An early start meant scraping the ice off the windscreen before the drive to Minehead. The A39 is always a bit of a drive down memory lane for me. Passing the George Hotel at Nether Stowey (I married the landlord’s daughter back in ’72) the Plough Inn at Holford, the Hood Arms in Kilve and with bright winter sunshine glistening off the peaks at Butlins, I arrived in good time at the M & WSGC, as did all our team. With a first tee off scheduled for 10:30 it was a bit concerning to find no sign of the opposition by 10:15. Their pro shop confirmed it was an 11:30 start, (we hadn’t been advised of any change) but it just meant extra time to practice our putting.
Martin Hawkins, playing off 7 (I know how to pick my partners) teamed up with me in match number 1, against their captain Steve Kaye and Cliff. This was the first match we have played using the new 90% rule, instead of the 3/4s, when calculating the shots given. It does make a difference! Steve, playing off a h’cap of 15, would have received 6 shots from Martin and now got 7 and Cliff playing off 18 would have got 8 and now got 10. I am too embarrassed to mention how many shots I got, but sufficient to say, they came in useful on stoke index 11 and 12. Just as well Martin has broad shoulders as he, particularly his putting, kept us in the match, although we turned the corner 2 down. We pulled it back to all square, with the golfing gods continuously trapping Steve and Cliff in the same bunker on 13, which gifted us the hole & Martin sinking a great birdie putt from off the green on 14. Then I must have trodden in something because I totally fluked a chip in from 50 yards or so on the 16th, Martin won the 17th and suddenly we had won the match 2 and 1. Your captain was well pleased. In Match 2 Alan Webber and Franco finished off the opposition early with an excellent win of 5 and 4. In Match 3 Dave Butcher tells me that he and Tim Forward got themselves to 3 up, by the 10th, but managed to snatch a defeat from the jaws of victory and eventually lost 2 and 1. In match 4, JP and Simon Scarborough got off to a shaky start with one of the opposition playing an incredible short game. Having gone 2 down our pair fought back, turned the tables and eventually closed out the match on the 17th winning 2 and 1. Unfortunately the tail did not wag and with Richard Bartin & Len Collin loosing on the last hole in match 5 and the 2 Johns, Whitehead and Rooks going down 3 and 2 in match 6, the overall result was a draw, 3 matches each. Having said that, Minehead had the home advantage, so I look on the result as a moral victory!
The sun shone on us, the course was dry and the company was good.
Chris - LSGC Seniors’ captain