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Thrilling golf as Scheppel and Ford are our Club Champions

by | May 8, 2023

It all came down to the very last hole as 27-year-old Chris Scheppel edged out 52-year-old Sean Quigley by a single stroke to win, on a two-under-par 142, what can only be described as a 2023 men’s Club Championship thriller of note on Sunday.

In the Women’s Championship Randpark’s 21-year-old Ernie Els Foundation member, hot-shot Cara Ford, took the club title for an impressive third time, her 148 aggregate a runaway 12 shots ahead of second-placed Lauren Clough.

For the men the superbly manicured Firethorn course was playing unusually tough for the closing stages of the second and final round as a chilly late-afternoon Sunday wind meant co-leaders Scheppel and Quigley were hitting against the breeze at holes 16, 17 and 18 – none of which are easy holes even when it’s dead calm. Both were two-under for the tournament at this stage but Scheppel hit what he will surely remember as one of the shots of his life at the demanding 428m par-4 16th, a nine-iron from the middle of the fairway (following a really huge drive) to two feet of the cup. In went the putt for birdie and he was now three under. Quigley, playing in the group ahead of him, had bravely holed a testing six-footer for par to remain at two-under.

Sean then parred the treacherous par-3 17th while Chris just missed the green there and chipped and two-putted to drop a shot. So now it was all square and one to play. With fading light, Sean was short of the green in two at the 18th before chipping and just missing his par putt by a fraction. Chris then hit two superb shots onto the “dance floor” and two putted for victory at this par-4, a back-breaking 464m off the yellow tips.

“That birdie at 16 was key,” said Scheppel after being doused from head to foot with bubbly courtesy of his buddy Ryan Wingrove who last month had won Randpark’s Graduate Club Championship. “I had a great start to the club champs on Saturday on Bushwillow and was four under at one stage but I dropped shots at the end of the round to sign for a 71.”

0n Sunday his 71 on Firethorn was a pretty good score under the circumstances and his 142 total saw him pip Sean (72-71 for 143) by one. And, just a reminder to all of us, this wonderful game of golf can be played with great skill by a whole range of ages as Chris, 27, and Sean, 52, almost twice his age, proved.

Chris Scheppel had aspirations for a career in tennis in his younger days and represented Central Gauteng at provincial level before switching to golf. Just prior to Covid he was thinking about turning pro. Maybe he still will. In the meantime, his Randpark clubmate Conner Mackenzie, who won last year’s Club Championship, did join the paid ranks, earned his tour card at Q-School, and comfortably made the cut, incidentally, in last week’s Zimbabwe Open. “Conner told me to win this year’s club champs and so to have just done so is pretty satisfying,” said a smiling Chris, a two-time Randpark Graduate Club Champion before now going one better and annexing the “big one”.

Cara Ford said one of the keys to winning this year’s women’s Club Championship was her ability to get up and down time and again with a chip and a putt to save par. The diminutive 21-year-old is a rich talent, currently studying for a PGA Diploma through GETS Golf right here at Randpark. “My main goal is to turn pro and play on tour and I’m already doing that as an amateur. But I really want to make it on tour as a professional. I’m sure I will but having a PGA Diploma also ensures I’ll be able to stay in the golf industry whatever happens. As for today, thanks to all who got me to where I am in golf, including my kick-ass parents!”

Both Scheppel and Ford, as well as men’s Randpark Club Captain Arthur Heinrich, who entertained us all as the man up on stage handing out the prizes, paid tribute to both Chief Greenkeeper and Course Superintendent Roger Innes for the superb condition in which we currently find both Firethorn and Bushwillow. We as members are privileged to play on such exceptionally conditioned layouts.

“The Club Championships are the biggest event of the year and I’d like to say a thank you to every one of the 350 players who took part and made it a special weekend,” said Arthur. Indeed it was a weekend of golf to remember.

A final word. Randpark veteran golfing legend and former South African rugby star Schalk Naude turned 65 on Sunday. The captain of the Central Gauteng team which finished second in the recent South African Senior Interprovincial at San Lameer, this guy can – seriously – still play the game. He shot 149 in the Veterans Division, to finish third on Sunday behind Quigley on 143 and Johann Nel on 148. Well done Schalk but, you know, he doesn’t like third. Watch this space.

Written by Randpark member Grant Winter.

To view the 2023 Club Championship Results please click the links below:

All Divisions – Prizes
Men A-Division Gross
Men A-Division Nett
Men B-Division Gross
Men B-Division Nett
Men C-Division Stableford
Ladies Divisions




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Golf Terms & Conditions

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.

2. The Club reserves the right to impose a no-show fee of up to R500 for any tee-times booked in peak times (as determined by the club) where the member failed to show up regardless of whether that actual member made the booking and /or cancellation.

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.

Membership Terms & Conditions

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.

7. There is a 3 month "cool off" period applicable if a member elects to cancel his/her membership. If a member reinstates his membership within this period the Club reserves the right to charge an entrance fee.

8. The Club may cancel a member’s membership if the member is in material breach of his/her obligation to pay annual subscription fees and the Club has given the member twenty business days’ notice in writing to remedy this breach and the member fails to do so.

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.

10. Any levies e.g. Capital Development Fund or special fees payable on an annual basis or as lump sum for a period are non-refundable and not related to usage of the Club.

11. By either Party submitting any personal information to the other, the disclosing Party unconditionally and voluntarily, consents to the processing of the submitted personal information for the following purposes; Invoice, Debit Order, Statement, Newsletter, SMS, WhatsApp, Randpark App.
For more information on how the club uses your personal information please see our Privacy Policy (https://bit.ly/3N7TDYj) on our website.

12. The Applicant hereby agrees and consents to the Applicant’s personal information being processed by, or on behalf of the Club for the purposes set out herein.

13. It is understood by the member that it is necessary for the Club to communicate with its membership from time to time and that by signing these terms and conditions a member gives the club his/her express permission for the Club to communicate with him /her via any means of Club communication unless he/she has informed the Club in writing that they do not wish to receive such or all communication. As mentioned in Section 69 of the POPI Act.

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.