68 golfers, no doubt excited at the prospect of recreating Jordan Spieth’s exploits at the Masters, took to the Valley course for Barnham’s own first major of the season.
Conditions were dry but a freshening wind made scoring difficult as confirmed by the SSS being 3 higher than the regulation 71. I am sure if we had ‘Ken out on the course’ he would have been covering the difficulties posed by holes 3, 4 and 11 where pars were a rarity – only 5 for each hole.
Looking at the results for Divison 2 first , Chris Thorman secured third spot with a net 74, squeezed out of 2nd place on countback by Paul Mckerell who continues to show that he really is a man for the tougher playing conditions. Out in front though securing first place was Lee Turner with a net 69 – an excellent score considering the conditions. Well done Lee.
Over in Division 1 there was some more fine scoring. Andrew Sims (1 handicap) shot a gross 74 which was some achievement in those conditions. However the net scores, saw Andrew Tuna Fish rolling back the years with a net 72 to take third with the runner-up spot occupied by our Treasurer - Tony Lynne with a very creditable net 71.
Showing everyone how to play in the wind though was Anthony Gravestock who shot a superb 4 over par 76 for a net 68. To be 6 better than the SSS was some achievement. Congratulations to Anthony who wins the first major of 2016 and the inaugural Spring Cup. (And the small matter of a bucketload of RTB points!)
The next RTB Major will be in June – the Captain’s Medal but there are plenty of RTB events between now then – the April Stableford and the May Medal and Stableford. Don’t forget that there are opportunities to pick up RTB points in the designated midweek stablefords as well - details on the noticeboards and fixture list.
The Road To Barnham started here and will run throughout the Spring and Summer before drawing to a conclusion in October.
Conditions were testing for the field of 74 with blustery winds and greens that must have caught a few out with their speed so early on in the season – signs are encouraging for the rest of the year. Well done Brian and his team.
Scoring reflected the conditions with the CSS set at 1 above the par of 71. Division 1 saw top spot contended between three players on 36 points. The card playoff had Tony Lynne in third and Daniel Barnard in the runner-up spot. Taking first place was the man showing some early season form following victories in the Charlton Tankards and the Captains Drive In – Stu Black. Well played Stu.
Over in Division 2, fine scores of 36 points from Spencer Thorpe and Rob Nichols earned them the 2nd and third places respectively. However, showing everyone the way was Scott Grear-Hardy with an excellent 38 points who also wins the stableford overall. Congratulations Scott.
To see where you stand on the Road to Barnham please see the noticeboard or the posting on this website.
Next RTB event is the April Medal – first major of the year and for the inaugural Spring Cup. Double points on offer!
The Captains of all 4 sections – Tara Davis – Juniors, Sheena Perry – Ladies, Colin Brinded – Seniors, and me – Men, signalled the start of the ‘golfing season’ by ‘driving-in on the 12th hole of the Valley supported by members from all 4 sections. The other purpose of the event was to raise lots of money for the Captains’ charity this year – The British Heart Foundation
Despite the pressure and some good natured banter I am delighted to say that no-one ventured into the river. In fact all 4 drives comfortably surpassed the 2014 standard set by Dan Jones which someone rightfully mentioned ‘will live long in the memory’. The aggregate yardage of all 4 drives was 763 yards – with closest guess made by Phil Large who wins a 4 Ball tee-time at Stoke-By-Nayland
So to the golf. Armed with red balloons and golden balls (not David Beckham) 21 teams of 4 players were bathed in warm sunshine to see who could accumulate the most points. With the golden ball scoring double points it was imperative that it was used for all 18 holes to establish a winning score. With the odd exception most teams managed that feat although one team’s scoring was hampered early doors by losing it on their first hole… I think they are just about talking to Jack now.
Before I get to who came where, I must praise the standard of the ‘nearest the pin’ shots. I don’t think I have ever seen 4 shots that have been so close to the hole in one event. Well played – Steve Large, Andy Lincoln, Chris Langton, and Ollie Clarke. And not forgetting Andy Stebbings who made it 2 out 2 for longest drives this year – what does his wife feed him on?
So who took the prizes?
In fourth place with 110 points and winners of a dozen balls each was the team of:
Dave and Jo Ashmore, June and Roger Meadows
In third place with 112 points and securing a golf shirt each was the partnership of:
Denis Walsh, Chris Langton, Geoff Hardy, and Chris Bentley
Runners up with 120 points and taking home a golf jumper each was the combination of:
Roger Garwood, Roger Human, Jerry Bart, and Ivan Haistead
Showing everyone how it should be done with a massive total of 126 points was the team of:
Jamie Black, proud Dad Stu, Andy Stebbings, and Peter Hall
who were rewarded with a pair of golf shoes each. Congratulations!
The auction that followed coupled with the other fund raising activities helped to raise a magnificent £1200 for the British Heart Foundation. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to this.
An event like this needs the support of a lot of people and I would like to thank the following (in no particular order) for helping to make it such a success: from the Hotel – Corey, Matt, Alex, Trish, Leon, Richard, and all the catering staff, Brian and his Greens Crew, Sheena, Tara, Colin, Debbie Davis, Roger H, R7, Andrew Felice, and most of all everyone that took part or made a contribution – without you none of this would have been possible.
I like to wish everyone all the very best for the golfing year – just remember it’s just a game…..enjoy!
A number of you have asked specific questions about the Golden Ball format of the competition which is a little different to what we are accustomed to playing. So, I thought it might be useful if I posted details of the format here and if you have any questions please either leave a question on the website and I will come back to you or if you prefer catch up with me on the 22nd.
Tees - Men Yellow/Ladies Red
Stroke Allowance – 3/4 Handicap
Ladies to receive 3 additional shots
Format - Better Ball Stableford – best 2 Stableford scores to count on each hole
2 per team to be used as necessary – a mulligan allows a player to replay a shot without penalty.
To help with the speed of play, Mulligans do not apply to the Golden Ball
Golden Ball Rules
The Stableford points scored by the player that STARTS and FINISHES the hole with the Golden Ball will be DOUBLED – e.g. a 4 for 2 points on the 2nd will be doubled to 4 points
Use of the ball MUST be rotated between all members of the team before the same player can use it again:
E.g. If A uses it on the 2nd hole, he/she can only use it again when B, C, and D have used it and that order must continue throughout the round. If it is used on every hole, A and B will have used 5 times each and C and D - 4 times each
When the Golden Ball is used by each player for the first time there are no requirements as to what that order of usage must be
THE BALL DOES NOT NEED TO BE USED ON EVERY HOLE (You might want to prevent losing it on certain holes!)
Where a player loses the Golden Ball he/she can continue the hole with an ‘ordinary ball’ but the Stableford points scored will NOT be ‘doubled
When the ball has been lost there will be no replacement Golden Balls available and the team will no longer be able to score double points. They can still continue to compete with the normal ‘white’ balls
‘Nearest the pin’ prizes are available on the 4th, 7th and 15th holes for everyone
The ‘nearest the pin’ prize on the 17th is subject to an entry fee of £1 with the winner taking 25% of the total fees taken in cash (the rest will go to the British Heart Foundation)
We are delighted to say that we have a few more lots to auction on the day. If you can’t make the Drive In and there is something that you would like to bid for just place your written bid in a clearly marked sealed envelope in the safe in the Men’s Changing Room. This will then be taken forward in the auction on the 22nd.
The lots include the following:
4 Ball Green Fee at Sheringham – valid on any day until July 2016 (value if used on a Saturday £300 or £280 on a weekday)
4 Ball Green Fee at Gog Magog (Cambridgeshire) valid for both courses (the Wandlebury Course is a Regional Open qualifying venue) – valid on Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri until Dec 2015 (value £180)
4 Ball Green Fee at Stowmarket Golf Club - valid Mon to Fri with no expiry date (value £144)
4 Ball Green Fee at Thetford Golf Club – valid Mon to Fri until the 31/03/16 (value £160)
4 Ball Green Fee at Stapleford Abbotts (Essex) – valid Mon to Fri and after 12.00 at weekends until the 31/12/2015 – this also includes the use of 2 buggies (value £150)
2 Ball at Diss Golf Club – valid on any day subject to availability until 31/03/2016 (value £50)
Signed Norwich City Football
Signed Premiership Rugby Shirt – your choice of team
All the proceeds from the auction will go to the British Heart Foundation.