2011, Golf Week

The annual golf week is now a distant memory, and so it seems like a good time to assess how the year is going, and to review plans for next year. In terms of golfing success, we are not enjoying a good year! The Hampshire Regiment gave us a good going over, and Howard Wickes and his band of bandits took us apart very efficiently at Lyme Regis. The golf day at Bridport was fun, and seemed to be enjoyed by all and as last year’s winner Claudius Algar said at our dinner “It was good to see the Peter Ward Trophy won by a ‘proper golfer’. Kit Magrath, was one such, and a worthy winner scoring 36 points despite receiving only 9 shots. Hack golfers such as myself can only look on in wonderment.

Our illustrious team did not travel well across to North Devon, and although many of you enjoyed the Royal North Devon course, we lost to the Dumplings 3.5 to 1.5. Saunton proved quite a handful for many of our players, and we were soundly beaten 5 to nil. The team from Taunton and Pickeridge were too strong during a long day of golf.
Next up is North Hants on 7th September, our guest day, and then the last of the year is at West Surrey, organised by Roddy Long. For next year, a few changes are planned. First up currently is the Hampshires on 25th April, and we hope to have a further game around April/May time at Temple, close to Marlow, where John Pagliero is seeking to arrange an opposing team from one of the public schools.

A number of comments and requests have been received regarding our golf week. Richard Jowett has great difficulty in raising an Old Tauntonians team for Saunton as the date clashes with a commemoration service in Taunton which OTs attend. It makes the journey down to Saunton difficult for an early start. The other issue with Saunton is cost, with many of Richard’s possibles baulking at the high cost. At the same time, many of you have expressed some concerns about degree of difficulty at Saunton at the end of a week of golf. Cost and accessibility are also issues for our members, with many not happy about heading off on a two and a half hour drive Westwards late in the evening after the Bridport game.
            Having considered the possibilities, some changes will be introduced next year.  We will be playing Devon Dumplings at Exeter Golf and Country Club on Thursday, and Old Tauntonians on Friday at Taunton and Pickeridge, the home club of most of the players who were at Saunton this year.         
The suggestion for accommodation is that we base ourselves in Lyme Regis and travel to Exeter and return for the Dumplings game, with no meal arranged at Exeter. We can then enjoy a leisurely evening in Lyme and a less formal supper. Tee off at T&P will be about 11:30, allowing time for a leisurely transfer to Taunton. The game will be followed by a light supper at about 4:00 which will allow those heading Northwards to get off home fairly promptly.

  Responding to your concerns about cost, the aim is to keep the cost of each game  around £40, and so far all of the games next year will be around that number, with Exeter at £25.50 for the golf alone, and Taunton at about £19 a head for the golf and £10 or so for the food. This of course depends on how many members will play for OTs, but there will be a high proportion. High Post will be £42 and Bridport similar, with Lyme Regis about £30.
            Hopefully these changes will address the issues that you have raised with me, and also with Mark. It would be good if we could arrange a separate game at Saunton at another time for those who love the course, myself included, and if Brian Clark and Tom Bigge are able to play, the cost will be considerably reduced.

Your comments and reaction to the changes would be greatly appreciated, as well as any suggestions that you may have.

Best Wishes
John Harper
7th August 2011


Lyme Regis vs Lyme Regis Connections (Howard Wickes) and Annual Golf Day at Bridport. 28th and 29th June 2011.

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The weather was kind to us for the Dorset end of our annual golf tour. At Lyme it was windy but clear and the views from the course were quite magnificent. Sad to say, the views were not matched by the golf and we lost quite resoundingly winning only one match and halving two more. We had a confusing start with one of our team not showing up, but Howard managed to persuade the golf pro that his assistant might like to join us and so we started with six teams of two. There is always a good atmosphere with our opponents, many of whom are publicans and hoteliers who normally like to play in the mornings. Many new jokes, some of dubious quality, were exchanged – none of which can be printed here!

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In the evening we met up at the Marquis of Lorne, where a number of OHs were staying, and enjoyed an excellent supper and a good chance to chat and exchange news. We were pleased to welcome Maggie Palmer, Giles and Gru Blomfield and Jeremy Page’s wife, Linda.

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We were 14 for the Golf Day, and set off in two three balls and two four balls. We were very pleased to welcome Nigel French, back from his tumble down the stairs at his new home, and resultant wrecked shoulder, over a year ago. Kit Magrath was on fine form and played to his 9 handicap to achieve 36 stableford points. He won the Peter Ward Trophy and last year’s winner, Claudius Algar was pleased to hand it over to what he called ‘a proper golfer’. Longest drive also went to Kit, and nearest the pin to Mark Hunt. The greens have improved a lot over the years, and the course played well. (This is obviously an unbiased comment on the state of my home course!)


7th September, 2011, Wednesday.(Guest Day) at North Hants Golf Club at Fleet.

An enjoyable day was had by all at North Hants golf club. Richard White was the star of the day, winning with 40 points, and Roger Hopkins followed up with 36. Richard also won the nearest the pin with a shot that was inches from a hole in one. As a result he was only inches from buying us all a drink afterwards.  12 players took part, including two guests.

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