Fail to prepare and prepare to fail they say. Well, preparation for Knott End came on Friday afternoon at Ormskirk GC. Two topped tee shots off the first and two lost balls, same on the second and so it went on ! 5 points for the front 9 and the inevitable occurred (just for Simon) and I walked in after 11 holes with 8 points and 9 lost balls!! Physically and mentally drained I doubted I would be making the first tee today. After securing a buggy late yesterday I gave it a go with no expectations at all. This game baffles me at times as the Hadden mating call of “fore left” or “fore right” was only heard thanks to Daniel, Derek or Dave erring off the tee and not my normal golfing version of the Red Arrows!
It has been a while and some close shaves along the way, but really pleased to have “got it done” again and look forward to getting together for the weekend at the end of the month. Look after yourselves guys as we exit full lockdowns and see you all at Belton Woods. Special mentions for Col and Steve Dorian today with 37 points and what promised to be more, great scoring chaps!!
Oh and for anyone not within earshot Josh has said you may as well not bother turning up as he is 98% sure he will win the Club Championship!
If I had thought there was half a chance of me winning and writing this report, I might have paid more attention to what was going on!
Once again Preston offered a first class welcome, a cracking course and fine weather for a wander around the countryside. The mutterings from Campbell of ‘jammy git’ started on the the first hole and continued well into the evening presentation – hopefully he will have stopped by the time we get to Knott End. Thanks go the him, Nello and Zach for the company and I’m sure we will want to visit there again. Tough luck to Steve losing it on a count back; for some reason he seemed quite happy about it -eyes on Belton Woods perhaps.
After the competitors had heard that 6 of the society members had played Shaw Hill the weekend before, the murmurings and complaints started before some had even finished their bacon butties.
The groups got underway with Captain sailing one right down the middle of the fairway and coming to rest just short of the green. The concerns of the practice round the weekend before were swiftly put to rest when Zach stepped on to the tee next and smashed his 4 iron down the centre of the 4th fairway, a mere 200 yards left of target. It was purely a coincidence that 4 of 5 players tied for the lead had played the week before.
The course was in good condition with some very nice holes. I’ve got to thank Kev Wilson, Steve Doran and Mike Kirkland for a great round, even though Kev spent the back 9 trying to take out as many ducks as he could.
May Bank Holiday Sunday swinging sticks in sunny (not really) Wales – what more could you want. After hearing that Lee had decided to leave the society left us with sadness – an early drive to North Wales with our newest member, Matt Naylor was a good start to the day. Welcome young Naylor – I’m sure you’ll be called a bandit soon.
The first tee had a few members discussing who would be the first to duff it into the ditch or into the deep rough down the left side. Mike Bower did his best with his flop shot with a hybrid that went just over the ditch and rough.. Being the penultimate group to enter the fray, I was looking forward to a good round of golf and a laugh with Col, Derek and Wadders – and it was. A couple of highlights of the group were Col duffing a chip straight into a ditch before the green then proceeding to play the exact same shot moments later. Derek about to tee off on the Par 3 17th before two pedestrians walked along the path across the fairway – Derek saying jokingly “I’ll try and hit them” and then nearly did with a near shank shot. Wadders is quite fond of the sand and went in nearly every bunker possible. Then managing to hit his ball into the face of the bunker which spun out and landed straight into the ditch. I, overall played my best ever round of golf and managed to score 45 points which I couldn’t be happier about. Everything just went well today and after a few years of playing since my last monthly win – today was the day.
The fairways and greens ran nice and quick which was advantageous if you like to run the ball low. The course was in decent condition and was a nice challenging course all round.
A mention to Dave Hadden who played a great game today shooting 44 points but unfortunately didn’t win. Sorry Dave! But 44 is a fantastic score non the less.
Thank you gents for a great day as always and I’ll see you at the next event at Shaw Hill.
Well I for one was ecstatic to back out on the course having last played with the society at Captains Day back in September. I had managed to play a staggering 6 rounds in the 3 weeks since lockdown eased (record for me), and being buoyed by a previous win at Tytherington (back in July 2015) I had a feeling of cautious optimism. Preparation though didn’t go particularly well, by the time I’d thrown a coffee down me and finished my bacon barm it was already 11:45am which, being in the first group, meant only 15mins to get ready. Having hit a couple of putts on the practice green I was ushered to the first tee and proceeded to slice my opening 5 iron into the rough a mere 250yds from the green! After some good scrambling I got away with a bogey which was a theme for the rest of the day. I was in the company of the ever consistent Mike Bower and the mercurial John Aylward, the latter got off to an absolute flyer and was 4 under his handicap (18 points with two gross birdies) by the 7th hole, myself and Mike desperately trying to keep pace. As we reached the 15th tee, without having produced any real fireworks, i had taken the initiative and had a slender 1 shot lead. At this point we were tussling for what we both thought was going to be a 3rd or 4th place finish but we spurred each other on and finished solidly, Mike trailing and looking somewhat battered and bruised by the course.
The fairways were a little patchy leading to some questionable lies, and the greens were a little slower than they looked (which i didn’t mind) but in general the course was in decent nick. I hadn’t really noticed but there was a lot of elevation on the course which may have had an impact on a few members, I think we’ll see a few more buggies if we play here again in the near future.
As the winner was announced I rather embarrassingly corrected the Captain who had called out Dave Hadden (to the crowds delight), unfortunately it was me who had prevailed on a countback (17 to 16) which was made worse by the fact that no-one had beat my long drive or NP2, the silence was deafening. It was my first win in almost 2 years (June 2019) so i was quietly pleased with myself, even if no-one else was.
Never forget it, it was clear from the very 1st hole when Nello’s beautifully played wedge bounced 20 feet in the air and shot through the back. Winning with 32 pts just about sums up the difficulties faced by one and all. We also found another weather phenomenon which didn’t suit Hadden snr, that’s too sunny, too windy and now too icy. Hopefully see you all at Knott end.
Most had an early start, leaving the bright sunshine of Liverpool/ Manchester behind, and arriving to the grey overcast skies of Morecambe with it blowing a gale. As the morning scramble got underway, I sent my first tee shot over the trees, over the fence and out of bounds. The sympathetic galleries of Woodsy and Campbell and their cries of “You’ve just killed that cockle picker” filled me with confidence. The scramble served as a good warm up for most, with the score generally around level par, with the winner coming in 2 under, and the losers coming in at 4 over. Sorry Zach.
After some half time soup and sandwiches, and pints for some, there was a rush for some to make their tee. The course was in great condition and the wind seemed to calm down slightly in the afternoon. There was an assassination attempt on the 13th green/ 14th tee. While allowing the group in front tee off, I believed I was stood in a safe place. Matt Naylor decided to rifle a drive knee height straight towards me. Doing my best Michael Flatley impression to try a get out of the way, it was a choice between my kneecap, or my golf bag. The bag took the impact, and the leg of which now has a nice bend to show for it. Must have known I was on a decent score.
Congratulations to Col, who managed to beat Martyn in their matchplay, despite the 30 year age gap, and 250 yard gap off the tee. Commiserations Martyn. Congratulations must also go to Mike Bower for victory in the league, and to Dave Hadden for the helix.
Thanks as well to Lee for his contributions as Captain over the past year, a good luck to John for the next season. I look forward to the chaos that ensues!
Thanks and congrats to our two time Captains Day winner, Dan Foode. No more needs to be said.
Arriving at the club it was a pleasant surprise to see the greens in such good nick, there were several mummering’s of “how is this place only £25”.
Bacon butties and coffee were served on individual tables even though people had shared cars which seemed a little odd but all concerns of lonely dining were soon a distant memory when it was realised that this month we would be getting 3 rations of bacon instead of 2.
The front 9 wasn’t the most inventive of course design, up, down, up, down, up, down, i think George Lowe couldn’t be arsed that morning. The back 9 was much better, elevated tee boxes, small firing greens just over ditches, some cracking par 5s and testing par 3s. It wasn’t for the faint hearted and it definitely wasn’t for Kev and Steve Doran, in fact the front 9 wasn’t either (sorry guys). An absolute pleasure to play (smiled all day long) and a personal highlight was when Steve Doran played three off the par 3 tee box, had a shot then hit it into a ditch, my dad then teed off from the elevated green over his head as he was out of view, Steve then found his ball in the ditch, dropped out, chipped on and still had a put for a point! I still haven’t worked that out! haha
Good day out and looking forward to the next event! Steve D