DA, you’ve done it again!
Just when we thought we were going to get to play for the Fred Howe Winter Cup, the lockdown got extended, and the highlight of the soggy season had to be postponed once again. The event is now scheduled for August 14 and 21.
With any sort of luck, the restrictions will lift sufficiently for us to play next week, when we will contest for our favourite flavour – Par. Look at it this way, it is good for the soul, and not of the ‘r’ variety.
The following week is scheduled to be the August Monthly Medal, and, as announced during the week, the starting date for qualification will be adjusted to allow for any cancelled events regardless of how many there are that suffer that fate. Hopefully, we can avoid the fate of the sinny city, but I wouldn’t put the life savings on it if the idjits rampaging in the city yesterday were any guide.
Stay safe, get vaccinated and follow the rules.
Results for Saturday, 24 July 2021
No Competition due to COVID
Oh! No! Not again!
What a difference a day makes! One day, everything is fine, next day we have a truck-load of trouble. By now, we should have had a fair idea of who is making the strongest bid for the Winter Cup and the chance to leap up the ladder or to leave the rest of the field in the dust. Unfortunately, SARS-Cov-2-delta had other ideas and, like a cane toad in a box of bananas, it smuggled itself through our best laid defences, and put paid to the best laid plans of mice and men. If it is any consolation, the weather looked like being damp and cold, so it could have been a bit miserable out there, and CJ would have been off playing elsewhere.
But, all is not lost. On the assumption that the five day lock-down will be enough, and play will be allowed next week, the calendar has been modified, and the scheduled first round has been postponed until then, with the second round rescheduled to 31 July. Not wanting to sound too pessimistic, but there is a chance that more play will need to be abandoned. In that event, the next slot available to reschedule the Winter Cup will be 14 and 21 August.
Results for Saturday, 17 July 2021
No competition due to COVID
There was a certain amount of dithering as members milled around wondering whether the fog was going to lift sometime soon. The tee marshal was assuring people that the fog wouldn’t be as thick at the bottom of the hill. Eventually, the first of the twenty-one members lining up plucked up enough courage to tee off and the round got away. The first few groups had to give a shout when they figured they were far enough down the fairway to be clear, and ‘eyes on the ball’was the order of the day. The fog did clear, and it was much less obvious once you got down on the flat, probably something to do with being inside it rather than looking down into it. Good call, CJ! There was a bit of a panic before tee time as Joe Demir was here for the first time in ages and his name was not on the handicap sheet, and so an arbitrary call was made to have him play from 18 as it was thought that he probably needed another card to renew his handicap.
Ben reckoned that the highlight of his round was his tee-shot on the 17th that left the club as sweet as you like and the ball never deviated a millimetre as it sailed towards the green, over the trees, to finish just over a metre from the hole. There was a huge cheer went up when he rattled in the putt for the easiest of eagles to clean out the Eagle’s Nest once again. There must have been a few other highlights as he managed to tally 38 points with 5 singletons and one miss on the card. As it turned out, Joe did not need another card, and so he was qualified for the event. His handicap actually was 18 and the handicapper has given himself a rap over the knuckles for neglecting to get him on the sheet. For somebody who claims not to have played golf for absolute ages, Joe handled himself pretty well and also carded 38 points, and so he will not be on 18 next time around. Michael trudged in looking as if he had had a hard time of it, but when he had sorted out his score-card with Noodles, he also produced a final result of 38 points and shared the spoils and squeezed himself just in front of Old Reliable on the Championship Table. Maybe Old Reliable, isn’t being quite so reliable at the moment!
For somebody who was flagellating himself rather severely just a week ago for his passage from rooster to feather duster, Blighty made a fair start towards getting himself back onto the perch. Twenty-one points on the front was an excellent start, but a bit of a slump to only 15 on the back meant that he had to settle for 36 points and a share of second place. Porks might have been excused for being a bit rusty after having been caught up in one of the recent COVID clusters that ended up necessitating four weeks locked away, two at home and two in hotel quarantine (separate rooms in the latter, with no visiting rights!). Despite a little clutch of singletons he was able to join in on the second place podium. SOS was bragging about the fact that he has equalled par on the back nine, the first time that he had ever done that in his life (well done, by the way), and his tight little playing group. No, they hadn’t been on the beers early. Between the three of them, they scored no less than ten points on the 18th after SOS got close enough to take out the BallPin and sank the putt for the birdie for four points. He was ably assisted by JQ who scored three points with his par to also grab a share of second place. But the shot of the day went to Brendon who over-clubbed and finished off the back of the green. He then ‘flopped’ a shot onto the top deck and the ball ran to the edge, down the hill and into the hole for another birdie and to bring the total birdies for the day to 17.
Brendon, however, had to be satisfied with only 35 points and to share the podium with a couple of likely lads in 3rd place. Anthony started out well and also racked up twenty-one points on the front nine. A mini collapse in the middle third of the back might have robbed Anthony of greater goodies. And, what do you say about a bloke like Rob? One lesson and he is there or thereabouts again. His round wasn’t without adventure though. He did take a shot short of the reds on the 3rd, and he and Blighty were spotted doing guided tours of the 13th while in the process of playing the 10th. A shot on the 6th, played from the far side of the 7th required a nine iron that cleared the trees, carried to the green and finished just off the cut to the cheers of all who watched in awe.
Harry produced another mixed bag today with a goodly mix of good shots and wasted opportunities. One such he blamed on paying too much attention to the Pace of Play Tip of the Day and choosing to ‘tap in’ instead of taking time to clean the ball, particularly given the amount of sand that routinely accumulated from the freshly (and unevenly) sanded greens. Whitey didn’t have that problem on the 9th when he put his second shot to about 200mm of the pin and had no trouble in making the birdie. Both of them finished the round with 33 points and a share of 4th place. Gordon had a fair amount of trouble with the trees on the 10th and considered himself lucky to have scrambled for a single point after not one resulted in a Priemsium result, and he could only manage to scrape into fifth place with his 32 points.
There was a BallPin on the 15th and Michael claimed that he was closer to the pin than JQ, except that his ball was barely off the green. Sorry, no cigar, and the ball goes to JQ. The ProPin was on the 12th and Gordo was quite excited when Harry looked to have put his close. Perspective is a dastardly thing and the ball was well outside the marker left by Joe. But, in the end, Michael lined up for the money (again) with his shot to 4m.
CJ reckons that the Seniors competition is tough. Jim reckons that the age limit is too low. And Whitey, he’s just Whitey. The three of them played together today and came to the conclusion that they should be called the Junior Seniors. Not sure to what end, but there you go! Noodles seems to have recovered from his recent dalliance with the surgeon’s knife. Playing the 12th, he parked his buggy and reputedly applied the brake. While he was lining up his shot, the buggy took off down the hill, heading for the pond and a water-logged fate. Noods dropped everything and sprinted after it and managed to crash tackle the runaway a metre or so before a potential watery grave. Bob managed to capsize his buggy again today.
Results for Saturday, 10 July 2021
1st Ben Akdag (38) 1st Joe Demir (38) 1st Michael Gourlay (38) 2nd Andrew Blight (36) 2nd Ryan Porker (36) 2nd John Quinlan (36) 2nd Stephen O’Sullivan (36) 3rd Anthony Browne (35) 3rd Brendon Mitchell (35) 3rd Robert Priems (35) 4th Harry Boughen (33) 4th Rodney White (33) 5th Gordon Hill (32)
Seniors Results: 1st Michael Gourlay (38) 2nd Andrew Blight (36) 3rd Harry Boughen (33) 3rd Rodney White (33)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 12th Michael Gourlay BallPin No 1 – 15th John Quinlan BallPin No 2 – 18th Stephen O’Sullivan
Eagle’s Nest Results: Eagle – 17th Ben Akdag
But, was it a lesson learned?
The forecasts earlier in the week suggested that it might have been a fairly miserable day today with rain, hail and cold winds in the offing. As the week progressed, the forecast progressively improved, and, as it turned out, we really only had a bit of a cold wind to contend with, although the sun did take its time to peek above the horizon and start to warm the cockles of the nineteen hearts that were out on the course. The early morning chatter centred on whether the handicapper had been too severe or had been too soft on last week’s winner. To quote David Walliams, The computer says No!
Somebody did suggest that ChrisJ should just go out and win it anyway. And, what do you know, he did just that. And, in fact, he won the medal by a fair margin with his 83 off the stick for a net score of 66. After the round, the discussion centred around how much he would (or should) be cut for next week. There were not too many blemishes on the card at all, although the front nine could have left a little to be desired. After that time to warm up, the back nine was almost a blitz, with just one small hiccup on the 17th and only five over par for the nine.
Jim carried on a treat about how he had been at the driving range during the week, and had been hitting them really well, and how he was struggling to get away a decent shot today. Admittedly, there were a few shots that were best described as forgettable, however he did put together enough good ones to score a spot in second place with his net score of 71. And, despite his shock a few weeks back to find that he was classified as a Senior, he seemed quite chuffed with his second first placing in that event today. Pepsi also used the front nine to get going and put in a much better showing on the back to get to share second place. Just think of it as an early birthday present, Peps, and the Birthday Birdie will check in with you later in the week.
Stef managed to find some strife on the first, either from a shot that was too good, or one that was too bad, depending on your point of view. But, he recovered well and was going OK until disaster struck again on the 8th leaving him with what he felt was a pretty shabby front nine. Two over the card on the back brought some respectability and a net of 72 for a share of third place. Harry struggled a bit with his short game on the front, and he had resigned himself to a place on the scrap-heap. However, the turn brought about a turn in fortune and he, too, managed to net 72 and the three points. Gordon was back on deck with his newly embroidered navel, and, despite a little tenderness, he was also able to share the spoils, although he was ruing a triple on the 17th that might have robbed him of even greater glory. Brendon could have won the medal if he had not ‘blown’ seven shots on the last two holes. The debatable point is whether a pair of ‘double pars’ could have been converted into ‘single pars’. Regardless of the outcome of that debate, he is still only eligible for the three points for third place.
Noodles was noted to be walking around a bit on the gingerly side which is probably not surprising after some minor surgery quite close to his ginger. He reckons standing up is better than sitting down at the moment. He managed to chip in for another birdie on the third and that helped him to his net score of 73, and it also contributed to the total of seven that we managed for the day. CJ almost took himself out of the game on the 17th as he tried to negotiate a shot across the penalty area by the green. The ball collected a tree pretty much dead centre, came straight back at him and passed so close that he felt the wind on his cheek. He regained his composure sufficiently to score a double on the hole and a net 73 for a share of 4th place. Speculation was rife during the week about the imminent return to form of Rob after his lesson early in the week. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and here we find Rob in the prize list right alongside brother CJ. And, this has nothing to do with the fact that he had ‘lost’ his card halfway through the front nine, only to find it in his pocket on the 10th. Targe filled the last podium spot on his own with his net of 74, and he was quite pleased to take the point on offer.
ChrisJ was the carrier of the NTP markers today, and he proceeded to make good use of them. His shot for the BallPin on the 12th remained unchallenged for the rest of the field. He wasn’t quite so accurate on the 15th for the ProPin, and it was left to Stef to lay claim to the money with a shot to 1.75m. Stef did suffer a few nervous moments when Whitey and Harry both challenged, but they couldn’t quite match it, and the money was his. ChrisJ went close to claiming a second ball on the 18th, but he was bumped out by Old Reliable, who collected yet another in his quest never to buy a ball again.
SOS was on fire and could see himself with the medal hanging around his neck – until the 8th – where some errant shots lead him to barely avoid double figures. Blighty also had some problems on the 8th with two balls heading OOB. He ‘saved’ the day by chipping in for an eight, but it did little to alleviate his ‘epic fall from grace’ as he so succinctly put it. Whitey also managed a double OOB, although his was on the 3rd, so his hopes of glory did not last as long as those of SOS. And, he didn’t manage to avoid the dreaded double figures.
Although Rob made it to the points table today, and we don’t want to lessen the impact of his lesson, his round was not without incident, and he managed a ‘double’ draughtie on the 17th although he only ‘paid’ it as one. CJ reckons we should keep a tally of draughties for the year and award a trophy for the most. Rob reckons the trophy should be a slab to compensate for the number that he buys. Whether such a trophy would encourage members to try harder (to make draughties or not to make draughties) is a matter for debate. Bob had his fair share of trouble today. He also draughted on the 8th to make it only halfway to the reds so a ‘double’ was not entirely out of the question, but was easily avoided. The buggy control continues to plague him as well, with a crash into the kerbing at the 10th and a capsize on the hill down from the 17th. The main casualty of the latter was his pack of fruit jubes and his composure.
Results for Saturday, 03 July 2021
1st Chris James (66) 2nd Jim Belevski (71) 2nd Andrew Petricola (71) 3rd Stefan Belevski (72) 3rd Harry Boughen (72) 3rd Gordon Hill (72) 3rd Brendon Mitchell (72) 4th Stephen Butterfield (73) 4th Chris Priems (73) 4th Robert Priems (73) 5th Targe Mifsud (74)
Seniors Results: 1st Jim Belevski (71) 2nd Gordon Hill (72) 2nd Harry Boughen (72) 3rd Chris Priems (73)
Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Stefan Belevski BallPin No 1 – 12th Chris James BallPin No 2 – 18th Craig Cameron