President's Day on Sunday 10th September 2017 in monsoon rain equals soggy players at West Wilts GC
Although President's Day players before lunch managed to keep their powder dry, those teeing off in the afternoon Texas Scramble got a wee bit soggy, I know because I was there!
However, with true grit and determination, we all battled through to the finishing line. After a hot shower and change into dry apparel, we settled down for The Prize Giving expertly orchestrated by Ivor Groskop, President of West Wilts GC 2017. On an historical note, Ivor pointed out that it was the 25th anniversary of him becoming Captain, now how's that for continuity and dedication! He thanked Lawrence Wilkin, Club Manager and Professional for all his support and advice in delivering President's Day. Additional thanks were due to Barrie in the Pro's Shop. No accolade would be complete without praise for Ruth and her team who kept all our glasses full and plates overflowing at the supper afterwards. Ivor concluded by praising Neil Bungay, Head Greenkeeper, who has worked tirelessly to present the course in an immaculate condition, badgers please note! Let's now turn to the prizes. In the morning overall winner of the President's Prize with a splendid 42 points, Kevin Murphy. Winner of Div 1, Tom Martin with 41 points, runner up, Chris Trimby with 37 points on count back. Winner of Div 2, Prakash Gurung with 40 points, runner up Walter Witts with 39 points on count back. As the heavens opened with almost monsoon conditions in the afternoon, we played the ever popular Texas Scramble format which saw the strong men's team of Iain Ferrie, Charlie Hamilton, Mike Rice and Rich Henry romp home as winners with a net 55.6. Runners up were Roger Morris, Dean Huntley, Wayne Hemmens and Dave Wilkin with a creditable net 59. The mixed team competition resulted in a win for Prakash Gurung, Ganga Gurung, Margaret Donald and Jack Cox who carded a net 61.1. In close pursuit as runners up were Julie Osborne, Jan Sargison, Andre Williams and Jackie Cooper who came in with a respectable net 62.2.
The Doug Smith Trophy took place on Sunday 3rd September, in atrocious weather conditions. The betterball stableford format saw Rupert Williams and Walter Witts win with 41 points. In second place were John Brickell and Wayne Hemmens with 40 points. Steve Few, Captain 2017 partnered by Guy Bettesworth came in third with 39 points. Well done to Walter Witts, Captain 2016, for winning on two Sundays running. The origins of the the Doug Smith Trophy go back to decimalisation in 1970 and the Half Crown piece was taken out of circulation; it was a very fine coin! At the initiative of Doug Smith the military workshop in the local barracks created a trophy for the club with a Half Crown coin at its centre and was first known as the 'Half Crown Trophy'. Doug was a Frome auctioneer and no shrinking violet! He was a very popular member of the club who was a director for many years and Captain in 1969. He had a great sense of humour and was one of the club's characters with a very loud voice whose woes on the course could be heard for many hundreds of yards after missing a short putt. Doug died at a relatively young age in 1985 and in his memory the Half Crown Trophy which he instituted was re-named the Doug Smith Memorial Trophy.
The Seniors were in action again on Thursday 7th September, on this occasion away against Cumberwell Park GC which boasts magnificent clubhouse and practise facilities coupled with four 9 hole courses and a recently constructed par 3 nine hole course. There are plans to extend the latter to an 18 hole par 3 course, now there's a first! Our boys were most certainly not intimidated by this Wentworth West Course like challenge and knuckled down to record a fantastic 4 to 2 win. Individual performances were Walter Witts and Steve Brackley winning 4 & 3, Jack Winter and Ivan Gower won 3 & 2. There were 2 & 1 chocolate frog accolades for John Walpole and Mike Peacock, Jeff Gardner and Dave Simpson. Last but by no means least was the indomitable Ivan Gower who decimated all opposition to win the nearest the pin competition. Thanks to Jeff Jones, Captain of The Wagglers, for his recently received in depth match reports on away games against Knighton Heath and Chippenham, to be covered next week.
For those of you who are still conscious after an overload of competition results, how about a little golfing trivia to finish off with? Most golfers practise their putting about as frequently as Haley's Comet passes by. We all spend a fortune on new drivers, shirts and green fees before spending so much as a penny on a new putter. Maybe it's because putters are so expensive. Jack Nicklaus once said that while few golfers could ever attain his level of ball-striking, anyone could become as good a putter as him, now there's a challenge to all us aspiring Wagglers and Seniors 18 handicappers. If a golfer putts a ball eight and a half miles in 23 seconds, where is he or she playing? Answer, where else but the US Ryder Cup Team on a Concorde flight from New York to Malaga. Brad Faxon rolled a 120 foot putt along the centre aisle into a porcelain tea-cup. His ball was travelling for 23 seconds therefore it must have travelled eight and a half miles, plus an extra 40 yards for the length of the putt. All a bit of fun, writes author, Martin Hicks-Lobbecke.
(L-R) "Prakash Gurung, winner of Division 2 with 40 points, receives prize from Ivor Groskop, President West Wilts GC"