Golfers go wild at Born Free Foundation golf day

Virginia McKenna with the Born Free team

Virginia McKenna with the Born Free team - Credit: Archant

Teams Compete to be ‘King of the Swingers’ at Annual Golf Event.

The Betchworth Tigers on the green

The Betchworth Tigers on the green - Credit: Archant

The second annual ‘Go Wild’ Golf Day in aid of the Born Free Foundation, took place at the picturesque Gatton Manor in Surrey this week, with 84 golfers teeing-off to raise money for the international wildlife charity in its thirtieth year.

Legendary actress and founder of Born Free, Virginia McKenna OBE, and son Will Travers OBE who is the Foundation’s President, were on-hand to meet the 21 teams on arrival and watched as they got underway following a shotgun start.

Gorilla on the course!

Gorilla on the course! - Credit: Archant

Virginia said: “We were pleased to be able to wish the teams luck as the competition got underway and there was a lovely atmosphere throughout the morning. This year is Born Free’s 30th Anniversary and the funds raised at this event will go towards our vital work to protect elephants from the fearful ivory trade slaughter, and to allow them to live in the wild as nature intended.”

The event’s main sponsor was Tamron, and other key sponsors included Kenya Airways, VVB Engineering Services and Bartholomew Estate Agents. The Born Free Foundation’s own team were back in action for the second year running, again sporting their eye-catching orange t-shirts.

After completing the challenging course, teams gathered in the clubhouse for a three course dinner, with guests of honor Virginia McKenna and Will Travers addressing the group before awards were handed out for ‘Straightest Drive’, ‘Nearest the Pin’, and highest individual score. The team trophy was presented to ‘Team Pantha’. Prizes included American Golf vouchers donated by Kenya Airways, a Born Free ‘Pride’ jacket, and a brand new DSLR camera with a top-of-the-range Tamron lens.

Born Free’s Events Co-ordinator, Joanne Bartholomew, said: “We couldn’t have hoped for a better day, everyone had a brilliant time and we have raised an incredible amount. One of the highlights was seeing the teams’ reactions when we sent round some refreshments – a member of staff dressed as a gorilla, handing out bananas from a golf buggy, isn’t a sight you see every day in the Surrey Hills!”

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She continues: “After just two years, the ‘Go Wild Golf Day’ has now established itself as a key event in the Born Free calendar, and we’re hoping to expand on this year’s success to make next year even better. We’d like to thank all those who took part for their fantastic support, as well as the event sponsors and the staff at Gatton Manor for being such great hosts.”

Those interested in entering a team next year can email for more details.

To find out more about Born Free’s 30th Anniversary Appeal, please visit:


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