ARNOLD Clark is providing 60 official vehicles for the Women’s British Open Golf but it’s not all work as sister company Activa Contracts hosted a pre-championship pro-am fourball – with Vauxhall fleet director Maurice Howkins potting a hole in one.
Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental provided a fleet of 40 Audi A6 Avants for the four days – Thursday, July 28 to Sunday, July 31 – at Woburn Golf Club, the all-white liveried car fleet being used by the world’s leading women golfers and tournament officials.
It has also supplied a fleet of 20 minibuses and light commercial vehicles for use by golfers and officials around the Woburn complex and to and from the Marquess course on which the Ricoh-sponsored 2016 event attracting 144 of the world’s top women golfers is being played.
In the Activa Contracts fourball Mr Hill’s team comprised Chris Connors, facilities and fleet manager at Countryside Properties, one of the UK’s largest property development companies and a long-time Activa Contracts’ customer; Maurice Howkins, Vauxhall Motors/Opel European corporate sales director and fleet sales customer relationship director; and top professional golfer Nanna Koerstz Madsen.
Earlier this year the Danish golfer, who turned professional in 2015, won the Ladies’ European Tour Tipsport Golf Masters in the Czech Republic.
Shot of the day
The Activa Contracts’ team finished in the top 10 at the pro-am, which saw 36 teams compete on the Marquess course. Shot of the day went to Mr Howkins who with an eight iron on the par three 8th notched a hole-in-one – the only ace of the day – to win a bottle of champagne.
Mr Hill said: “It was a fantastic day. The course was in superb condition and the weather was perfect. Maurice’s hole-in-one was definitely shot of the day. Nanna is a fantastic golfer, was very supportive and she and her caddie answered all of our questions; she is a very talented young golfer and definitely one to look out for as her career progresses.”
Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental, which like Activa has an office in Milton Keynes, is in the second year of a three-year official car sponsorship deal for the event with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company which stages the Championship in conjunction with the Ladies’ Golf Union.
Arnold Clark Car & Van Rental, like Activa Contracts, is a division of the Arnold Clark Group, Europe’s largest independently-owned vehicle dealer group.
Mr Hill said: “We are delighted with the sponsorship arrangement. The tournament is providing great visibility for the Arnold Clark brand and all of our vehicles. Last year the business provided vehicles when the tournament was held at Turnberry and next year we look forward to providing the fleet when the Championship is held at Kingsbarns in Scotland.”
Woburn Golf Club first hosted the Women’s British Open Championship in 1984 and has since hosted the tournament on nine occasions over the Dukes course, returning firstly in 1990 for seven consecutive years and again in 1999. This year’s Championship, which is being covered live by BBC Television on all four days, is being played on the Marquess course for the first time.
The 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open marks the 10th staging of the event at Woburn but the first as a major championship having become an official LPGA (Ladies’ Professional Golf Association) major in 2001.