Margate: team gain experience at British Open

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British Open minigolf 2021 Margate

The 2021 British Championships at Strokes Adventure Golf in Margate saw a team outclassed by the very best players in the game. This is nothing to be ashamed of considering that this was only the team’s third tournament, but the desire to do better is now firmly lodged in the players’ minds.

After showing promise at the World Crazies and the Sussex Wasps Open, Jon Clarke found himself at the bottom of the Seniors table at close of play. In fairness, Jon was up against top players like Martin Greenhead and Derek Bentall, and had not previously encountered the type of holes they have at Strokes Adventure Golf. This course had multiple uphill shots where shot weight has to be carefully judged, and this was perhaps Jon’s downfall, having previously only played relatively level shots at the Hastings and Peterborough courses that required good angle judgement somewhat more than perfect ball speed. However this experience will stand him in good stead for next year.

Margate mini golf tournament British Open 2021
A very tricky hole, and a popular type of shot at the Margate course.

Alf Standen and Sam Webster fared no better in the Men’s category, with over-par scores that would have looked good on a cricket scoreboard. The hole called Heartbreak Ridge was particularly aptly named for the team, with all players notching up a 7 at least once.

At the top of the leader board, multiple champion Michael Smith kept a tight rein on his scores throughout the weekend and took advantage of a couple of 37s from champion Marc Chapman to stay ahead and come home 21 under par for the win.

Minigolf putter shot
How hard can it be? Answer: very

Competitively, then, Margate was one to forget for the team. But the experience of playing alongside the world’s best minigolfers on a challenging course will have been invaluable. It shows how tough it is in top level competitive minigolf and is a reminder of the amount of dedication and perseverance needed to become a par player, let alone a tournament winner.

None of the players were available for comment after the tournament – which reflects their disappointment, staggering naivety and determination to do better.

The frankly embarrassing results are here:

Maybe our team would benefit from actually using some of the many training aids available through the website. Check them out here.

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