Thank you to everyone who entered into the spirit of winter golf and helped make the autumn/winter fixtures a real success. The calendar of events ended on Saturday 25th March with the traditional Better-ball Trophy. There was a good entry and keen interest in the competition mainly due to the fact that the top two pairs would play off for the Pairs Match Play Trophy the following week. The early returns rather proved that scoring was indeed difficult and everything pointed to the winning score being around the par mark. The inform pairing of James O’Sullivan and John Procter couldn’t better the 74 already recorded by Mark Forster and Mark Dowling. Other pairings were struggling in the blustery conditions and it looked odds on that 74 might take the day. However, out on the course the pairing of Brian Stenson and John Dixon were working well together and making steady progress towards the final green. There 68 was, by six shots, the best of the day and they fully deserved their victory. Thanks to a better back nine it would be O’Sullivan and Procter who could extract some revenge on the winners in the following weeks pairs match play final.
The morning of the Pairs Match Play Final was much calmer than the previous week. Due to a lack of rain the course was drying out and starting to play much faster. Shots into greens favoured the low bump and run rather than the high pitch. The greens had also quickened considerably making for a good test of both nerve and skill. During the opening holes there was little to choose between the two pairs but thanks to some inspired play Dixon and Stenson opened up a good lead to take into the back nine. This was a first class match between two well matched pairs and O’Sullivan and Procter were not about to roll over. Their best spell, midway through the back nine, saw them claw a couple of holes back and give them hope going into the closing holes. Somehow, despite the onslaught Dixon and Stenson remained calm and resilient. By the time the match stood on the 18th tee they were dormie and almost home. Having come so far it was inconceivable to think that they would falter at the last, and so it proved. Both showed no mercy and they gave their opponents little chance. The final act came when, with his partner in good position, Dixon nonchalantly chipped in from just off the green for a four and the match. Both players had proved what a good pairing they were and nobody begrudged them their victory especially after the success in the Better-ball Trophy just the week before.
The New Summer Season began with the Captain’s Drive-in Medal on April 1st. Kevin Tomkins emerged victorious with a steady 71 after the rest of the field found the going too tough. The New Captain Graham Jackson managed to hit a very respectable drive off the first with a MacGregor Eye-O-Matic persimmon headed driver to herald the start to his year. Afterwards he awarded the winners of the Autumn/Winter fixtures with their well deserved trophies. There were medals for Karl Brown, Andrew Spencer, James O’Sullivan and John Procter. The Three Club Challenge was won by Mick Saterlay. Brian Purton and Dino Grazioli picked up the Autumn Foursomes Trophy and Karl Brown, Gerry Smith, Kevin Tomkins and Club Captain Graham collected their trophies for winning the Winter AM/AM. The Winter Eclectic Trophy saw three players tie on the same score and this made determining the overall winner difficult. After much head scratching and calculation Mark Dowling emerged victorious thanks to the smallest of margins. Alan Smith just missed out and had to settle for second.
We are all looking forward to a wonderful season of summer golf. Entries are now being taken for the Pro/Captain Challenge, the Hickory Championship, the Professional’s Hickory Challenge and the Air Ambulance Charity Day on Saturday 8th July. All the information is on the main notice board and in the new fixture list.
Good golfing to you all.