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Quirk and Ford come out tops in Club Champs

by | May 17, 2021

ACCOUNTANT-in-the-making Darren Quirk got his numbers spot on, and it was pocket rocket Cara Ford’s turn to beat her arch-rival and friend Kim Turgut and pick up the women’s A-Division win in the Randpark Club Championships held at the weekend.

“I was so nervous I couldn’t breathe coming down the 18th, as there was only one shot separating myself and David Ryan” said 23-year-old Quirk who closed with a fine two-under-par 70 on Firethorn in Sunday’s second and final round. Half-a-dozen players were in contention with nine holes to go but the fate of the 2021 Club Championships came down to a 10-foot putt holed on the last hole by Darren.

But the UNISA student used a hot putter to break out of the pack. He made crucial up-and-downs to save par at 16 and 17, and then hit the green in two off the backmarkers at the demanding 464m par-4 18th and two-putted to post a one-under-par 143 aggregate.

Day one saw Quirk shoot 73 on Bushwillow, when his putter wasn’t as hot, yet he ultimately won the A-Division by one shot from up-and-coming David Ryan (72-72), Carl Mwale (72-74) was third, with Jared Botha, Thomas Ryan and Christian MacGregor next best on 148, with overnight leader on 70, Gary Baynham, slipping to a 79 to finish on 149.

“Conditions weren’t easy in round two because we played in a tricky wind and there were some tough pin placements. I putted well though and picked up shots at the third and sixth holes, and then went on a birdie run at 9, 10, 11 and 12,” said Quirk. “I did bogey 13 and 14 but managed to hold on after that. In the end my putting was the key.”

The trainee numbers man, who works part-time at a vet to keep himself in golf, has entered four GolfRSA events this year, making three cuts out of four and is clearly going places with his handicap index plus 2.1. He paid tribute to the course staff: “Condition-wise, the fairways and greens were amazing,” he said.

The women played round one on Firethorn and 19-year-old Ford, who plays off a 2.5 handicap index, carded a 76 to put her alongside Turgut on that same score. On Bushwillow in round two Cara dropped at the first hole and then made double-bogey six at No 2. “So that was a bad start but I bounced back by hitting drive, six-iron to within a meter and a half from the cup at the par-5 third,” she explained. “I just missed the eagle putt but made a tap-in birdie and also picked up a shot at the sixth with a two there. I dropped at eight to be out in 38 then played ‘boring golf’ – lots of fairways and greens – to be home in level-par 36 for a round of 74. Her 150 total saw her edge out runner-up Turgut by two.

“Last year Kim beat me by one for the title and in 2019 I beat her by one to win the Club Champs. So it’s always close between us. This year was my turn though. We’re good friends but fierce rivals on the golf course,” added Ford who represents Ladies Golf Gauteng at inter-provincial level and is ranked 13th in the country. She wants to one day turn professional but plans to keep playing amateur golf for a good while still and in this year’s second semester will start studying for a degree in criminology.

There was a buzz at Randpark all weekend what with the players and their supporters out in force, the courses in fine shape and a festive atmosphere in the clubhouse surrounds. Club CEO Francois Swart was “delighted” to reveal that no less than 448 players took part in the golf, which raises the question as to whether this could be a South African record for a club championship. The men’s C-Division attracted a mammoth 225 entrants. Golf booming at Randpark? You bet.

Written by Randpark member Grant Winter.


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1. The Club reserves the right to impose a cancellation fee of up to R250 for any tee-times booked in peak times (as determined by the club) which are cancelled within 24 hours regardless of whether that actual member made the booking and /or cancellation.

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3. Golf specific disclaimer: When entering the Club’s premises, the member is fully aware and understands the risk and hazards inherent to the golf environment which includes but is not limited to the risk of being struck by flying golf balls and lightning strikes. In the case of the latter, the member further acknowledges that the shelters provided on the golf course are rain shelters only and are not lightning proof and the club accepts no responsibility in respect of death or injury of persons or destruction or damage to property as a result of any lightning strike whether it occurs at or near a rain shelter or at any other place. All persons using any such rain shelters or any other shelter on the property do so entirely at their own risk. It is to be noted that whilst the Club makes use of an automated lightning detection system, the Club makes no warranties and accepts no responsibility with respect to either the reliability or accuracy of the equipment. It is further noted that a member always has the right to stop play if he/she deems any condition, including lightning, to be a danger to his or her personal safety.

4. A member is not entitled to a refund of golf fees in the event a competition or round is cancelled due to weather.

5. The notional base number of rounds for a CLUB10 and CLUB20 playing cards is 10 & 20 respectively regardless of any reference to an unlimited playing card. When these golf round thresholds have been completed the cost of the playing cards has been consumed. The rounds cannot be carried over to the following financial year, and thus lapse on 31 March.

6. Unlimited golf is subject to booking restrictions as per the specific membership category. The rounds cannot be carried over to the following financial year, and thus lapse on 31 March.

7. Graduates may book for a Sunday PM two weeks in advance via the booking ladies and 11 days in advance on the online platform. Bookings for the weekend will open on a Thursday (2 days before) at 06:00 am. We will introduce a graduate booking sheet which will allow graduates to add their names for a slot which the booking ladies will fill closer to the weekend. Saturday morning games will be charged at R500.00 – all other periods include the Unlimited ticket.

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1. Upon the club receiving this application form, signed terms and conditions, letter of good standing from previous club and credit check approval, an invoice will be sent and membership will only become active upon full upfront payment of all applicable fees and/or signature of a debit order arrangement and payment of first instalment. If a debit order arrangement is signed, the first instalment of membership is payable via EFT, there after the debit order arrangement will take effect.

2. Membership at Randpark is subject to approval by committee. A probation period of 3 months will apply to all new applicants. In this time Randpark reserves the right to refund unsuccessful applicants.

3. Family Membership is subject to membership of principal member.

4. Club membership would without interruption continue year on year but is subject to the payment of an annual fee as determined by the club.

5. The membership may be terminated by the member giving the club twenty business days’ notice in writing of his/her intention to do so.

6. The Club reserves the right to impose a 10% cancellation fee on a member who elects to cancel his/her membership during a financial year; however, no cancellation fee will be charged if a member gives notice not to renew his/her membership at the end of the club’s financial year.

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9. The Club may suspend a member that is in default on his membership fees paid on debit order if that debit order is not successful. The Club will inform the member of this and the member has 3 business days to rectify his/her account. If the 3 business days lapse without any payment of outstanding amount the club reserves the right to suspend the member.  Membership will only be reinstated upon receipt of amount in arrears. If a member has 3 consecutive failed debit orders without arrears being paid up, the Club may cancel his/her membership given twenty business days' notice in writing to remedy this breach and the member fails to do so. When a member is suspended he is not deemed to be a member.

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14. By signature hereto, the member expressly acknowledges he has read, and understands, the following disclaimers from the Club Constitution and the Club Bye-Laws.

15. General disclaimer: Randpark Club does not accept liability or responsibility whatsoever in respect of death or injury of person or destroying or damage to property or loss of any nature, whether arising from negligence or any other cause including lightning, which is suffered by any member or any person who enters the club premises and/or uses the golf course or any other amenities or facilities provided. Members and other users of the Club facilities use the facilities at their own risk and are advised to insure themselves for loss and injuries they may suffer and for claims against themselves.

16. A member is not entitled to a refund of golf fees in the event a competition or round is cancelled due to weather.

17. Vouchers which may be given to a member upon joining are given on a complimentary basis and do not form part of the subscription.