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Playing fast and loose on 14 November 2020

Separate but the same…

There have been lots of things attributed to the effect of the lockdown ranging from increased domestic violence, to increased alcohol consumption, to declining mental health. Maybe we can add declining mathematical ability to that list, if the length of time that some pairs took to finalise their cards and the number of adjustments to number of points due are any guide. You certainly couldn’t blame the weather, with a fairly calm and cool to balmy day being just about perfect for a round (of golf). Our numbers, at 23 players, were just a little down on recent weeks but the raising of the ‘ring of steel’ and the need to prepare for holiday season probably helped to keep a few members otherwise occupied.

The course was in tip-top condition and some were confidently predicting that a score in the forties would be needed to collect the top points. However, the consensus, during and after the round, was that the greens were fast for chipping but slow for putting which seems a bit of a contradiction in terms but the thought did come from a number of independent sources.

Now, whether it was one of the perceived effects of lockdown, there was a suggestion that SOS possibly should not have been in charge of a motor vehicle on his way to the course. And, by the third hole, he was in need of an urgent source of relief, which, mercifully for his playing partners, was close at hand. His game certainly picked up more than somewhat after the 4th hole. But, he was obviously able to keep his head down and brought home a card showing a handicap equalling 36 points with 21 of them on the back nine. Brent started out well but then faltered a bit, got it back together, faltered a bit, got it back together etc, etc. Finally making it to the line with the same tally as SOS and taking a share of the top points for the day.

Damo was a bit unsure how to tackle the first off the new tee ground, but stuck with his choice of driver and took on the direct path over the trees. On the second he took on the trees again but, this time, he managed to get caught in one and the ball hit timber about five or six times before it eventually decided to drop to the ground. The handicapper is beginning to think that there should be a new limit to the size of handicap allowed, at 18, given the number of people who seem to ‘forget’ which holes they get multiple strokes on. Among the culprits today were Bob and Ken who managed to get themselves ‘promoted’ into a share of second place with Damo for a score of 35 points.

Harry played the back nine during the week and hoped that he had been able to ‘bottle’ it after a PB total of 36 off the stick. Unfortunately, the flat stick, in particular, did not quite cooperate to the same degree, and a total for the round of 34 was the best on offer. Craig claimed that there was nothing to report on his game or that of his companions, just average golf, in other words. ChrisV, on the other hand, made good use of the trees, in some cases for good and, in some cases, for evil. Thus, the good, the evil and the average succeeded in also scoring 34 points to share the third podium spot.

Simon also had some good nines during the week, and he was hoping that he might be able to recycle the cards for today’s event. The handicapper was right onto him though, and so he had to do the right thing and submit his real card with 33 points on the bottom line. JQ hasn’t been practising during the week, but he still managed a nice steady game with just a few too many slipping through to the keeper and preventing a significantly better tally. Porks managed to shrug off a putt missed from about 300mm on the 5th hole to score a single point and to narrow the gap ever so slightly between he and Noodles at the top of the Championship table. The game is afoot! Daniel picked up a ‘forgotten’ point to drag himself into a share of fifth place.

And, while on the subject of Daniel, there was a lot (of dosh) riding on the ProPin at the 15th hole today. There were some close, but no cigar, until Daniel smashed one to 1.38m to remove almost any hope for the rest of the field. As if to console himself for missing that ‘one-footer’ and for scoring only one point, Porks took it upon himself to take out both of the BallPin competitions on the 12th and the 18th. Neither of them resulted in birdies, and so he did not add to the tally of eight for the day. Pepsi did contribute by getting a birdie on the 9th, although it was a little on the unconventional side. His drive finished in the middle of the 18th, and so he had to pitch over the trees and sink the putt to get there. Which he did with the greatest aplomb.

Peter did not have a great day of it, and that was exemplified by his tee shot from the 10th that finished on the cart path from the first. MattA also struggled a bit and his game can be best summarised by the fact that he ‘scored’ a draughtie with his second tee shot after the first went OOB. The ‘unofficial rules’ committee were scratching their heads over that one. Our other Matt(H), when asked how it went, responded that he only comes to play on Medal days. Bob is still having problems keeping his cart under control. He reckons, sometimes his reflexes are too fast and sometimes they are too slow and, sometimes it has a mind of its own and heads off when he doesn’t even have the controller on him.

Brendon was playing the 10th on the 13th and, wisely, decided to move back out of the firing line as Dale smacked it down. The further back that Brendon went, the further round Dale’s ball followed, with Damo urging it on from behind. It is unclear whether this ‘near death’ experience caused Brendon’s next shot to pop up into a tree and plop, ignominiously, into the pond. It did result in one of several gashes.

Results for Saturday, 14 November 2020
1st Brent Rowley(36) 1st Stephen O’Sullivan(36) 2nd Damien Lee(35) 2nd Bob McDonald(35) 2nd Ken Watson(35) 3rd Harry Boughen(34) 3rd Craig Cameron(34) 3rd Chris Vinecombe(34) 4th Simon Powell(33) 4th John Quinlan(33) 5th Daniel O’Rourke(32) 5th Ryan Porker(32)

Seniors Results: 1st Bob McDonald (35) 2nd Craig Cameron (34) 2nd Harry Boughen (34) 3rd Simon Powell (33)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin15th Daniel O’Rourke BallPin No 1 12th Ryan Porker BallPin No 2 18th Ryan Porker