Following the government’s new measures to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which limit people to only leaving their homes for essential supplies and one form of exercise per day, many businesses have been forced to close their doors for the foreseeable future.
But the ongoing uncertainty that many of us face has also led to many heart-warming stories across the internet and social media, with people and businesses coming together to help out wherever they can.
Golf clubs and courses are just one of the many businesses that have been affected by COVID-19, and enforcing advice from Golf England, Worsley Golf Club in the green City of Salford closed its doors last month.
With the usual golfing calendar about to commence, and following the winter season where income already takes a hit with fewer people playing, the local professional Andy Cory will also lose out on essential income he usually receives from lessons and shop sales.
This situation has given members of the Worsley club an idea to help their friend Andy out in an unfamiliar time where his usual revenue from members or visitors has come to a sudden stop.
Following a conversation with Andy, a message was sent out to club members offering the chance to take part in a raffle.
This gave shop owner Andy the opportunity to raffle off some of the stock he had previously purchased for the shop, as well as giving members (and their friends and families) the opportunity to win some great golfing gear, ready for when life begins to return to normal.
Initially, to make the raffle worthwhile – and pay for the stock being sat on – they needed to raise £900 in ticket sales, with prices ranging from £5 for a single ticket to £20 for five or £50 for fifteen. So on Monday 13th April the message was sent out to the club members, along with a list of 16 prizes up for grabs with a value of £1,200 – one of the top prizes being a brand new golf bag.
Worsley Golf Club is well known for the camaraderie and banter between its members. Previous charity and fundraising events have always been a huge success, with everybody getting involved. And this raffle was no exception.
By Wednesday afternoon, the demand for tickets was so great that Andy had revised the prize list to include 35 prizes – the revision coming from an unexpected demand for tickets as well as a couple of very generous donations from a number of people.
A round of golf with European Tour player Marcus “The Bullet” Armitage – who was a junior member at Pike Fold Golf Club during Andy’s time as professional there – on the Worsley course became the top prize for one lucky winner and a guest of their choosing.
Andy was overwhelmed with the response from Worsley Golf Club.
Genuinely overwhelmed by the support and amazing generosity at these unprecedented times. Proud to be the pro at such a great club.
— Andrew Cory (@WorsleyProShop) April 17, 2020
“I’m absolutely overwhelmed with the response from everybody involved with the club,” said business owner Andy. “It’s been an absolutely fantastic reaction and I’m very grateful to anyone who has contributed towards the raffle or has been helping put it all together.”
Other prizes in the raffle included the latest set of Ping i210 irons, a Powakaddy electric trolley, a range finder, several different golf bags, shoes as well as an assortment of other fantastic prizes.
Such was the success of the initiative, ticket sales were stopped earlier than previously planned on Wednesday evening to prevent the raffle from becoming unmanageable.
Friday evening saw the raffle take place (abiding by social distancing rules) via video link – with an incredible total value of £9,385 raised by club members and their families.
Andy continued: “I’m amazed at what has been raised in such a short amount of time – especially when so many people are [invariably] also struggling with their own particular circumstance. It really has gone a long way to hopefully see my small business survive the coming months of uncertainty.
“I’ve been the professional here at Worsley now for fourteen years and obviously I would like that to continue for a long time to come and to see this response really is typical of everybody involved with this great golf club.”
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