October 2019 marked the 25th anniversary of the society, and we headed back to where it all began: Patshull Park.
Absent friends were very firmly in the group’s minds, with Helen Stother‘s funeral sadly being the day before. A glass was raised to all.
Those who teed off in the later groups were treated to the rare sight of the new Chairperson Clarkie screeching into a parking spot with almost a handbrake turn, due to an unfortunate road closure adding over 90 minutes to her journey. Fortunately there had been some contact en-route (legally via the passenger) so both Clarkie and Ellie had some time to prepare before heading out – even if Norma was a little concerned with the speed at which Ellie inhaled a sausage bap!
The weather in the lead up to the meet had not been kind, and there was a short, sharp downpour as the final groups were preparing to tee off for a three-ball ‘Shambles’. However, after that the weather actually held up very well.
The course was not, however, in the very best shape, although in general the meet agreed that treating bunkers as G.U.R. is something that could catch on and worked very well for ball cleaning. Even so, Val Castle’s teammates were somewhat traumatised by watching La Presidenta fall backwards into a bunker on the 17th whilst retrieving her ball. Apparently there was some less-than-presidential language before they helped her back up! And Mad Dog also suffered a shoulder injury so heinous that it caused her to leave a range of her clubs around the course for the next group to carry for her. Turns out that taking a jumper off can be very dangerous.
Some good golf was also played, with third going to Anne Crawley, Lorna Rolfe, and Coral Handley. Sue Kitchen, Chris Knight and Patsy Garner came in second, and Claire Jenkins, Shirley Taylor & Kelly Greenstreet were the clear winners. Although their team overall won nothing, Sue Redfern took the longest drive on the 12th, and Ellie Martin pipped Claire Jenkins to the nearest the pin on the 10th.
The Rugby World Cup provided a nerve-wracking start to the second day, with Wales leaving it really very late to beat France over breakfast. Even those with no allegiance to the daffodil were biting their nails – mostly because of the potential effect on their teammates!
As this was the 25th anniversary, the competition on day 2 was designed to remind the meet how far things have come, with a variation on the pink ball game – the “Old Club”. Every team of four was given an actual wooden wood, and each member of the team was required to play every fourth hole with only the wood or their putter for double points.
This had some varied and unpredictable results: some 50 yard putts (tricky in the mud), some wild slices, and the odd damaged wrist! All of the clubs made it back to the clubhouse, although some teams did think long and hard about letting theirs ‘slip’ into the lake. The winners were Bev Fentiman, CBK, Kelly Greenstreet, with the ghostly presence of Taff Martin, closely followed by Claire Jenkins, Sue Kitchen, Val and Sue Thornley. Third place went to Clarkie, Coral Handley, Chris Knight and Patsy. Nearest the pin in two was Sue Thornley, and the longest drive with their own club was Coral Handley, and with the old club was Sue Kitchen.
After the golf we had possibly the shortest AGM yet at 13 minutes (demonstrating the wisdom in making the youngest member Chairperson), before canapés and general celebrations. It was good to see that those who attended the very first meet were still not taking it all too seriously!
The final day was reduced back down to three-balls for a Dusty Bin (or reverse waltz). We were all a bit tired by this point – the lack of run makes Patshull a very long course. Clare Mulvaney was heard to tell her group ‘We can do anything we want, ladies’, only to receive the somewhat jaded response of ‘except score points’ from Ellie Martin. Coral took the extreme step of knackering her knee to get out of the last 5 holes, leaving her companions to finish without her. Lorna Rolfe meanwhile was attempting to distract her group from the grind of the golf by talking about certain medical procedures – the phrase “I’ve seen smaller probes go into space” is not one that will be forgotten any time soon!
Kelly Greenstreet, fresh out of Mexico, made it a three from three winning streak with Stocky and Shirley this time. Second place went to Clarkie, Baggie and Coral – with an injury replacement ‘ghost’ of Sue Thornley for the final 5 holes, whilst Bev, Taff and Sue Thornley came in third. In an effort to use up some prizes there were many nearest the pins: Lesley Smith took it on the 2nd, Sue T and Stocky tied on the 10th, Ellie took the 17th and Stocky took nearest in two on the 9th. Longest drives went to Clare Mulvaney on the 11th and Sue Kitchen on the 16th.
And with that, we wended our weary ways to our scattered parts of the world. Thanks as ever to the amazing committee for the hard work that goes into organising these meets. We look forward to the April meet at Hellidon Lakes.