The first round of the prestigious KHG Funds Senior Open golf tournament – which has MBL Financial as principal sponsor – is coming up on July 3 at Douglas Golf Club. The Island’s premier seniors event comprises three round – Rowany Golf Club hosts the second round on August 7, with the grand finale being held at Ramsey on September 4. His Excellency Lieutenant Governor Mr Adam Wood will play in the third and final round which will be followed by a buffet and prize presentation. Tournament organisers say the number of entrants is up on last year, and there has been an increase in the number of women registering to take part due to the introduction of an additional prize this year for the best overall ladies’ score.
Ahead of the opening round, Club Professional Mike Vipond has some hints and tips to help players to master the Douglas course. He says: “Douglas Golf Course is all about the start with a 203 yard par 3 first hole. It’s the same as Royal Lytham, only we have a stream and out of bounds on the left – four here will always be a good result. The second hole has a narrow fairway with out of bounds to the left and heavy rough to the right – so finding the fairway is a must. If you manage that it then leaves a tricky second shot to an elevated green with trouble all around.”
The third is a 376 yard par 4, and Mike says that from this hole onwards the key to a good round is the same as it is on any course – finding the fairways! The fourth is a little tricky – it’s only a 169 yard par 3 but is uphill which makes for a slightly blind approach. Mike also highlights the 151 yard par 3 eighth which will be used for a ‘Beat The Pro’ nearest the pin competition in the Senior Open. New bunkers have been put in place for this season which may catch out a few golfers who are playing their first round on the course this year. The Beat The Pro competition will also raise funds for Hospice Isle of Man. Creechurch Capital Limited, KHG Funds investment manager, will donate £100 to Hospice on behalf of anyone who beats the pro in the competition.
MBL Financial – the principal sponsor of Senior Open – is one of the Island’s longest established Independent Financial Advisers and is licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission.