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Wrexham golfer just misses out

AN AMATEUR golfer from Wrexham just missed out on a prestigious national singles title at the grand final of the Morocco Matchplay, powered by HowDidiDo.

NHS hotel services manager Paul Fell, 54, who plays off a handicap of seven at Carden Park, in Cheshire, finished third in the singles final at the five-star Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa Hotel, in the grand final of a competition whose qualifying rounds stretched back to last summer.

Although he missed out on the singles title this year, Fell already has a title under his belt as a previous winner of the HowDidiDo Matchplay mixed pairs competition.

In total, 32 amateur golfers from across the UK and Ireland qualified for the trip of a lifetime to compete in the grand final of four competitions – singles, pairs, mixed pairs and senior pairs – played at the historic port city of Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, in an event sponsored for a second year by the Moroccan National Tourist Office.

It was played in a great spirit throughout and culminated, on the final evening, in a gala presentation dinner in which the friendships and camaraderie of all the competitors was plain to see. Competitors mixed together throughout the week to enjoy the historic port city of Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast – its atmosphere, its souks, its flavours and colours, its food, and its restaurants, cafés and bars.

In addition to their individual trophies, each winner was surprised to also receive a free year’s membership at Golf de Mogador, a generous offer of which they can avail themselves by utilising easyJet’s twice weekly flights to Essaouira.

Each finalist – whether in the singles, pairs, mixed pairs or senior pairs’ competitions – would have played up to four qualifying rounds merely to reach their regional UK final, from where they have earned the right to travel to Morocco.

They enjoyed complimentary return flights to Morocco, five nights’ accommodation at the five-star Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa hotel – nestled in the lush surroundings of a wild beach lined with eucalyptus and mimosa, overlooking the Atlantic – and four rounds of golf at the highly rated Gary Player-designed links-style Golf de Mogador.

The burgeoning Kingdom of Morocco has 37 golf courses to be enjoyed in year-round sunshine – plus eight more under construction – and, with flight times of less than three-and-a-half hours from the UK and Ireland, it is a hugely attractive alternative to the more traditional golf destinations of Europe.

HowDidiDo is Europe’s largest golfing community, holding in excess of 21 million rounds of golf along with the handicaps, results and scores of more than 1,300,000 UK golf club members. Around 2,000 golf clubs and more than 460,000 golfers currently use the HowDidiDo system.