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Haven’t played – honest! on 11 March 2023

Geoff cleans up.
Only happens once in a blue moon!

What’s a long weekend? some members (of a certain age) were asking. This seemed to be the reason being bandied around for the drop off in numbers from the last couple of weeks. The weather certainly could not be blamed, other than it was too good not to take the missus and kids to the beach. But, we did manage to scare up fourteen members to hit the tees for a Stableford round. Could have been fifteen, but we can only speculate as to what turn of events kept Stef away after he desperately appealed to be included in a group after the tee marshal had sent out the list on Thursday. There was a bit of coolth in the air early on, and the greens held onto their coating of dew until well into the round. But, it did warm up enough for the old hydration to need a top-up to keep the engine ticking over at a nice, steady pace.

It wasn’t revealed whether he had kept the hydration up, but he certainly kept the engine ticking over at a nice, steady pace. The first couple of holes were described as average, but then he just missed raiding the Eagle’s nest on the 3rd, leaving himself with a 25mm putt for a birdie and four points. There were a couple of little wobbles later in the round, but, by and large, the points just kept rolling in with yet another birdie on the 18th, and the 4 points clicked the odometer to 22 on the back and to 40 for the whole round. That could have been enough to win the day by a clear margin. But, not today!

Just a single point behind, and without a four pointer on his card, was none other than Captain Matt. Could he have made up the deficit? Yes, he could, if three single point holes are any guide. Perhaps he can blame Brendon. It seems that Brendon’s drive on the 2nd went missing, so he decided to take the two stroke penalty and play another ball. Not sure exactly what happened, but he managed to get Matt on the leg, just below the knee, at which point he gave up on the hole and carded a gash for his trouble. Matt limped on and tried to forgive him, as this was one of the holes that was a singleton for him.

SOS was a man on a mission today, to get into the first group and to get away from the course as early as possible. He obviously didn’t have time to think too much about his game, and, as a result, he seems to have put together a pretty reasonable round. If it hadn’t been for one blot and a few singletons, he could easily have been top dog. Harry is one of the more ‘senior’ members of the club, and today he seems to have had a bit of a senior moment, confidently asserting that his Club handicap was 17. It was actually 15, so instead of the 37 points on his card, the total was really only 35. He still came 4th though. It was just that he now shares the podium with Josh (first points) and Rob, who were promoted from 5th. That then let Stan sneak into 5th place to collect a point with his 34 points.

The Nearest the Pin competitions today definitely had their moments. The first BallPin was set for the 4th where, admittedly, the tee markers were set well back. The trees and the OOB did claim a few victims, but the upshot was that nobody was able to get their ball onto the green, so there will be a jackpot to be had next week. The second BallPin on the 18th had its moments as well. The pin was on the lower level and Harry finished well to the back of the top level. There was no marker out and no name yet on the inside comp, so out came the tape, and the measure was nearly 19m. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so in went the marker and on went the name. Thing was, the tape measure did not like being withdrawn to its full length, and, despite best efforts, it could not be persuaded to return to its case. Geoff then announced that he had been much closer, but forgot to put out the marker etc. Brendon then came along and whacked his drive much closer again, so it had all been for naught. And, while on the topic of Brendon, the Double jackpot on the 15th looked to be in danger of not being taken out. That is, until the ProPin burglar made it to 3.46m and collected the dosh again. Matt claimed that he had exercised Captain’s prerogative and had declared it a shared pot, but that didn’t seem to cut any mustard with Brendon.

There were a couple of matches decided today. First off, we had Mehm up against ChrisJ. And, what a battle it turned out to be. The game ebbed and flowed for pretty much the whole round, with neither able to put a clear stamp on the game. First Chris was up by one, then Mehm, then Chris, then Mehm. Finally, Mehm got a slight break and the match was dormie 2 after the 16th. Chris had to win the next two to square the match. His win at the 17th kept the match dormie. Unfortunately for him, he could only halve the hole on the last, and Mehm won the match one up. In the other match, Stan was up against Geoff. Now you would think, that with the differences in competition scores, that Geoff would have had it easy. Which just goes to show how different matches can be. Contrary to what you might think, Stan did hold the majority of the lead, but he was never able to get more than two holes ahead of Geoff. Once again, the match went dormie 2 after the 16th. Geoff was able to win both, which brought the match to all square and that required a chip-off. When everybody had assembled, let the contest begin! The first two chips proved a bit deceiving as far as pace went, and both had longish putts that required two putts apiece. The second chips were better judged, but the putting fared no better from the shorter distance. The third chips were to the close hole. Both didn’t make it to the green and both resorted to using putter for the second shot. Geoff went a bit longer and required two to finish off, but Stan the man only needed the one to take the match on the third.

Rob’s drive on the 17th was not all that great and finished near the path at the bottom of the hill, and not too far from one of the stakes marking something or other. There was a fair amount of trash talk about where he should put the stake and that it was too far for him to reach the green etc etc. This really got Prez’s dander up, and he played a cracker of a shot that finished just off the green about pin high. His shot in finished just short of the hole. The unlikely birdie would have increased our tally of seven for the day, but he had to settle for his par. Josh showed a bit of his potential today on the way to his first points, but he did have the narrowest of escapes on the 7th where his drive finished bare millimetres in front of the red markers, and he was let off on the 18th where it wasn’t possible to determine the position of his ball in the middle of the pond in relation to the reds. There was apparently little doubt about Mehm’s shot on the 5th, where his drive finished in the middle of the drainage works just in front of the tee box. Blighty also did not make it to the reds from the back of the 15th top tee box.

Next week is the first round of the Stuart Clarke Memorial, and it would be nice to get a good turn-out to remember Stuart and his contribution to the Club. For our newer members, it is traditional to wear a ‘loud’ Hawaiian type shirt for the second round, as Stuart was wont to do when he played. Op shops and Savers are probably the place to look if you don’t happen to have one lying around. There will also be a barbeque after the second round (25th March). As the next three weeks are the ProShop Strokeplay Championship, we will be playing from the white tees so that those members who wish to can take part in that event.

Results for Saturday, 11 Mar 2023
1st Geoff Lyall (40) 2nd Matt Hunt (39) 3rd Stephen O’Sullivan (38) 4th Harry Boughen (35) 4th Josh Hunt (35) 4th Robert Priems (35) 5th Stan Blackshaw (34)

Seniors Results: 1st Geoff Lyall (40) 2nd Harry Boughen (35) 3rd Stan Blackshaw (34)

Nearest the Pin Results: ProPin – 15th Brendon Mitchell BallPin No 1 – 4th Jackpot BallPin No 2 – 18th Brendon Mitchell