Log In

Reset Password

Raynor celebrates 80th with golf tourney

When it comes to putting on a birthday bash, local cricket legend Eldon Raynor ranks among the best.

The former Southampton Rangers and St George’s Cup Match star all-rounder celebrated his 80th birthday at his Southampton residence at the weekend by hosting an amateur golf tournament that included a men’s and ladies’ division.

The event, attended by family, friends and a host of former top athletes, was held on the 18-hole mini golf course that Raynor designed himself three-years ago.

Winners in both the men’s and ladies divisions were rewarded with $400 travel vouchers and trophies while any player coming in at six shots under par earned $100 for their efforts.

Renalda Bean won this year’s men’s division while Jenifer Talbot reigned supreme among the ladies field. Bean defeated Randy Raynor in the 36-hole men’s final while Talbot bested Joanne Raynor in the 18-hole women’s final.

Frankie Furbert came closest to pocketing $100 in prize money after carding a tournament low five-under-par 31.

A total of 37 men and ladies players took part in the stroke play event.

“The event was well attended, we had around 175 people attend and everyone enjoyed themselves,” Raynor said. “We are already looking forward to having the tournament played again next year.”

The avid golfer doesn’t play in the tournament, preferring instead to sit back and watch his guests put their putting skills to the test.

Participants are not required to pay an entry fee.

“There is no entry fee and I don’t allow anybody to bring me any gifts,” Raynor stressed. “You can bring me a card or wish me a happy birthday, but I don’t accept prizes or money.”

As well as watching some of his guests try their best to negotiate the tricky dog leg heading towards the eighth hole or avoiding the water hazard (complete with tropical fish) on the back nine, Raynor takes great pleasure simply from just being able to give something back to his community.

“I really enjoy doing this because I’ve worked hard all of my life and now I am just trying to put something back,” he said.

The name of the mini golf course, Elbar, is a combination of Raynor’s name and that of his wife Barbara, who can also hold her own with the putter.

“She doesn’t play in the tournament, but she does play a lot with me,” Raynor said.

Raynor dedicates some of his spare time keeping the mini course which overlooks the South Shore and Great Sound in pristine condition.

As for his 80th birthday, the well-known former athlete is thankful to have reached the milestone.

“The good Lord only allows three scores and ten and I consider myself fortunate right now because I’ve done that and now a plus,” he said. “I have a lot of buddies who have passed on so I have been very fortunate to reach 80.”

Raynor, who used to caddie at Riddell’s Bay as a youngster to pay school fees at Howard Academy, is currently on a unique streak.

“Ever since I was 54 I have managed to shoot my age (at least once a year) right along up to my present age,” he explained. “I shot 80 three weeks ago at Port Royal Golf Course so now I am looking forward to shooting an 81 somewhere next year.”

Former Southampton Rangers and St George's Cup Match cricketer Eldon Raynor (centre) celebrated his 80th birthday on Saturday. Here he is pictured with another former St George's Cup Match player Lionel Thomas (right) and ex-Southampton Rangers fast bowler Calix Todd (Photo by Colin Thompson)

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published April 29, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated April 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm)

Raynor celebrates 80th with golf tourney

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon