A mix of 24 Avonside Group customers and senior staff were treated to a day of golf at the world-famous Brabazon course at the luxury Belfry Hotel and Resort in Birmingham and were joined by a very special guest…distinguished former England forwarder and manager, Kevin Keegan!
In what has become a much-anticipated staple in the Avonside Group calendar, Tony Burke’s Annual CEO’s Golf Day is a celebration of customer support, as well as an informal networking opportunity.
Avonside Operations Directors who were in attendance included Andy Morley, Chris Firth (pictured below), Vince Hughes, Eddie Stanton, Phil Bull and Bill Rumble from our recently acquired BillSave UK.
The eager golfers met at 9:30am on 10th September at Sam’s Club House - which is named after European Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance OBE - bright and early for a spot of breakfast and tea and coffee. Delegates then gathered to be registered, receive their Belfry goodie bags and be put into their designated teams. Each customer also received a specially commissioned Avonside golfing jumper. All the team names were a nod to Kevin Keegan’s career, being named after the nicknames of teams he’d either played for or managed.
The Toon was captained by Tony who aptly is an avid Newcastle fan, Andy Morley led the Three Lions, whilst the Kopites were under the captainship of passionate red and our Flat Roofing Divisional Director, Eddie Stanton. Vince Hughes’ served as team captain to The Irons, named after Kevin’s first club Scunthorpe United, and The Cottagers (named in honour of Kevin’s time as manager of Fulham FC), played under the leadership of Chris Firth.
Some took advantage of the opportunity to have a warmup and get some practice shots in on the PGA driving range before taking to the green where every shot counted. The legendary Brabazon course owes its iconic reputation to the fact that it is the only course in the world to have staged four Ryder Cups, the first in 1985, then 1989, followed by playing host to the Cup in 1993 and again in 2002.
The score cards were gathered over drinks in Sam’s bar, where the guys were met by the one and only Kevin Keegan, who dined with Tony’s guests in the Stafford Suite. The 3-course meal was delicious by all accounts, with a menu of smoked chicken ham hock terrine for starters, braised feather bladed beef with horse radish puree for mains, rounded off perfectly with a tasty raspberry cheesecake for dessert.
Kevin then generously spent a good hour taking to the floor to answer questions from customers, before delivering an interesting presentation on his successful career in what was a fun and laid-back affair.
Our business Development Director, Phil Bull, assisted by Kevin, then presented the prizes of the day, which included signed England shirts and books. The overall winning team was the Three Lions (83 points), with The Toons coming in second (73 points), The Irons finishing third, (64 points) the Kopites (62 points) taking fourth place and The Cottagers finishing in fifth position (54 points).
The prize for the Longest Drive went to Avonside Group’s Systems and Integrations Director, Kyle Burke, who made his winning shot on the 3rd hole. Meanwhile, Chris Firth took home a prize for winning the Nearest Pin on the 7th hole, after narrowly beating a rather gutted Phil Bull by millimetres!
Kevin stayed and joined the guys for more drinks in Sam’s bar before the group retired for bed. With great weather and such an immaculate course, the day was a winner all-round but was boosted all the more by the customers who attended and supported the event. A huge thanks to all those customers who took time out of their busy work and family lives to attend, without you we wouldn’t have an even, so thank you!