Halford Hewitt – A Week of Firsts (11-14 Apr)
Nothing to see here, right? The usual beautiful weather and a putting green of players ready and raring to do battle. Well, no. We had been drawn yet again at Royal St Georges against Wellingborough in the graveyard slot, 15:00. With Adam Winter (09-14) coming into the side for his OBGS debut we had assembled a very strong squad, even without two or three of our regulars.
Frozen to the core by the 6-degree temperature and 30mph easterly wind, we took to the course to do battle. For once, we made it easy for ourselves; comfortable wins from our first four pairs led to an honourable half from a commanding position in game 5 and the OB’s through to the 2nd round to face multiple time winners, Harrow. However, things took a bit of a turn.
Lee Dinmore’s (86-89) ankle swelled up overnight following a recent skiing injury and rendered him unable to play on Friday – fortunately, in stepped Tim Henderson (64-71) to replace him. With Lee’s ankle deteriorating further, Tim Murphy (father of two OBs who had come to support for the day) promptly took him to hospital and returned to take over the team Whatsapping duties.
Tim Henderson & Henry Wilson (04-11) were always up and recorded a solid 3&2 win in game 1 to give us an early lead. Tom Langley-Poole (96-06) & Simon Blundell (84-89) were 4 down after 11 but rallied to win the 12th, 14th, 15th and 18th to take the game into extra time. With Simon holing a 20 foot putt on the 1st, to seal a superb comeback, attention turned to Iain Pratt (83-93) & Adam Winter, who were also heading into extra holes. Adam nailed it up the middle to apply some pressure and the opposition folded, carving his tee shot 120 yards right and out of bounds. Iain safely found the green and handshakes were offered. With Colin Beesley (90-98) & Tim Martin (11-17) and Adam Wilkinson (87-92) & Ben Dunlop (12-14) both halving their games we won 4-1 and in doing so returned to Royal Cinque Ports from Royal St Georges for the first time ever.
Then things got even worse; although Lee was now better, we now had to face the number one ranked side, Tonbridge, and Adam Wilkinson had to return home for a family emergency. Now running out of a little steam, Iain Pratt & Adam Winter secured a half but sadly we lost all the other matches. Nonetheless, a very respectable year and leaves the only major milestone left for the OBGS (bar winning it!) – making it through to Sunday for Hewitt golf – within touching distance. Thanks as always go to our loyal team of supporters, chef Blundell and the President for the fillets of beef!
Spring Meeting (28 Apr)
Gone was the 25 degrees of the Easter weekend prior, replaced by 11 degrees and intermittent showers. Nonetheless, we had a good turnout this year of 19 of the OBGS’ finest for the Spring Meeting at Royal Worlington and, pleasingly, continuing the trend of more younger members starting to play regularly. The usual format ensued; singles in the morning and eclectic foursomes in the afternoon, with four trophies on offer depending on age and handicap.
With the course in surprisingly poor condition – the greens in particular were woefully slow – it became clear quite quickly that players had either mastered the conditions or completely succumbed to them. Will Notley (92-03) won the Scratch Cup with a 76 whilst his cousin, John Holroyd (11-16), won the Captain’s prize of a quartet of wine for the best Medal score with a terrific net 66. Adam Turner (96-03) (welcome, Adam) won the Junior Trophy on debut with 39 points and the Senior Trophy went to Roger Dalzell (48-57) with 40 points. Longest drive went to another on debut, Ben Hanglin (98-05), whilst John Holroyd (11-16) also picked up the nearest the pin. That said, we will never know whether he actually won it for sure; James Lawson (61-66), Anthony Ormerod (47-57) and Roger Dalzell collected the marker half way through their round instead of at the end.
Eight pairs braved darkening skies in the afternoon with Will Notley capping off a fine day for himself and the wider family, collecting the crystal quite comfortably alongside Jeremy Woodrow with 25 points.
Tom Langley-Poole (96-06)