Castletown Golf Links
Having attended the finale of the 2009 and 2017 World Tour golf championships Castletown Golf Club member Adrian Copley and his wife Ann were delighted that they were able to do so again this year. They had a wonderful time but sadly their memorable holiday to the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai ended tragically.
Ann, who was a fully qualified chef at Thie Bee at Nobles Hospital, collapsed and died at their home just two days after their return. She was only 62 and the coroner’s report is still awaited. Naturally, Adrian is in a state of shock, but in trying to cope at this sad time he wanted to share some of the highlights from the magical last holiday that he shared with Ann. The synopsis below is taken from the notes of our conversation.
Adrian (74) twice won the Isle of Man Golf Championship and had been the runner-up three times. Far from being ‘a golf widow’ Ann enjoyed following the game and over the years the couple had had the opportunity to meet players and officials at various golfing events. This year was no exception.
On the Wednesday in Dubai near the putting green they got talking to Thomas Bjorn (Ryder Cup Captain 2018), the commentator Ken Brown and Senior Tour player Jamie Spence who is also a Sky Sports pundit. They enjoyed a lively conversation and Adrian and Ann congratulated each of them on their various achievements.
Standing near the first tee on Thursday Adrian got into conversation with Keith Pelley who is the chief executive of the European Tour. They spoke for some twenty minutes about his recollections of the Isle of Man, the tour and youth development; in particular trying to introduce golf at schools and making the game more accessible.
On Saturday after casually spending time with a Jumeirah Golf Estates member who did business in the Isle of Man he generously gave them some VIP tickets. These entitled them to view the final presentation from a private balcony and also to attend the post presentation cabaret. Ann was confined to a wheelchair due to walking difficulties, but she and Adrian were made to feel welcome. Bob MacIntyre, the newly crowned European Tour Rookie of the Year, was sitting nearby and he joined in their conversation. Ann was particularly captivated by this engaging young man.
Having attended the cabaret they had missed the shuttle bus back to the drop-off point but a helpful security guard said he would sort the situation. Fix it he did! Along came a distinguished looking gentleman who Adrian recognised as none other than Ismail Sharif who was the UAE’s first ever professional golfer.
Sharif is known as the forefather of Emirati Golf and he just happens to be the acting managing director of Jumeirah Golf Estates. Using his personal buggy Sharif placed Ann alongside him with Adrian on the back seat and they chatted happily as he drove them back to the place where their driver from the Four Points hotel was ready and waiting.
Ann thought it was a perfect end to a wonderful week and Adrian will treasure the memories forever.