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The anticipation of a new season is a wonderful thing. As members returned from their winter break you could taste the optimism and sense the excitement. The course had survived the winter months well and the green staff were busy making sure that everything was in place to greet the new golfing year. In the season opener Barry Watkinson finished ahead of the field in the Midweek Medal. Alan Webb had to settle for second place three shots back. In the Monthly Medal a few days later, the top spot went to Juan Andres Vidal, a popular member of the clubhouse team, who blazed his way around the course to record a 65, a full seven shots better than Paul Gregory in second place.

New Vice-Captain Alan Smith started his season off in fine style with a comfortable win in the Midweek Stableford over Chris Morris. The same could be said of young Samuel Knight who continues to impress and see his handicap tumble. Playing in the Monthly Stableford he eased home six points clear of Neil Hummerstone for another victory after his excellent results in the winter series of events.

April also saw the playing of the first semi-final in the Match-Play Pairs Knockout. Steve Monks & Keith Squirrell locked horns with Vice-Captain Alan Smith & Julian Arikans. Everyone agreed that this encounter had all the makings of a close match, and so it proved. First blood went to Monks & Squirrell and they consolidated their early lead by going 3up. The threat of the match slipping away spurred Smith & Arikans into action. It was an amazing effort and by the time both pairs prepared to tee off on the 18th they had a slender one hole lead. With nothing to lose and their eye firmly on taking the match to extra holes Monks & Squirrell played aggressively and managed to square the match on the final green. The prediction had been right and after eighteen holes no one was any the wiser on who the victors would be. The first extra hole was halved. Both pairs were feeling the pressure and knew that one mistake or one piece of brilliance was all it would take. In the end however it was steady play that resulted in victory and a much more pleasant walk back to the clubhouse for partners and defending champions, Monks & Squirrell. The second semi-final between Father and son Jonathan & Samuel Knight and the two Mark’s, Dowling & Forster is set to be played soon.

After the glorious weather over the Easter period, competitors arriving for the Rabbit Cup were sadly clad in bobble hats and warm winter gear. The wind was set to gust upwards of 40mph and it was very cold. Unsurprisingly the scoring was high throughout the large field, made up of 20+ handicap players. Keith Flight was the first to return home with a respectable score and he led in the clubhouse on count back from Jonathan Knight after both had scored 29 points. It looked like that would indeed be the winning score until Neil Hummerstone, the last player on the course holed out for a score of 35 points. It was, under the conditions an exceptional score and well deserving of the trophy. The victory and his previous good finish earlier in the month saw Neil climb to the top of the early Order of Merit table, six points clear of Samual Knight in second.

The popular Summer Eclectic has begun. James O’Sullivan has the early lead but there’s still a lot of golf to play and it’s still anyone’s to win. The entry sheet for the Texas Scramble at the end of May is on the notice board and don’t forget to leave space in your diary for the 6th Annual Hickory Championship on May 30th .

Good luck to you all next month!


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