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So far Vicky Burley has created 159 blog entries.
24 09, 2023

Chairman’s Trophy – New Zealand Club


Bernie presents his buggy to Tyler

On Thursday, 21st September, we were at the stunning New Zealand Club for our Chairman’s Trophy which was kindly sponsored by our Chairman, Pip Burley.

There were plenty of things going on during the day which got off to the best possible start as we presented a Variety Golf branded golf buggy to Tyler Kendall, a 12-year-old boy who is a very keen golfer but suffers with Cerebral Palsy. Tyler could no longer play without  a buggy, and when much respected member Bernie Flockhart heard of this, he generously decided to sponsor the buggy himself.

As you can see in the picture, Bernie handed the keys over for Tyler to use on the day itself, a very special moment not only for Tyler but also for Bernie and for Variety Golf.  It was even more special that our World No 1 Disability Golfer and Variety Golf Ambassador, Kipp Popert, was there to share the buggy with Tyler, alongside 2024 Captain-Elect, Dave Beasant.

After Golf, we presented two Sunshine Coaches to two Special Need Schools, the first sponsored by Ross Forno of ‘Golf Pairs’ who handed the keys over to the St Roses School in Gloucester.  The second Coach was sponsored by David Welsh of JOIE Baby – a special one as it was David’s 25th Variety Sunshine Coach.  He handed the keys over to the Bower Grove School in Maidstone and one of their pupils, David, made an incredible speech thanking David and Variety. It was a real tear-jerker and a very special moment.

On to the scoring – with Paul Walsh winning on countback to win the very special Sir Henry Cooper Replica Belt.


1st – Paul Walsh

2nd – Nick Edwards

Tied 3rd – Tom Phillpotts, Keith Andrews, Allan Wells & Peter Weston



1st – Tiff Needell, Nick Edwards, Dan Cook, Steve Macrossen

2nd – Robin Stock, Bob Weston, Peter Weston, Peter Gore

3rd – David Redfearn, Keith Andrews, John Dunn, Andy Wilding

Chairman’s Trophy – New Zealand Club2023-11-01T16:47:43+00:00
18 07, 2023

In Memoriam: Bruce McGuire


With deep sorrow we report the passing of Variety Golf member Bruce McGuire, one of our most generous supporters and a true pioneer of the travel industry.  He passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 7th.

In 1971 Bruce McGuire founded Clifford Enterprises, a distributor of watches and gifts, principally to the airline industry, which grew into a hugely influential, profitable and respected business over many years, until he eventually sold it to Ronson.

Among his many success stories was Montine, a watch brand Bruce launched in 1971 and which became a phenomenal bestseller inflight, selling more than half a million units per year during the 1980s. This prompted the Montine advertising slogan – ‘one sold every minute around the world’.

His son Stuart said today, “He was a truly amazing man who lived his life to the full, always smiling and positive, a successful and incredibly popular businessman and entrepreneur, a born and natural entertainer, a keen sportsman and lover of music, dancing and sunshine and extremely generous to all. “Truly one of a kind. A legend to us.”

A private funeral will be held with plans to have a memorial and celebration of Bruce’s life at a later date.

In Memoriam: Bruce McGuire2023-07-18T17:12:29+01:00
18 06, 2023

President’s Day – Coombe Hill Golf Club


Our President’s Day was held on Thursday at Coombe Hill GC, the home club of our host and President Jimmy Tarbuck and I must say I think the course was in sensational condition and the best conditioned golf course we have played on so far this year. As always, the greens were quick and undulating which kept the scoring down and it was tight at the top!

Please see the scores below:

Division 1 (Handicaps 0-12)

1.Dickon Bowden 38 points

2.Paul Jones 36 points

3.Bill Sangster 34 points

Division 2 (Handicaps 13 +)

1.Nick Edwards  37 points

2.Anthony Trafford 37 points

3.Andrew Wilding 36 points

Team Scores

1.Paul Jones, Bill Sangster, Anthony Trafford, Dan Sims 92 points

After Golf we were proud to present 2 Sunshine Coaches, one was Kindly Sponsored from our long standing supporter – The Character Group and the second Coach was Kindly Sponsored by David Welsh of Joie Baby UK.

And then during Dinner, our President Jimmy entertained us so well alongside his fellow Scouser and old friend Stan Boardman who was sensational as always. All in all, with superb weather, outstanding food and a first class golf course, a great day was had by all!

President’s Day – Coombe Hill Golf Club2023-11-02T09:34:28+00:00
24 04, 2023

A Man Who Lived Up to His Name


It was with very great sadness that we learned last night of the death of Past Captain, Len Goodman. He was 78.

Those us who had seen or played golf with him since his return from America last year – and noticing his weight loss – had become concerned about his health. Typically, Len would have none of it, determined to carry on in his typically optimistic, cheery way. Only last week he told us that whilst he wouldn’t be playing at Sundridge Park this Friday, he would be joining us for lunch afterwards.

Having run a successful dance school in Dartford for many years, Len enjoyed huge success when he appeared as head judge on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ from its launch in 2004 until 2016.

However, he carried on fulfilling the same role in the American version, ‘Dancing with the Stars’, until November 2022 when he announced that he would be retiring from the show to spend more time with his family.

Although best-known for ‘Strictly’, Len starred in many other shows both on television and radio, most notably presenting ‘Cheek to Cheek’, ‘Holiday of a Lifetime’ and the ten-part series ‘Len and Ainsley’s Big Food Adventure’.

When Len was approached to be Captain of Variety Golf in 2020, the first thing he did was write out a cheque for £25,000 to purchase a coach. He relished the Captain’s role, attending virtually every event and proving to be delightful company both on and off the course. Rising to the challenge of leading our society through two years blighted by Covid, his Captaincy concluded in magnificent style when he hosted our first Christmas Lunch at the Hilton in 2021. Despite his great success professionally, he frequently remarked that joining Variety Golf was the best and most enjoyable thing he had ever done.

Jimmy Tarbuck, President of Variety Golf, paid tribute to Len by saying: “We have lost a true gentleman, a beautiful man with no side or affectation and a mischievous sense of humour. To know him was to love him. He will be sadly missed for a long time.”

Len leaves behind his wife Sue and son James to whom we send our sincerest condolences.

Chair, Variety Golf, April 24th, 2023



A Man Who Lived Up to His Name2023-04-24T17:07:00+01:00
22 04, 2023

2023 Variety Golf Grand Christmas Lunch


The Hilton, Friday, December 8th

Once again it’s time to make a diary note – Christmas is not as far away as you think!

This year we have been fortunate to line up two brilliant TV stars, the fabulously entertaining ventriloquist and British Comedy Award Winner, Nina Conti, and the well-known comedian, actor and raconteur, Rob Brydon.  Both are sure to entertain us royally as we again expect a full house at the Hilton, Park Lane.

This year tickets will be priced at £185 per person, including a Champagne Reception and a splendid Three-Course Xmas Lunch with Wine.

As always, the Variety Golf Christmas Lunch is open to members, wives and partners, friends and associates.  Don’t miss it!

We look forward to seeing you.

2023 Variety Golf Grand Christmas Lunch2023-11-20T11:03:28+00:00
22 04, 2023

March Prize Draw


The March Prize Draw which was drawn out by our Captain, John Conteh, on Captain’s Day at Sandy Lodge.

The winners were:

  1. Ray Nash – £500 Worth of Entries or Clothing
  2. Eddy Garty – £250 Worth of Entries or Clothing
  3. Mark Ramprakash – A Variety Golf Peter Millar Sweater & Golf Shirt
  4. Barry Root – A Variety Golf Sweater

If you would like to join the 100 Club and go in for the Monthly Prize Draws, please let us know, its £20 per month for your name to go into the draw.

March Prize Draw2023-04-22T21:14:25+01:00
22 04, 2023

Jamie’s 11th Charity Pro-Am at the Grove


On Friday March 31st we were at The Grove for Jamie’s 11th Charity Pro-Am. Despite the rain coming and going for most of the round, a great time was had by all. Jamie’s good friend and Ryder Cup star, Jamie Donaldson, headlined the impressive list of European Tour Pros and with a huge field of 29 teams playing it was a busy day!

The condition of The Grove was incredible considering how much rainfall there had been in the previous few weeks and the scoring was decent.

After the golf, we were delighted to present a Sunshine Coach in honour of the great Jerry Stevens who ran the Variety Club Golf Society for over 25 years.  Jerry’s son Marcus and his family were there to present the keys.

It was a very special Coach presentation which was sponsored by funds raised at our Variety Christmas Lunch last year. After Dinner, David Redfearn was exceptional as always and did some tricks on some of the Tour Pros

Finally, our Captain, John Conteh, conducted the Live Auction in style –  as he always does.

A great day despite the weather that raised just over £20,000, plus a 2nd Variety Sunshine Coach of the year on the road!

Winning Team: Robert Dinwiddie (Pro), Louis Leveson, John Frederick, & Simon Freer, with 89 points. 

Winning Professional: Robert Dinwiddie with a 69, 3-under par

Jamie’s 11th Charity Pro-Am at the Grove2023-04-22T21:21:57+01:00
22 04, 2023

Hitting the Headlines


Once again we are partnering the leading UK Golf Magazine, Golf Monthly, to provide us with coverage both within the magazine itself, and also digitally using their wide network of social media opportunities.

So far a double spread editorial will be appearing in their next issue which will be followed up by a series of whole page colour advertisements.  Various other features will appear on golf and corporate social media, promoting our aims and objectives and encouraging new corporate partners to sign up to run their own events in aid of our charitable fundraising.

Keep your eye on the UK’s favourite golf magazine for more news of our activities.

Hitting the Headlines2023-04-22T21:01:24+01:00
22 04, 2023

At The Ivy


Our First Captain’s Lunch

Variety Golf held its first Captain’s Lunch in a private room at the Ivy in Covent Garden on Friday, February 17th.

The lunch kicked off with a champagne reception followed by a classic ‘Ivy’ lunch of smoked salmon, shepherd’s pie and apple crumble.

More than sixty members attended determined to make sure John enjoyed his very first event of the season.  In his opening remarks, Variety Golf Chair, Pip Burley, referred to the fact that we have always been lucky enough to have a celebrity as our Captain, it was rare for us to have an international sporting star.

We started a new tradition and presented our incoming Captain with a Variety Green Jacket and, just like the US Masters event, Pip Burley presented John with the green Jacket.

We were entertained superbly throughout the Lunch, firstly by Bob ‘the Cat’ Bevan who hosted our Heads and Tails game, followed by ‘Magic Man’ David Redfearn who was sublime as always. Topping the Bill was John’s fellow ‘scouser’ Stan Boardman who was hilarious, as always, and presented John with a big red ‘This is Your Life Book’ summarising John’s amazing career!

It really was a special Lunch and thanks to all of you who attended.

At The Ivy2023-04-22T21:23:52+01:00
22 04, 2023

Jamie’s Blog


I’m sure by now you will all know what a great year 2022 was for Variety Golf.

Not only did we hold a record number of events with record attendances, we also raised enough to put forty Sunshine Coaches on the road, equivalent to more that £2m!

All of this is down to you, our members, and the generosity of our corporate partners and sponsors – many of whom are individual members as well.  Variety Golf is in very good shape.

The biggest challenge we face this year is undoubtedly the increased cost of our Sunshine Coaches.  As you will realise, the whole of the motor industry has been hit hard by current market conditions, not least the seemingly never-ending shortage of electronic components upon which modern vehicles depend.  Added to this is inflation, which appears to be a problem across the world, increased energy costs and the war in Ukraine.  These factors combined mean that the cost of a Sunshine Coach is up by over 25%, meaning that we are now looking to raise between £30-£35,000 per coach.

So, having faced (and successfully overcome) the Covid crisis, we are now faced with yet another challenge, namely to match let alone exceed our performance last year.  To achieve this we have to set our sights on raising a further £250k.  With your help that shouldn’t be beyond us.

One way is to encourage more people and companies to hold their own golf days in aid of Variety Golf. We refer to these as “Proceeds to” events.  Last year we benefitted from six of these, some organised by Variety Golf members at their own clubs, but mostly from non-members who chose us as their charity of choice.  If you can encourage anyone you know to help in this way, I would be very grateful.  I am fully aware that we cannot keep on going back to you, our members, asking for more and more, plus there is a limit to how many events we can organise ourselves.  “Proceeds to” events neatly solves both problems.

Meanwhile, the current season has got off to a flying start with our new Captain, John Conteh, MBE, in fine form and three successful golfing events already behind us.

I wish you all a most enjoyable Spring and Summer and look forward to seeing many of you on the fairways again soon.

Jamie’s Blog2023-04-22T21:25:16+01:00
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