on the shores of Lough Erne, were just some of the amazing auction prizes on offer.
But the highlight came after dessert when a real hero and member of the Red Devils, Alex Perry MC, walked onstage with Lookers Chief Operating Officer, Nigel McMinn. After receiving a standing ovation for being the only serving paratrooper to be awarded the Military Cross for bravery, Alex offered the once in a lifetime opportunity to jump with the Red Devils.
He told the audience about his experience in the Parachute Regiment, focussing on the excitement and adrenaline felt while jumping from 14,500 feet. Nigel backed this up as he himself jumped from a plane with the Red Devils mere months ago. This prize was the most popular of the night and was bid for multiple times. Alex now has his work cut out as he has agreed to take 25 people skydiving. Who knew golfers were such adrenaline junkies!
The exciting game, stunning surroundings, entertainment and delicious food were all part of a day that really makes a difference to children’s lives across the country. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award offers adventure and challenges to young people aged 14 to 24, allowing them to gain new skills, push their possibilities and increase their self-esteem. Our golf day, gala dinner and prize auction managed to raise thousands of pounds for the charity which gives young people invaluable experiences that will influence the rest of their lives.
The night was rounded off with a great set from The Sally Army that got everyone up dancing. With festivities continuing late into the night and the early hours of the morning, we’re sure there were some sore heads the following morning. But for such a good cause, it was definitely worth it!
Lookers Charity Golf Day will be held on 5th October 2018 so get those dates in your diary. If it’s anything like this year, we can’t wait!