18 04, 2024

Jamie’s Blog


We have had a great start to the season so far despite some indifferent weather conditions, and thanks to our lovely members we have managed to raise a lot of money already from just the first few events.

We have also managed to present seven Variety Golf Sunshine Coaches from the first five events to seven different Special Needs Schools – and we have only just started!  Wouldn’t it be great if we can beat last year’s number (37 Sunshine Coaches) despite the increase in costs for the vehicles.

All of the upcoming events have been selling really well so please get in touch if you would like to enter any events between now and the end of the season. So far, each event has been full. We amazingly only lost eleven members this year from renewals, but I’m delighted to say we have already taken on eighteen new members and its only April!

We have some great events coming up and, finally, it looks like some warmer and hopefully drier weather is on its way, so please come and support the events as best you can. See you on the fairways soon!

Jamie’s Blog2024-04-18T15:52:41+01:00
18 04, 2024

Captain’s Lunch at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly


We certainly ‘kicked off’ the season in style with our Captains Lunch at Fortnum & Mason in Piccadilly which was an absolutely a superb venue!  After Lunch we had a real fun Q&A with our new Captain, Dave Beasant, and some of his fellow footballers from the Crazy Gang at Wimbledon FC (Lawrie Sanchez, Wally Downes and Dave Bassett).

We even managed to raise a nice few quid in an unexpected auction which hopefully kicks off the year in the fashion we hope to continue! Thanks to all those who supported this special event.

Captain’s Lunch at Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly2024-04-18T15:43:42+01:00
18 04, 2024

Captain’s Day at Moor Park Golf Club


Captain Dave Beasant ‘Drove In’ with a bang for a great start to what was sure to be another successful Captain’s Day at Moor Park GC.

We managed to stay dry and the scoring was really close. Daniel Sims won the Division One competition and Nick Edwards won Division Two.

West Ham Footballer Mark Noble, making his rookie debut with Variety, helped his team to victory, alongside Michael Dick, Ray Andes and John Welham. We managed to present two Sunshine Coaches after golf, kindly sponsored by Paul Boyle and Richard Keel of Keel Toys.

A massive thanks to them both.

Captain’s Day at Moor Park Golf Club2024-04-18T15:40:47+01:00
18 04, 2024

Jamie’s Charity Pro-Am at The Grove


We had a great line up of Tour Pros at this year’s event, including Richard Bland from the LIV Tour, Dame Laura Davies from the LET and an array of European Tour and Challenge tour winners also in the field.

The red hot and in form favourite Richard Bland (Right) took the spoils with a 67 (5 under par) by 1 shot from Taylor Carter and by 2 shots with a 69 (3 under par) from ‘The Littles‘ – Jamie & Sam Little, Gabs Cowley and Rob Dinwiddie.

The Winning Team (left) was in ‘Safe Hands’ with Professional Daniel Field, Bob Weston, Steve Blight and former England goalie David Seaman! England Cricketer, Ronnie Irani, did a great job raising more funds in the charity auction and a huge thanks to our two Sunshine Coach sponsors, Bob Weston of Weston Homes and David & Mark Pears of The Pears Foundation.

Jamie’s Charity Pro-Am at The Grove2024-04-18T14:53:33+01:00
18 04, 2024

Away Day at Beaconsfield


We started this event last year, as Jamie wanted to choose one course each year which is a little ‘hidden gem’.

Last year was great when we went to Ashridge Golf Club and this year was just as good at Beaconsfield, which was in fantastic condition! The only trouble is he may have the set the bar quite high – so he’s started to think about the next ‘hidden gem’ for next year!

After Golf we presented a Sunshine Coach sponsored by the Kichna Kids Company from the Variety Christmas Lunch. The lunch was superb at Beaconsfield as was the entertainment we afterwards, with the new Comedy Duo of Ian Irving & Adger Brown, followed by our ‘Magic Man’ David Redfearn, who as always, left us all ‘gobsmacked! A great day all round!

Away Day at Beaconsfield2024-04-18T14:43:10+01:00
18 04, 2024

Variety Spring Masters – Hankley Common


Without doubt, this year was the best we have seen Hankley Common, the condition was absolutely incredible!

The real Green Jacket went to a very deserved winner of the Variety Spring Masters, Gary Davis, who won by two points from last year’s Variety Spring Masters Champion, David Harris!  The team event was won by Gary Davis, Michael Reich, Marc Gold and Jamie Little and the top five teams were separated by just two points!

We presented Sunshine Coaches 6 & 7 after golf.  Both were sponsored by Variety Golf members and the funds raised from the Variety Christmas Lunch.  Adger Brown helped us raise more funds in the auction and top comedian, Simon Evans, entertained us in style during Lunch – and another fantastic event.  A big thanks to our Co-Sponsors David Mattey and Lawrence Brown for their continued support of this event.

Variety Spring Masters – Hankley Common2024-04-18T14:39:30+01:00
22 01, 2024

Our Captain for 2024, Dave Beasant


As a player, Dave was a goalkeeper who played top-flight football for Wimbledon, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Southampton and Nottingham Forest. He spent the rest of his career in the Football League with Grimsby Town, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Portsmouth, Bradford City and Brighton & Hove Albion, as well as with non-league sides Edgware Town and North Greenford United.

He played in Wimbledon’s 1988 FA Cup victory, during which he became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in an FA Cup final, and the first goalkeeper since 1875 to lift the cup as captain of the winning team. He made two appearances for the England national football team.

On 10 May 2015, Beasant became the oldest individual to be selected in the squad for a match in Football League history while representing Stevenage, as a substitute against Southend United in the League Two play-off semi-final second leg, at the age of 56.

Since retiring, Dave has worked as a goalkeeping coach for Fulham, Northern Ireland, the Glenn Hoddle Academy, Bristol Rovers, Stevenage and Reading.

Variety Golf has great pleasure in welcoming Dave as Captain for 2024.

Our Captain for 2024, Dave Beasant2024-01-22T11:47:45+00:00
2 01, 2024

Variety Golf Christmas Lunch at the Hilton


Variety Golf President, Jimmy Tarbuck OBE, welcomes guests

Thanks to all our members, guests and sponsors for supporting our Variety Golf Christmas Lunch on Friday, December 8th.

There was such a great atmosphere in the room and a real festive spirit which enabled Variety Golf to break our fundraising record with an astonishing £561,000 raised on the day (That’s £104,000 more than last year!)

A huge thanks to all of you who supported the Lunch, and helping us achieve this amazing fundraising total – but, more importantly, enabling us to present so many more Variety Golf Sunshine Coaches to the special schools and hospices who need our help.

Please put Friday 6th December in your diary for our 2024 Variety Golf Christmas Lunch!

Variety Golf Christmas Lunch at the Hilton2024-01-02T16:14:09+00:00
2 01, 2024

Sir John Griffin


It was confirmed on Dec 29th that Variety Golf member, John Griffin, has been honoured with a knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

Sir John has been a member and a huge supporter of Variety Golf for over 40 years and has presented countless Variety Sunshine Coaches over the years as well as sponsoring numerous events.

In 1975 he founded the taxi firm Addison Lee starting off with just one vehicle and went on to build the largest business of its kind with more than 5,000 drivers.

He also donated over £12m to open The Griffin Institute at Northwick Park Hospital, the UK’s largest robotics medical centre, which aims to grow capacity to accommodate up to 1,000 surgeons a year.

Sir John has been knighted for services to business and to charity. It is very much deserved and on behalf of all the Variety Golf members, we would like to offer huge congratulations to Sir John Griffin and thank him for all his support over the years.

Sir John Griffin2024-01-02T15:56:38+00:00
15 11, 2023

Jamie’s Blog


It’s been a few months or since our last Newsletter in August, halfway through our golfing season.  At the time, I said we were looking to present a minimum of 31 Coaches this year.  Well, I’m pleased to say we’ve done better than that and, by the end of 2023, we will have raised more than last year in money terms, in fact, enough to have purchased 37 Coaches!

We knew it was going to prove another difficult year with the cost of Sunshine Coaches increasing by the best part of 30%.  But, hey, the last four years have all been difficult for one reason or another whether due to Covid, the economy and, currently, a shortage of parts in the motor trade.  Still, to quote the old saying, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ and thanks to the extraordinary support and generosity of our members, Variety Golf has forged ahead through all these difficult times.

All of you deserve thanks.  As our immediate past Captain, Steve, said wisely at Walton Heath “You all have money, there are lots of things you could do with it, but you choose to give it to us”

That says it all, really.  Yes, I know we all love playing golf and relish the unique camaraderie we enjoy, but, beyond all that, is what we do for the children.  We’ve had some lovely speeches lately from the schools who have received a Sunshine Coach, not least from the young man at the New Zealand Club who – lest we should be in any doubt – reminded us just how important our Coaches are to the schools we support.  This really matters.  And there are fewer charities doing it.

On the golfing front, we have had some fun playing on great courses, mainly in excellent weather.  From Captain’s Day at Sandy Lodge, the Sunshine Classic at Woburn, the Bruce Forsyth Trophy at Wentworth, a fantastic two days on the Kent coast, the famous Rugby Legends at Loch Lomond (another big record raising a huge £500,000 on it own), Steve’s memorable Footballers Classic at Walton Heath, and many others in between, it’s been a fabulous year with record attendances – who else regularly turns out 88 players for a society day?  Oh, and the forthcoming Christmas Lunch for which we have already sold more tickets than last year but can still sell a few more!

I would particularly like to thank our Captain, John Conteh, who has excelled in the role for a second time (the last being twenty years ago)!  John, you are a real ‘gent’ – it’s been a real pleasure working with you and we have all enjoyed your excellent company.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the Hilton and, in the meantime, do enjoy Christmas and the New Year.

Jamie’s Blog2023-11-15T20:26:11+00:00
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