The annual blue-ribbon event in Ross Golf Club’s programme for handicap category division 1 men members is the Mike Lane Trophy played over 36 holes on consecutive days on a gross medal basis in honour of the late Mike Lane, a highly accomplished and fondly remembered former Ross Club Men’s Champion.
After joining the Gorsley based Ross Club just 18 months ago, David Marshall’s pedigree with a current World Handicap Index of 0.5 and having played in Seniors Amateur Competitions nationally has seen David become a regular player for the Club’s men’s Foursomes ‘A’ team. In their quest to win the 2023 North Gloucestershire Foursomes League title they currently lie in second place to the Cotswold Hills GC who have to come to Ross in the season’s final match, so an exciting finish may await the Ross squad captained by Simon Mills. Other than that, in competitive terms, David has focused his attention largely on playing competitive seniors golf and working on his game with the excellent help of Zach Galliford, the Welsh Amateur Champion in 2016 and one of the Ross Club’s PGA qualified Professionals. David’s decision to take part in the annual Mike Lane Trophy came somewhat out of the blue having only realised the significance when chatting with the A Team after the team’s great result at Cotswold Hills the week before. After his opening 18 holes round David’s gross 75 medal score saw him 2 shots off the pace behind current Ross Club Champion Tim Wyatt’s gross 73 and 2022 Mike Lane Champion Cam Haines who carded a 74. In his second round on the following day, David coped with the testing conditions more effectively than his nearest rivals and his birdie on the challenging 18th hole was timely. David’s combined gross 148 total resulted in him being crowned Champion 3 shots clear of Jason Bolton, Allan Burry and Tim Wyatt and an honours board achievement remarkably at his first attempt.
For the best nett handicap performers, the same two rounds format enabled members to compete for the Traders Cup being one of the Ross Club’s longest standing majors and is steeped in history having been initiated by the many and varied traders who once dominated the Wye Valley scene. This also proved an important occasion for a newcomer and particularly for Matt Wathen. Since joining the Ross Club just 2 years ago with a starting World Handicap index of 29, Matt has dedicated considerable time and energies to improving himself and now boasts a handicap index of 14.4. Matt’s consistent play on both days, resulted in a combined net medal score of 143 which proved 1 shot better than the combined scores of net 144 achieved by Alex Duncanson and Robin Henderson-Pugh. They were followed by Jason Bolton and Matty Dobbs who both carded combined 145 net medal scores.