The 2008 Sandy Lyle Day at MacDonald Linden Hall has proved to be another runaway success for the region's golfers.
The 2008 Sandy Lyle Day at MacDonald Linden Hall has proved to be another runaway success for the region's golfers. Sandy - best remembered for his 1988 Masters victory in the United States when he became the first Briton to receive the green jacket - spent the whole day at Linden.
This great ambassador for the sport, who dominated world and European golf throughout the 1980s, is now into his third year of a five year contract with the MacDonald Hotels and Resorts group.
Also invited to Linden Hall was PGA Secretary and former Ryder Cup referee David Wright and with him, the Ryder Cup itself.
Before a buffet lunch, the day commenced with a golf clinic with Sandy demonstrating a different array of shot-making and answering questions on various aspects of the game of golf.
The afternoon consisted of an 18-hole competition with 29 teams of four playing in a Texas scramble. Sandy joined each team for one hole during their rounds for a photo-shoot and to play one shot ,which the teams were able to use as one of theirs.
With a score of 57.5, the Arkle & Son team won on the day followed by Mark Smith's team with 59.6. Procom came third, scoring 60.7.
Following a delicious three-course dinner, David Wright, spoke about the history of the Ryder Cup. His speech opened with: "What I would like to do during the next 15 to 20 minutes is to share a passion with you, a passion for this trophy and something I am immensely proud of. I have been privileged to
fly with it to some interesting parts of the world and believe me, there is nothing better than flying with The Ryder Cup to the United States of America."
After the laughter and cheers had died down, David went on to speak about the actual trophy and his experiences of refereeing some of the matches - hopefully, he will be returning with it later this year.
Bernard Bloodworth, general manager at MacDonald Linden Hall, said: "On behalf of Linden Hall, I would like to thank the PGA for the loan of the Ryder Cup and we are extremely grateful and very proud to have it here this evening."
There then followed a question and answer session with Sandy where he spoke candidly about his professional golfing career and his two Major tournament triumphs.
Director of Golf, Geoff Dixon, said: "There has been an enormous amount of preparation put into this event but it was certainly worthwhile, the day ran without a single hitch. This was such a unique event, having both The Ryder Cup and Sandy Lyle at MacDonald Linden Hall on the same day.
"And from a personal point of view, I found it fascinating listening to David talking about the Ryder Cup and I was absolutely mesmerised listening to Sandy describing his thoughts during the final round of his U. S. Masters victory."
Geoff concluded: "We are already in the process of looking at how we can improve the event for next year."