Drama, tension, a ten pointer and a two-hole play-off, the Championship this year had it all. Relocated to sunny Shropshire from the Costa del Sol, forests and swathes of long grass replaced the sand and immaculate lawns of Spain for the 19 members who ventured to Whitchurch. Although a bit cooler than Spain, thankfully the weather behaved itself and the weatherproofs could be left in the car.
The Emerald course, which we played on the first two days, proved to be tight with too many trees for my liking. The sound of ball striking timber was fairly common although I must admit to have developed an uncanny knack of getting the ball to bounce back into play on more than one occasion. Not all were so lucky with one report that they never made it onto the fairway in the 36 holes we played on the course (plus the next 12 on the Sapphire course!)
After two days, the final group tackling the Sapphire course were chasing Mike Bower who was in the lead. Supposedly the ‘easier ‘ course, in places it was difficult to see the green for the trees – if the Emerald was tight, this was the proverbial duck’s arse! Very scenic but badly let down by the condition of the greens which meant that putting was sometimes a matter of hit and hope. The three chasers tried to keep the pressure up on the leader but it was never clear whether any of us were making any in roads into his lead. My impression on the last hole was that it was close but there was still a gap and my only hope was to keep the pressure up. We both finished with fives, so was resigned to finishing behind Mike overall. It was a real surprise the find out that we were tied once all the scores were counted.
Having duffed my second shot on the first play-off hole the pendulum swung away from me but an up and down from the front of the green meant I recovered to tie the hole. Cries of ‘they’re going back’ from the balcony and referee Andy Davies had another four hundred yard jog back to the 18th tee. Both on the green for three, both within five feet for four! A lipped putt and I was left with four feet to win. When I opened my eyes, it was in the hole!!
A great three days golf in great company, even the draft beer running out on the second evening didn’t impact on the banter. Thanks go to Barry for keeping all the records up to date and for everybody who attended for making it a memorable event.
Thanks and congrats to our first 3 time Championship winner, Evan Bale!
For full schedule see; 19- 21st of July 2020 Society Championship, Hill Valley
Long Drive – Steve Davies, Josh Hadden, Steve Davies
NP – Dan Foode, Martyn Wilson, Frank McGlynn
NP2 – Andy Davies, Dan Foode, John Aylward
2’s – Steve Davies
For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.
See you at Pleasington on the 9th of August