Mixed fortunes on 8th and 9th August for West Wilts Golf Club Seniors
Reliable sources tell me that my weekly articles are read by a fair number of WW Golf Club members which can only be a good thing both for the Warminster Journal and the Club blog.
Let's get started with a full account of The Seniors away game versus Hamptworth in the Knighton Heath Trophy on Tuesday 8th August. Peter Walton was Captain on the day and had to contend with extreme rain for single matches one to four. Hamptworth is a challenging course set in idyllic New Forest surroundings 9 miles south of Salisbury where the delight of new forest ponies wandering onto the green add some local spice. Mike Oram spearheaded our attack and was running on full throttle until he suffered a recurrent back injury on the 14th hole and had to concede his game. Second on the grid was Lester Trowbridge who managed to record a one hole up victory followed by Alan Cleaver who won two in one. With the overall match 2 to 1 in our favour there was room for optimism in the club house. However, as the old adage goes, "Never count your chickens before they've hatched," because our middle order of Ian Bell, Ian Park and Captain Peter Walton all fought hard but, sadly, lost their games. With The Seniors now losing 4 to 2 it was time for nothing short of a miracle to reverse our fortunes when the four replacements stepped into the breach. Colin Fourmy went the whole distance to win his game on the 18th Green and Ray White was omnipotent in winning six in five. Next up was Warren White, our annual visitor from the USA, who played out of his skin to snatch a halve. At least Warren, whose golfing prowess belies his age, had the guile to hire a buggy. History records many occasions where our brethren from across the pond have saved the day and this was most definitely one to add to the list. With the result now poised on a knife edge at four and a halve to four and a halve all eyes turned towards Peter Clarke. Our Captain, Peter Walton, waited in a state of complete nervous exhaustion beside the 18th Green with the final result in the balance. You can imagine his relief as Peter Clarke staggered up the hill to announce that he had closed the game out with a four in three victory. With a magnificent five and a halve to four and a halve win The Seniors now proceed to play Wareham in the semi finals of The Knighton Heath Trophy, let's all wish them the very best of luck.
I'm afraid history did not repeat itself when The Seniors met Sherborne at home the following day, Wednesday 9th August. Torrential rain was the order of the day and the visitors romped home with a five to one victory. However, every cloud has a silver lining and the last minute replacements, Jack Winter and Eric Brown, were the only pair to win.
Let's finish with a few golfing anecdotes. Before teeing off, most golfers check to ensure that they have the requisite number of clubs (no more than 14 as Ian Woosnam found to his cost in July 2001 at The Open where he was penalized 2 strokes for having 15 clubs in his bag - an extra driver) and a copious supply of golf balls. In the hot Virginia summer of 1986 Bill Krazert took part in the Anheuser-Busch Golf classic but his caddie, to lighten the load, took out some balls. Bill lost three balls and in going to his bag found a paucity of balls i.e. none and had no choice but to withdraw from the competition. The archaeology of Arn Hill, geographical home of West Wilts GC, reveals some interesting facts. The area between the Club House and the chalk quarry, in front of the 18th Green, has been described as a "small hill fort". The ditch which runs from just north of the 11th Tee and crosses the 18th fairway was probably 10 feet deep in its original condition. It could have been a hollow way enabling the inhabitants (Iron Age 700 BC-43 AD) to move to and fro without being visible on the skyline. Thinking about it, I have lost the odd ball on the 18th which might just have been stolen by the ghostly spirit of a caveman! That's all for now, writes author, Martin Hicks-Lobbecke.