Flory Van Donck Cup
Famous for the impressive number of victories on the professional tour from 1936 to 1958 , Flory Van Donck was the best professional player Belgium ever had.
The Belgian Champion never had a teacher. He was a self-taught player who learned from watching good players play.
He was born at Ravenstein and started golf as a boy by playing in the late evenings when members had deserted the course. In 1931 he was officially appointed assistant of the Head Pro George Pannel. Just before the war, he taught golf in Luxemburg for a couple of months. After the war he spent most of his time playing tournaments and teaching in Crans sur Sierre in the summer. Then he joined the Ravenstein again from 1962 onwards.
Flory broke many records in tournaments : he signed a 65 at Ravenstein in 1935, still the course record today ! According to some people the course was easier sixty five years ago, but the rough was thicker and golf equipment not comparable with today's graphite shafts, titanium clubheads or modern golf balls. He also shot a 65 at Troon at the British Open and at the French Open in 1957, he finished with a score of 266.
When asked what made the difference in this French Open, Flory revealed one of his secrets to us, one worth being passed on to all : "When you are under pressure, it is of the utmost importance to keep being positive. Never think. Stay away from the traps but instead Aim for the flag ! ".
Flory's major achievements
Flory holds the record for having won the most tournaments in a single season on the European tour : 7 victories in 1953. He was thus matching Norman von Nida's record set in 1947.
He had five victories in the Dutch Open and in the Belgian Open, four in the Italian Open, three in the French Open, two in the German Open, Swiss Open, Silver King Tournament and South of England Championship. He won the World Cup in Portmarnock in Ireland in 1960 and the Vardon Trophy in 1953, trophy rewarding the best player of the year (the equivalent of today's European Merit). In 1960 he was honoured with the National Trophy for Sporting Excellence, an honour that can only be conferred once.
He was also runner-up many times, including twice at the British Open in 1956 and 1959 (he finished among the top ten nine times) and twice at the UK Match Play Tournament and at the Match play Star Tournament in 1947.
In Belgium, he held sixteen titles as Belgian Open Champion - from 1935 to 1968 - and won the Professional Tournament of the Alliance ten times.
Who else could honour better our tournament by giving his name to the boy's trophy ?