2013 Golf Week

25th to 28th June

What a difference a year makes! Last year we pitched up at Lyme Regis to play our opening game, and the Lyme Regis version of the famous Rousdon mist had descended causing us to mill about for an hour or so whilst we waited for clear skies. In the end, we had a few wet holes and retired to our hotel in Lyme where we limbered up for an evening of what Ian Botham calls 'rehydration'. This year, the weather was kind and thirteen of us enjoyed a stableford competition amongst ourselves, in the absence of our opposition, which Hamish Macgregor won with style and panache. The views along the coast were stunning and we felt fortunate to be able to enjoy the Jurassic Coast at its very best. Some of the golf was also enjoyable!

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In the evening we met at the Harbour Inn in Lyme for a dinner, originally ordered for 12, but which finally ended up attended by 16 people. The staff at the Harbour handled the whole evening with quiet efficiency, and we all got fed and watered. After our meal, where we welcomed Giles and Gru Blomfield and Mike Ray-Hills and his son Tim, some of us headed back to the Royal Lion for nightcaps. Some of us found ours a little tight so we seemed to have headaches the following morning.

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A restful night followed by a good English breakfast saw us on our way to Bridport for our annual golf day competing for the Peter Ward trophy. Last years winner - Hamish - left home with strict instructions from Janet not to win it again as it is rather large and their baronial mantelpiece does not have sufficient space to house it. Roger Hopkins did the decent thing and won the competition and the great pleasure of transporting the huge bronze figure of a rampant golfer in full swing back to his unsuspecting wife. Longest drive went to Richard Heard, who later told me he was pleased that the 'wretched White wasn't there to interfere this year'.  It is good to have some friendly rivalry amongst our players, but we were sorry not to see Richard White, who is a stalwart of our golf days, who had to allow his work to interfere with his golf. Kit Magrath won the nearest the pin with a fine drive on the picturesque sixth hole.

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After dinner at the club, we were back to Lyme for further re-hydration and a comfortable night before heading on Thursday to Exeter for our annual match against the Devon Dumplings. Some of the opposing team were in fact cricketers, but in the main it was a team assembled by Mike Maynard, an old friend of Don Palmer, and we had an enjoyable competition ably organised by Mark Hunt on behalf of the OHs. The fine parkland course was a challenge for many of us, but we ended all square at three matches each.

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Friday saw us heading to Taunton to play against the Old Tauntonians. Once again, OTs were thin on the ground, but the many Taunton and Pickeridge players in the opposing side enabled us to play at guest fee rates. We halved the match, even though Richard Jowett, who gets the OTs together, played on his own in the absence of sufficient numbers. Next year we must find an alternative to this afternoon game on a Friday, when the roads are busy and many of our players are heading back up the M5 and M4, leaving around five. Those of our number who travel across from Kent have a particularly long journey and deserve a pat on the back for coming so far. It is pleasing that we get attendance from such a wide area, from Scotland through Leamington Spa, Maidenhead and London across to Canterbury and Deal and along the coast to Chichester.

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The feedback I have had is positive, and I was pleased to see a new arrival in David Reynolds who is from our younger members, and enthusiastic to introduce more of the younger set to our games. Next up is North Hants, home of Justin Rose and hopefully we will see some new faces at this venue, which is in Fleet, and an easy journey from London.


John Harper

July 2013

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