Founder keeps it in the family ...
A limited-edition BOSS watch is the reward for any golfer who achieves a hole-in-one in a club competition administered by Club Systems International software – and, remarkably, one of the latest to do so is the man who launched Club Systems International 31 years ago.
Keith Roberts, 73, from Woodford, Stockport, scored his ace on the 167-yard, par-three 16th at Abersoch, and, appropriately, the six-handicapper received membership of the exclusive BOSS Watches H1 Club and a specially-commissioned, commemorative timepiece.
Roberts, whose sons Glyn – now chairman of the Cheshire-based company – and Gareth, a senior director, now run the market-leading firm, had already scored eight previous aces in 66 years of playing.
He recalled: “I started playing at the age of seven but had to wait 23 years for my first hole-in-one; then I waited another 24 years for my next and got three or four quite rapidly. It took another 20 years for the next one, and then, 14 months ago, while in Florida, I hit two in 14 months.
“Now, I’ve scored my ninth. And, when I score my 10th, I think I’ll give up golf,” he laughed.
“On this occasion I struck a wonderful eight-iron which pitched on the front of the green and then rolled 20 yards on the left-to-right borrow and into the hole.”
It helped him finish second in the club’s prestigious Helsby Trophy event as he shot his age – a four-over-par 73.
He added: “It’s the second time I’ve shot my age but I didn’t realise until the club pro told me, as I was still thinking about the hole-in-one. And, if I hadn’t three-putted on 17, I would have actually beaten my age…
“There is a board in the club for holes-in-one recorded in club ‘majors’ and only nine men in 13 years have achieved it. They don’t get many in ‘majors’ so make a big thing of it. It proved expensive for me, but I’m very proud.”
Club Systems International, the company he formed in 1982, is now part of the group of businesses involved with the BOSS Watches H1 Club, the very organisation which will now present Roberts, pictured above, with a timepiece to commemorate his ace achievement.
He explained: “I started Club Systems International in a bedroom 31 years ago. I was in computing and when they brought in the new handicapping system I realised they were going to need computers to be able to do it properly. Somebody had to do it and we did it better than anybody else.
“I worked on the company for 15/16 years, but then left it to my two sons, Glyn and Gareth, to take on in 1997. I am very proud of what they’ve achieved with the company since and have moved it on, embracing the internet and launching HowDidiDo.
“However, I have no connection with it now, so please give me my watch,” he laughed. “I shall wear it proudly.”