West Wilts GC Seniors Open Thursday July 13th 2017 highlights a busy season
Having just returned from a few weeks away, your author is eager to tell the readership, maybe somewhat belatedy, all about an action packed month at West Wilts Golf Club.
The highlight most certainly was The Seniors' Open hosted on Thursday 13th July where a record breaking 168 players consisting of 124 visitors from 34 clubs competed for trophies and £1000 worth of prizes. It would be remiss of me not to congratulate Dave Dance, local member, for overall best score of the day winning the West Wilts Seniors' 30th Anniversary Cup with a magnificent stableford score of 46. Well done, also, to Eric Brown for winning the Len Basten Salver as overall best score of the day to a West Wilts member with 39 points. Please visit www.westwiltsgolfclub.co.uk and access the blog to view the complete list of Prize Winners. You will note players from Clubs as far afield as North Wilts, Bramshaw, Upavon, Broadstone, Kingsdown, Kendleshire, Farringdon and The Wiltshire. With idyllic weather conditions and the course in a magnificent condition, a tribute to Head Greenkeeper Neil Bungay and his team, it was an event of unparalleled success. Other behind the scenes contributors were Treasurer Alan Welch who ensured no one failed to pay their entry fee and David Johnson, Ivan Gower and David Thackaberry who as the sheepdogs got everyone to the right place at the right time. As we all know, first impressions mean everything and members of The Ladies' Section added an air of charm and efficiency at the reception desk. Steve and his catering team provided a superb running cold buffet which made feeding the five thousand by comparison a wee bit like a stroll in the park. In conclusion, the biggest accolade must go to Ray White as the inspiration behind what has become not only Wiltshire's but the whole of SW England's, most prestigious Seniors' Open. Through networking and complete dedication in delivering this event he raises the bar every year which ensures West Wilts GC remains in pole position.
Let's now turn our attention to other matches in July. The Seniors, eager to avenge their recent heavy away defeat to Tidworth, were up for a fight on Friday 7th July at home. All six matches were close encounters with five decided on the 18th Green. Jeff Gardner/Ken Pearce won by one hole with Walter Witts/Jack Winter, Steve Brackley/David Simpson and Warren White/John Tracey all recording a half. Unfortunately, the overall result was a three and a half to two and a half win to Tidworth. Wednesday 19th July saw an away match versus our close friends at Chippenham GC. Cliff Howard/David Simpson recorded a magnificent 6 in 5 win with Roger Lee/Ivan Gower and Jack Winter/Mike Peacock both winning their games 2 in 1. Last but by no means least, Ray White/Eric Brown and Jeff Gardner/Stephen Adams (Captain) managed to finish with a half. The overall result was a commendable four to two win for the Seniors. The Wagglers were at home to Upavon on Saturday 29th July. Rainy skies might have deterred the feint hearted but under the determined leadership of their Captain, Jeff Jones, the Wagglers were in fine form. Ray White/Harry Hassall romped home with a spectacular 7 in 6 victory. Both pairings Jeff Jones/Cliff Weeks and Mike Jones/Jim Dufosee won with a comfortable 3 in 2 margin. The author, partnered with Dieter Wakeling, were 2 down at one stage but managed to scramble a half in no small part due to Dieter's magnificent birdie 2 at the 16th. All square standing on the 18th Tee nerves were on a knife edge but a skilful bunker shot from Dieter helped to achieve the amicable half. Overall match result was a Wagglers three and a half to one and a half win.
To finish on a relaxing note how about some golf anecdotes? The inaugural Lawrence Batley Over 80s Championship held on 7th September 1992 was marred by tragedy. Frank Hart collapsed by the 4th green at Moortown GC, Leeds, and was pronounced dead on arrival at St James's Hospital in Leeds. The oldest of the competitors was George Nunn, aged 90. Using the stableford scoring system the winner was Charles Mitchell, aged 80, who shot one over his age with a score of 39. There are plenty of golfers who take almost an eternity to select their club for the next shot and they take almost as long to choose a wife - and sometimes they make the wrong choice in each case. The Men's Subscription at West Wilts GC was 15 guineas in 1965 with an Entrance Fee of 5 guineas, hardly enough to buy a couple of Titleist Pro V1s these days, writes Martin Hicks-Lobbecke.