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A final slice of the Stoke by Nayland action

Nick Dougherty entertains guests after the English Challenge Pro-Am  (EuropeanTour)
Nick Dougherty entertains guests after the English Challenge Pro-Am (EuropeanTour)

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Juicy surroundings at Stoke by Nayland

The Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa is a real gem, set in the countryside of what is known as “Constable Country” on the Essex/Suffolk border.

Created by the Peake family in the early 1970s, the owners of Stoke by Nayland Golf Club also owned a fruit-growing and fruit juice enterprise next door. The land soon became home to the Copella Farm Pressed Apple Juice brand, which was later sold to Tropicana and appears on shelves at Waitrose amongst other grocery superstores.

The golf club was expanded to include an 80 bedroom hotel, conference and banqueting facility for up to 450 people, a state-of-the-art Spa and Fitness Centre and most recently, luxury self-catering lodges.

Susanna Rendall is the company Managing Director and her siblings Jonathan Loshak, Tamara Unwin and Carmella Meyer as well as her son Robert, all assist in the running of the hotel, Boxford (Suffolk) Farms and Peake Fruit.

The family’s orchards surround the golf courses and produce apples, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for both local and national markets.

English delights in Stoke by Nayland area

Stoke by Nayland is nestled in the beautiful and serene surroundings of what is known as ‘Constable Country’, named after the famed artist, but it is certainly anything but barren.

Indeed, it is a hub of delightful restaurants and delightfully English pubs and the players and staff alike have once again been revelling in the culinary pleasures of the area – that is, the ones who have managed to pull themselves away from the beautiful AA Rosette ‘Lakes Restaurant’ in the hotel.

The Crown pub in Stoke by Nayland village is a popular choice amongst the players with its beautiful fish dishes while the European Challenge Tour staff and some staff from Stoke by Nayland enjoyed a wonderful meal at The Anchor.

Paisley and Busby reliving football history

Any football historians, or indeed fans of either Liverpool or Manchester United, will have raised a small smile when looking at the top of the leaderboard before the final day at the English Challenge.

Chris Paisley was top after a stunning third round while two places further down was James Busby, both players holding surnames of two of the greatest managers in English football history.

Sir Matt Busby, of course, coached the famous ‘Busby Babes’ of the 1950s and 1960s, winning five First Division titles and famously rebuilding the Manchester United squad after the tragic Munich air disaster to go on and win the European Cup in 1968.

Bob Paisley OBE remains the only English manager to win three European Cup titles while also winning six league titles, all with Liverpool.

Let’s hope the English Challenge produces some future heroes of another sport!

Åkesson shows bouncebackability

Bouncebackability is a word which is claimed to have been first coined by former Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie and it was in abundant supply at Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa during the second round of the English Challenge.

Englishman Chris Lloyd was complimented after his four under second round of 68 for his ability to bounce back after he followed a run of bogey, double bogey at the 10th and 11th with two successive birdies at the 12th and 13th followed by an eagle at the 14th.

The stocky 20 year old smiled with pride at what had to be the best display of bouncebackability all day… until he took a look at the leader board and saw the scorecard of Sweden’s Bjorn Åkesson:

Hole six – double-bogey six.
Hole seven – Hole in one!

Maybe we might have to reinvent the term as ‘BouncebackÅbility’!

Pro-Am dinner provides plenty of laughs

At the sun-kissed Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf and Spa, the stunning weather and pristine course provided the perfect setting for a hugely successful Pro-Am competition and the dinner later followed in that vein.

Prior to the dinner, there was Pimms on the balcony overlooking the ninth and 18th greens and then all of the players and amateurs were served up a culinary and entertainment treat after the winning team, led by Denmark’s Mark F Haastrup, were awarded their prizes.

The Pro-Am guests were treated to a comical highlights package put together by the consummate pros of Pro-Am entertainment, WeFilmGolf.com.

Craig Martin and his team provided laughs aplenty at the dinner prior to the Challenge Tour event in Scotland earlier this summer and once again they had the crowd in stitches with their depiction of the class, crass and players in the long grass from the day’s action.

Just while the crowd were nursing their sides from a case of hyper-laughter, they then bore witness to a top class comedy show from local Essex comedian Ian Irving, whose jokes bordered on the controversial but never failed to raise roaring laughter.

We’re sure that for the players present, it may have loosened them up sufficiently to enter the tournament action in a relaxed and carefree mind set.

Golf Olympics at the English Challenge

Following on from what has become a popular Challenge Tour website-exclusive video feature, the Big Challenge, a third instalment of the YouTube series was recorded this week at the English Challenge.

With the week that is in it, we decided to go for an Olympics theme and four players – Byeong Hun An (Korea), Lasse Jensen (Denmark), Michael Lorenzo-Vera (France) and Peter Uihlein (USA) – all represented their respective countries as they tried to negotiate an obstacle course while juggling a golf ball on a wedge.

It was all in the name of fun and the video should be coming to a computer screen near you very soon!

A local guide to Colchester

We bring you a local guide to the areas surrounding Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa on the Suffolk/Essex border.

•    Nearby Colchester is said to be the oldest recorded town in Britain on the grounds that it was mentioned by Pliny the Elder, who died in AD 79.

•    In the Roman times, Colchester was called Camulodunum and served as a provincial capital of Britain, but was attacked and destroyed in AD 61. Sometime after the destruction, London became the capital of the province of Britannia.

•    Medieval Colchester's main landmark is Colchester Castle, which is an 11th century Norman keep, and built on top of the vaults of the old Roman temple.

•    Colchester is the most widely credited source of the rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty’. During the siege of Colchester in the Civil War, a Royalist sniper known as One-Eyed Thompson sat in the belfry of the church of St Mary-at-the-Walls (Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall) and was given the nickname Humpty Dumpty, most likely because of his size (Humpty Dumpty being a common insult for the overweight). Thompson was shot down (Humpty Dumpty had a great fall) and, shortly after, the town was lost to the Parliamentarians (all the king's horses and all the king's men/couldn't put Humpty together again.)

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