Free family fun at golf event to raise money for charity Willow

Willow life president Bob Wilson with 2016 Willow Senior Golf Classic winner Gary Marks, centre, and Willow staff and volunteers

Willow life president Bob Wilson with 2016 Willow Senior Golf Classic winner Gary Marks, centre, and Willow staff and volunteers

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Chipping in for a Welwyn Garden City-based charity will be par of the course for leading senior golfers and spectators later this month.

The Willow Senior Golf ClassicThe Willow Senior Golf Classic

Former Ryder Cup captain Mark James and Ryder Cup stars Barry Lane and Costantino Rocca will be among the golfers swinging into action in the second annual Willow Senior Golf Classic at Hanbury Manor.

The Willow Senior Golf Classic will see two pro-am golf days on Wednesday, August 23 and Thursday, August 24 raising funds for Willow, the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days.

The pro-ams will be followed by a three-day European Senior Tour championship, where budding amateurs can tee up alongside Senior Tour professionals.

Two-time Senior Major champion Roger Chapman, and Ryder Cup stars Mark James and Des Smyth will all be part of the competition over the three days.

Amateurs will play in a 54-hole stableford competition, while professionals will vie for a £300,000 prize fund.

Free to spectators, the three-day tournament welcomes golf fans hoping to spot the stars and watch the action and families alike, with the Kids Zone running on the final two days.

The Willow Senior Golf Classic raised a phenomenal £120,000 in its inaugural year, and organisers hope this month’s second event will raise much-needed funds to support seriously ill young adults during a difficult time.

Willow life president Bob Wilson said: “The second year of this event sees the continued partnership with Hanbury Manor which, like our own Special Days, offers quality time, bringing smiles to people’s faces.

“A unique opportunity for the whole family, with child-friendly activities alongside the top level golf, set in the impressive grounds of Hanbury Manor.

“Funds raised are a lifeline for Willow, enabling us to support many more young adults at a time when they most need it.”

As well as championship golf, there will be plenty of family fun to enjoy at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Ware, on Saturday, August 26 and Sunday, August 27.

There will be free children’s golf lessons, Golfzilla will be making a special appearance in the Kids Zone, and there will be a chance to meet animals from Paradise Wildlife Park.

The Kids Zone is open on the Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm.

For more information on taking part in this year’s Alliance tournament and Pro-Am, call 01707 259777 or email sarahjane.thompson@willowfoundation.org.uk

To pre-book free kids’ golf lessons on August 26 or 27, contact Shannon on 01992 449830 or email shannon@golf-foundation.org

To spectate, simply turn up any time between 9am and 5pm, August 25 to August 27.

• Willow, which is now based in Fretherne Road, WGC, was founded in 1999 by former Arsenal goalkeeper and TV presenter Bob Wilson and his wife, Megs, as a lasting memorial to their daughter, Anna, who died of cancer aged just 31.

Anna’s love of life and the enriching experiences of her own Special Days were the charity’s inspiration.

The charity receives no Government or lottery funding and is totally reliant on the generosity of individuals, companies and trusts to fund its work.

For more on Willow, visit www.willowfoundation.org.uk

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