The Fred Dibnah Memorial Summer Classic
Following on from the success of the Annual Handicapped Golf Classic, Cripple Golf saw a need for a tournament for the time of year that golfers prefer - summer! Hence, in an attempt at perfect symmetry, a tournament has been launched for the longest day of the year.
[The late Fred Dibnah - Golf Legend]
The tournament has been running since 2006.
The Fred Dibnah has been something of a touring beast, with a different venue selected each year. This helps test the players to the max!
The tournament is played on, or around, the longest day of the year, normally over two legs on two separate days, but this does vary.
The tournament was, until 2009, scored using the Stableford method, based on a 28 handicap. 2 points are offered for a net par, 3 for birdie and 1 for bogie. The tournament, as mentioned above, is played over 2 legs, with the best score from each hole used to calculate the final points score.
However, from 2009 onwards the tournament is decided using matchplay. In 2009 the tournament was played off of scratch, but in 2010 the tournament became handicapped, with Savery receiving a 10-shot advantage.
The change in format from stroke play to match play has brought about more aggressive, more exciting play and has seen a significant rise in TV audiences as a result.
Summer Classic 2006:
2006 saw the tournament contest at the Belfry (www.thebelfry.co.uk/) which proved to be a massive success.
The Derby course proved to be a real challenge to all of the competitors and despite the extremely high temperatures the tournament carded some very strong scores.
However Savery managed to "lose" a 6 iron that has yet to be replaced (update in 2011 - the 6 iron has still be replaced). [Stableford]
Summer Classic 2007:
2007 saw the trophy competed for a the Marriott Meon Valley (www.meonvalleygolfclub.com/) on the Meon Course. This too proved to be a really appropriate home for the tournament offering some very challenging holes for the competitors to contend with. [Stableford]
Summer Classic 2008:
2008 has seen the trophy competed for at Paultons Golf Club (www.paultonsgolf.co.uk/), with the tournament having this year been a one-leg affair, which was completed on Sunday 22nd June due to adverse weather conditions. A very windy day proved to be a real challenge for those involved, but some good scores were posted, and in the end Tim Foote of Hampshire emerged victorious. Tim Foote posted a reasonable 33 points on the day, followed closely by Bob Savery of Berkshire with 18 points. Thanks should be given to Paultons for providing some very challenging holes - another excellent choice of venue. [Stableford]
Summer Classic 2009:
2009 saw the tournament move onto Deanwood Park Golf Club (www.deanwoodpark.co.uk/). The first 18 holes of the tournament were competed on 12th July 2009 in glorious summer conditions.
The delayed second 18 holes were played in very contrasting conditions on 1st November 2009, with strong winds, chilly conditions and lots of rain.
The decision to move to matchplay was considered a great success by the competitors, the sponsors and the TV audience. [Matchplay]
Summer Classic 2010
Savery wins first major!
Mark "Bob" Savery of The Green, Theale, has won his first major event in the Cripple Golf series at the 10th time of asking, 3&2.
The 2010 summer classic was held over two days - Saturday 10 July to Sunday 11 July 2010. The first round was held at Royal Winchester Golf Club, and the second at Furzeley Golf Club near Denmead in Hampshire. The conditions were stifling, with temperatures around the 30 degree mark, albeit ever so slightly cooler on the Sunday.
Savery received a 10-shot handicap advantage and took full advantage. Depsite some big hitting from Foote, including a 340-yard drive on the 2nd at Royal Winchester, he was never able to fully find his touch around the greens, and Savery managed to do enough to always stay in contention when it mattered.
The game swang in both directions. At the half-way point Savery had edged into a 1-hole lead, having been 2 down earlier in the round. However, some strong play in the early holes on the second day set up a strong platform for Savery which despite best efforts Foote couldn't reel in.
2010 Fred Dibnah Memorial Champion: Mark "Bob" Savery, Theale
Summer Classic 2011
Following Mark "Bob" Savery's win in 2010, the opportunity to retain the Dibnah trophy & secure his second straight major is surely on the mind of the current champion.
This year's tournament is to be over 2 legs, with the first leg at Deanwood Park, near Newbury, Berks. The second leg is to be held on Sunday 23rd October 2011 at The Marriott Meon Valley, on the Championship Meon Course. This will be the second time that both courses have appeared on the rotation & will provide a very stiff challenge for both players.
Ready: Foote & Savery prepare for action at Deanwood Park
Ripping: Savery tees it high & watches it fly & Foote does the same
Friendly rivalry: Savery notices the quality of his clubs
Summer Classic 2012