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We are half way through the Autumn/Winter season and so far the weather has been kind enough not to disrupt too many fixtures. The course continues to play extremely well and there was high praise for the green keeping team at the Christmas Turkey Trot Prize Presentation. Work has started on the planned hole improvements and will continue throughout the winter in preparation for the new season, there will be minimal disruption to all players. Malcolm Rosborough enjoyed success in the October Midweek Stableford by just edging out Michael Saterlay on count back. There was better news for Michael in the November Midweek Stableford however as he won by a good margin from Alan Smith in second. Peter Philips, our “Golfer of the Year 2018” carried on where he’d left off with victory in the October Monthly Stableford. Mark Forster finished in second place just one point back and unfortunately for Mark he just missed out again in the November Stableford by another single point to Karl Brown. Alan Creek won the December Midweek Stableford and Paul Gregory just managed to pip Bob Rawlinson in the Monthly Stableford a few days later.

The Club’s Annual Three Club Challenge once again proved to be popular and a good sized field set off to battle against the odds with their selected weapons. For clarification the competitors could only choose three clubs from their set of fourteen. They were free to take their putter or find a way to putt with another club. Scoring wasn’t expected to be particularly high. The general view was that thirty stableford points would be hard to beat. As the players returned their cards it did indeed look like prediction was going to stand. Gerry Smith and Kevin Tomkins both scored 31 points, a fine effort. However at the close of play two players stood head and shoulders above the rest. Andres Vidal manoeuvred his ball around the course with supreme control and recorded a score (35 pts) that in any other year would have undoubtedly won. But this year there were more than a few shocked expressions as players learned of the magnificent play of Mark “the driving iron” Forster. The 41 points that he managed to collect as he marched to victory will surely go down as one of the great rounds in the Clubs history, especially as he left his putter at home!

The other big bit of competition news concerned the final of the Pairs Match Play Championship between the pairings of Keith Squirrell / Steve Monks & Brian Purton / Dino Grazioli. The handicaps were evenly matched and a closely contested game was anticipated as the players prepared to tee off. The opening holes were just as expected with both pairs playing steady golf. Things started to get a little tougher for Brian & Dino midway through the front nine when first Keith and then Steve both rattled in birdies to take a commanding lead into the back nine. With the sight of victory getting ever closer neither player gave an inch. The birdies kept on coming and eventually, despite the valiant efforts of their opponents, the players shook hands on the 13th. The 6&5 victory that Keith & Steve achieved was a testament to how well they’d played.

After the Christmas holiday our attention will turn to the Foursomes Premier League. I hope that all those who entered will ensure to arrange their matches in preparation for the Grand Final at the end of March 2019. Also a reminder that Steve will be holding a special series of Practical Rules Classes throughout January and February to help you all adjust to the new rules for the start of the season. Check the notice board for more details. Remember that Steve is here to help, so don’t feel awkward about asking any golf related questions anytime.

We hope you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas.

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