Historic victory on Thursday 14th September for West Wilts GC Seniors in thrilling Knighton Heath Trophy final
"Victoriae gloria merces - Glory is the reward of victory"
Before we get started on this week's historic Knighton Heath Trophy news, I just wanted to enlighten readers on The Doug Smith Trophy referred to in my article last week. Doug Smith, thanks to information received from Les Lacey, was Captain of West Wilts GC in 1966 and was an employee of Cooper and Tanner in Frome. Although before my time, he appears on the County Board and was renowned for the auction of players in order to raise prize money before a competition, all in the best possible taste but I gather now outlawed by The Royal and Ancient Rules. Anyway, let's get back to that thrilling Knighton Heath Trophy victory last Thursday 14th September played away at Knighton Heath against Parkstone GC. To put things into historical context, this is the first time we have reached the Final so nerves were on a knife edge as our intrepid warriors set out on their journey into destiny. Peter Walton was Captain of the day but adopting a real Ryder cup leadership style, Seniors' Captain Stephen Adams, leaving no stone unturned, was on the first tee with his trusted support team, namely, travelling reserve Jack Winter and Dave Howden. As the heat in the kitchen got decidedly hotter, the support team then moved to a strategic position next to the 17th green and 18th tee to be closer to the action. Lester Trowbridge was the first to win his game closely followed by Jeff Gardner who carded a 2 & 1 victory. The good news was therefore a two match lead to be followed immediately by bad news as Alan Cleaver and Dave Edmunds both fell at the last. Nerves were in tatters as the overall match drew level on 2 all. Roger Lee, a warrior of seasoned repute and as steady as the Rock of Gibraltar, then won his game comfortably in 4 & 2. The drama continued with John Barnes fighting like an ankle snapping Jack Russell to get a halve which meant we were up 3 and a halve to 2 and a halve in the lead. The tide, yet again, thereupon swung against us with Peter Walton and Dave Johnson both losing which meant we were down 3 and a halve to 4 and a halve. You can imagine our feelings of ecstatic jubilation as both Colin Fourmy and Peter Laidlaw both won their games, 2 & 1 and 3 & 2 respectively. West Wilts GC Seniors had won The Knighton Heath Trophy against Parkstone GC for the first time in the history of mankind! Congratulations to Captain Stephen Adams for masterminding the whole season's strategy in delivering this Victory and Captain of the day, Peter Walton, for keeping the troops focused. As Captain of the Seniors 2018, Terry Turner is well aware of the mountain he has to climb next year.
Fear not, Terry, you will have a great support team behind you. As befits the true spirit of golf, after the day's drama all players, both victors and vanquished, enjoyed a superb meal together.
I'm sure Captain of the Wagglers, Jeff Jones, will understand if, to keep within space constraints, I curtail to a small degree his 2 recent match reports. Friday 1st September saw an away match versus Knighton Heath. Notable winners were stalwarts Tom Smith and Jim Dufosee who won 1 up on the 18th. Ray White partnered with Anton Newton fought valiantly to get a halve with the latter sinking a crucial putt on the 18th, or at least that's how the story goes! The overall result was a Knighton Heath 3 and a halve to 1 and a halve win but Wagglers just retained bragging rights with a combined home and away aggregate win of 6 and a halve to 3 and a halve. We remain most impressed with Captain Jeff Jones's impressive achievement of turning the jaws of defeat into a glorious victory. With almost no time for any rest and recuperation, the tireless Wagglers were on the move again, this time for a local derby on Saturday 2nd September, away against Chippenham. Bad and good news to report on Jeff and Dieter Wakeling's first game; bad news is 6 down at the turn which appears to have all the trappings of a thorough spanking only to pull the game back to lose only 3 & 2, which is the good news. Respectable halves were then the order of the day for Stuart McGregor-Johnson and Harry Hassall, Colin Fourmy and Richard Triggol and Jim Glass and David Harris. Obviously saving the best until last, or was it the heaviest? Anyway, it fell to Alan Brown and Alan Goldsworthy to romp home with our best result of the day, winning their game 4 & 3, well done. Overall result a draw but on aggregate with combined home and away scores, Jeff makes us all feel better with a 5 and a halve to 4 and a halve win to The Wagglers. This marks the final match of the 2017 season for The Wagglers under their inspirational leader, Jeff Jones. The Wagglers' Trophy was on Saturday 18th September with full coverage in next week's Warminster Journal, including prizegiving photos, so lots to look forward to as the evenings draw in and autumn is almost upon us.
As always, let's finish with some golfing anecdotes and tittle-tattle. Johnny Miller wrote in 1984, "The trouble with this game is that they say the good breaks and the bad breaks even up. What they don't tell you is that they don't even up right away. You might go two or three years and all you get is bad-break, bad-break, bad-break. That gets annoying in a hurry." Now where have I heard that before? Greg Norman reminds me of the movies. Every time you think he's going to get the girl and ride off into the sunset, his horse breaks a leg. Closer to home, the biggest alteration to the course for many years was the complete reconstruction of the 7th Hole in 1989, when a new green was made down on the left of the former green. The old green had never been popular because it sloped steeply down to the left and it was difficult to hold the ball on them green in a strong south westerly wind. The new 7th green together with the relaying of the top tier of the 16th green cost £17,000 which was a huge expenditure at the time. That's all for now, speak to you again next week, writes author Martin Hicks-Lobbecke.