Back in October 2018, we travelled to Scotland – heading for one particular destination… the home of golf, St Andrews. Making the journey with us were Glynn, Richard and Stewart… our three MercedesTrophy 2018 National Finalists.
After each individually competing their way through a ballot, qualifying day, retailer final, market area final and a National Final Qualifier at the prestigious St Georges’ Hill in Surrey; these 3 had proved they had what it takes to represent the South West and go forward as the Mercedes-Benz South West team to compete on the fairways of St Andrews – an experience golfers worldwide dream of!
One of our finalists, Stewart, a member at Ilfracombe Golf Club, tells us all about his journey…
“Last year I was contacted by Mercedes to see if I wanted to be entered into the draw to play in the MercedesTrophy and it was the best thing that I could have ever done. I never win anything in a draw, but this time I got lucky and was picked to play in the first qualifying round at Oake Manor. A well organised day and not a bad round saw me qualify for the area final at St Mellion. Two lovely Courses and two well organised days, though they could not have prepared me for what was to come…
(Stewart and the rest of the competitors at the Market Area Final at St Mellion)
Our City West team would be playing in the National Final Qualifier at the incredible St George’s Hill golf course. Believe me, as an amateur club golfer. this is the closest that you will get to playing on the professional tour! Two nights accommodation at the gorgeous Brooklands Hotel overlooking the Mercedes test drive track combined with a tour of the Mercedes collection at the HQ was memorable enough, but the hospitality lavished on us was just the icing on the cake. The golf too was pretty special. Being ferried in the people carriers to the course by the suited drivers started the experience off well. This was followed by a fantastic breakfast, check in goodies and a round to match any course that I had ever played on before.
If I thought that was amazing then what was about to come was truly exceptional. Our team qualified ( just) for the National Final at St Andrews, the home of golf.
Nothing can prepare you for the experience of dining in the R&A clubhouse, where access is restricted to the elite of the elite. I shall never forget seeing my name on the start sheet for the next day on the Old Course, or being next to the real Claret Jug and Tom Morris’s clubs. How did he hit the ball with them?
Mercedes hospitality here in Scotland was literally unbelievable and an experience that money just can’t buy. The open tab at the Jigger Inn alongside the Old Course Hotel, made it a well frequented meeting place to share the highs and lows of our rounds, whilst the hotel itself was remarkable.
Teeing off at the first on the Old Course was something really special, as was being photographed on the Swilcan Bridge going up the 18th, the site of so many historic moments in golfing history.
Although my golf wasn’t good enough to get to the World Final in Stuttgart, I was still happy to celebrate those who were successful at the Champagne reception held at Glamis Castle, the ancestral home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Pipers, Haggis and Champagne meant a grand climax to what was an unbelievable golfing memory.
I have been asked if I would recommend entering this competition to other club golfers – of course not as I don’t want too much competition to prevent me getting to Scotland again! Seriously though look out for a Mercedes Trophy qualifier at your club and enter and if you are as lucky as me you will never forget this incredible experience hosted by Mercedes Benz. I won’t!”
If you’re a Mercedes-Benz owner and would like to register your interest in the 2019 tournament, you can do so here.