Having been inspired by and having played in the Causeway Coast Golf Tournament on the north coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland, I began to consider founding a similar event on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. I moved to Dorset from Northern Ireland in 1975 and have no idea why it took me so long to see the obvious! I also had a hankering to support Hannah’s Appeal, a charity founded and run by friends of mine from Hayling GC. I set my sights high but, as I found out to my cost, too high.
I began by working out roughly how many golf clubs there are in the UK and Ireland – say 3000. I then calculated roughly the average membership size of each club – say 300. I then acquired a lottery licence which permitted me to sell up to £250,000 worth of lottery tickets.
Here was the deal – buy a ticket at £20. This got you a team of two entry to the draw plus a complimentary ball marker each. The draws were split into six with twelve places available in each draw giving a total of 72. The total number of tickets sold was also divided into six.
This gave odds of getting a team into the tournament at roughly 170-1. Not bad.
The prize was 4 nights B&B accommodation plus three rounds of golf. I needed to sell a minimum of 3000 tickets to make it work – in the event I sold three, even though the tickets were to be sold by the Juniors’ section at each golf club and would have earned 20% of the ticket sales for their club. Sadly, no club was interested. That was in 2009 which is why the ball markers you will see today exist. I bought 6000 to cover the giveaways.
We have a superb event at the moment which I’ll comment on later but that’s not where the money is. We hope to give Hannah’s Appeal more and more as we progress but we’ll never make a fortune. Here’s where the fortune is – Take an average of 3000 clubs with 300 members in each. Sell tickets at £20 each (for a team of 2 – £10 per head). Every team buys a ticket. Money in = £18 million. 10% buy a ticket = £1.8 million. 1% buy a ticket = £180,000. 0.1% buy a ticket = £18000. What an event we could have had!!!
Not to worry, we still have an INCREDIBLE golf tournament, full of fun, laughter and camaraderie. The tournament has a sense of togetherness you know, as if we’re all in it together – which we are of course. The officials, the golfers, the golf clubs, the staff – everyone who is involved, is involved.
I was quite disappointed at the first attempt at founding this great event but reality set in and I can now see how impossible the idea of a prize draw was. However, I still realised that we could run an event in beautiful Dorset so I tried it again using a well-worn formula which works. 2015 and the Open Championship at St Andrews. My co-founder had written to the late Peter Alliss describing what we were attempting. During the BBC coverage he very kindly mentioned us for about 90 seconds or so. The power of TV and radio is breathtaking and so, just after he spoke, my phone started ringing and the hard work began!
Sixty one teams in our first year was scary. Forty five in our second, fifty nine in our third, forty five again in our forth, sixty eight last year and now full for 2022 shows a steady rise in popularity and success. With a full field of seventy two teams from nineteen counties of England and a team from near Dublin in Ireland, this little tournament of ours has reached International status! You’ll have a ball with us every June.
Tournament Founder and Director
We really enjoyed it and so did all our friends from Bath. Thank you so much for organising it.
See you all next year.
Helen and Mark Oliver
Just wanted to say thank you to you and all your team of helpers for making the last 3 days so special. Great company, lovely courses and superb organisation!
Oh wow, thank you, we thought that we wouldn’t be anywhere in the prizes! Many thanks to you all for another great week, we all really enjoyed it and will be back again next year.
Firstly thanks to you, and your fabulous support team, for an awesome golf tournament/experience earlier this week … aided and abetted by amazing golf courses, unbelievable weather and extremely friendly participants. We had a great time, and will be signing up for more of the same in 2024.
Andrew and Joyce Gibson
That was the best yet and you all deserve the most fulsome praise and congratulations. The atmosphere buzzed throughout, a true measure of how participants are enjoying the tournament and which cannot be faked. Good golf, good courses, good weather, but above all excellent organisation both before and during the event, whatever the problems. You have given everyone an experience they will remember with a feeling of pleasure and goodwill.
Sir Roger Palin
Just to say a big thank you,to you both and your team. We had a fabulous time. We didn’t think it could get better than last year, but it did. Everything ran smoothly and the gorgeous weather topped it off. We will definitely be booking for next year. Thanks
Sandy & Graham Mott
I would just like to thank you so much for organising such a wonderful tournament, even the weather. We thoroughly enjoyed it and are looking forward to coming back again next year.
John & Linda Sayers
Thanks for a great tournament. So we’ll organised and lovely hosts. Amazing how you do it.
Tony and June Bevan
Thank you John for arranging such an amazing three days with your wonderful team. Such a pleasure to meet them all.
Thanks for a superb three days golf. It was our first tour and thoroughly enjoyed meeting new people and playing some lovely courses. Once again, thank you and your team for a really good few days.
Simon & Jacky Brown
Thank you so much for a fabulous 3 days and for the beautiful weather you organised. We thoroughly enjoyed the golf, the camaraderie ( special thanks to a chap who found my ball in long grass and left a little marker there for me!) and the hospitality at each of the clubs. The administration was seamless and gave all the players a wonderful golfing experience.
We just wanted to thank you very much for making this year’s JCGT such an enjoyable event despite the efforts of the Coronavirus pandemic to scupper it for everyone.
…we really had a wonderful time in the sunshine and were made to feel very welcome at all the venues.
Kush and Jenny Duggal
Another great event, so well done to you and your team. We know from experience that the smoother an event appears on the surface, the more that folk will have been furiously paddling in the background. I’ll bet we cannot begin to imagine it!
Ian & Sheila Waltham
Thank you for all your hard work to run such a good event, this was our first time and we both enjoyed playing all the courses. We are looking forward to playing again next year.
John & Caroline Summers
Thanks once again for organising the JCGT yet again this year. We all had a great time and are looking forward to next year’s competition
Hi John, thanks for a really great 3 days. Our rooms are booked for next year for us and our friends.
Dave & Ruth Coombs-Ballard
Just a short note to say a very big thank you to you for organising another great golf tournament. We really enjoyed ourselves…
Many thanks to all your team for the smooth running of the event, especially having to contend with Covid and the new handicap system!
For further information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost per pair is £325.00
Entry into the Jurassic Golf Tournament 2022, is £162.50 per playerBook Your Place
Monday 24th June 2024 – Came Down Golf Club
Tuesday 25th June 2024 – Lyme Regis Golf Club
Wednesday 26th June 2024 – Bridport & West Dorset Golf Club