Houghwood Golf Club


The event immediately following the Society Championship can prove to be a bit of a slog and so Houghwood proved to be. The spectacular views out over the coast are a result of altitude and whilst the more sensible members choose one of the many buggies available the majority stuck to walking, a decision most would not make next time round!

There was a wisp of wind and with the light sprinkling of rain draining away down one of the many slopes the course itself was in very good condition. The topography also lead to some interesting shots with elevated fairways, greens and tee boxes throughout requiring good course management and distance control.

We had another strong turn out with a couple of late comers resulting in 25 members competing on the day. With a mean score of 28 in combination with 10 players reaching the 30 point mark the course could be described as fair and proved a good challenge for most. The “Bower-Davies” curse seemed to strike again only for controversy to ensue resulting in an eventual 2 point victory for Andy Davies.

For full schedule see; 2nd June 2019 – Houghwood Golf Club

Long Drive – Dave Hadden

NP – Mike Bower

NP2 – Iain Hitchmough

For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.

The next event is Lymm on the 7th of July however we have the inaugural FFGS Cup taking place from Sunday the 16th to Monday the 17th of June, see you all there!

Islantilla Golf Resort, Spain – Society Championship

The View of a Champion

“This year’s society championship in Islantilla saw 27 guys battling it out for the championship in a lovely resort with some great and challenging golf courses, nice hotel and even better weather. The early warnings of a storm nowhere to be seen!

Barring a few hiccups, (Lee Hardy sat in Barry’s room in his underpants with a bottle of milk lotion) the boys managed to gather on the course for day 1 for a hotly contested first day. 10 people posting a first day score of 30 plus with only a 1 shot lead at the top keeping things close heading into day 2. Day 2 was for the movers, shakers and the club throwers (Frank and Campbell) and the field took shape going into the final day. Ste Davies with an 8 shot lead and the Bower mind games began… Whispers of he’ll bottle it were heard through the corridors until late evening…

The holiday was made that much better by a 3-0 white wash by the mighty Barcelona, unnamed united and Everton fans very smug in their armchairs quietly sipping on their beers. Campbell in no way happy with the result whatsoever!

The buffet evening meals deserve a special shout out and Fish Friday was thoroughly enjoyed by a Mr J Hadden, a full table of crustacean shells told the story.

Day 3 and the boys were in good spirits, some beautiful drives off the first tee and again the sun cream being applied for another hot day.

The previous nights whispers of “bottling it” started to materialise, blob blob start with an 8 shot lead cut down to 4 after 2 holes played! Bower, Clarke and Kirky Snr hot on the heels so much so that the leader had to text home for some inspiration from his dad.

With an early Clarke push, it was Mikey Bower who started to play like a man possessed. If the ball was on the green it was a guaranteed 1 putt from the known chaser. As one person put it that evening, “you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced the wrath of Mike Bower hunting you down”.

Other noticeable shout outs on day 3 was an eagle 2 by Si Davies and a surging 40 pointer by Paul Foode, a 40 pointer which meant D Foode beat his dad overall by 2 points (Dan you can send me that 5er later for that highlighted?)

Playing in converse trainers for the week I managed to fend of the wrath of Bower and Co. and won by 2 points overall with 104 points. Steve Clarke with a mini celebration that I didn’t break his record score after the final hole. 106, can anyone beat it?

Martin Wilson cashed in on the lone backing of myself and Les Hurst won the blind pic.

Good holiday, good times see you all next year, El Champeoni 2019!”

Thanks and congrats to Steve Davies on a fantastic wire to wire win!

See Society Championship 2019, Islantilla, Spain for a gallery of the weekend’s antics.

Bit of a Stat Attack to add to the above;

– 24 members, 3 guests attended
– 83 point scoring average over the 3 days (quite impressive considering the resort)
– Inordinate amount of 2’s! – 9 to be exact (one of which on a par 4 as mentioned above), 6 on the first day!
– 10,000 pints drank (average based on hourly consumption between the hours of 12- 4am on Saturday the 4th of May)

For full schedule see; 2nd- 5th May 2019 – Islantilla Golf Resort, Spain – Society Championship

Long Drive – Phil Draper, Dan Foode, Dan Witterick

NP – Si Davies, Steve Davies, Lee Hardy

NP2 – Steve Davies, John Aylward, Dan Witterick

For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.

See you at Houghwood on the 2nd of June!

West Lancs Golf Club


West Lancs is well known for it’s exposed conditions and with temperatures topping at around 10 degrees and a consistent, stiff breeze the “felt like” temperatures were comfortably into single figures. The course was in good condition with some of the truest greens we’ve played on in recent times, so true you had to attempt to read the wind on the more exposed greens.

As the event was generously subsidised by the treasurer we managed a strong turn out with 25 members competing on the day. Traditionally players are reluctant to score well for fear of a cut in the penultimate event before the championship however West Lancs provides such a challenge the “risk” of high scoring was almost nullified.

Scoring was better than I would have thought with the mean coming in as 27 and a good handful of players breaching the 30 point mark. We had a three way tie for the lead until the winner submitted their card to beat the chasing pack by 3 points with total of 35, congrats to our latest first time winner, Paul Foode.

Playing off 17 Paul earns himself a cut of 1.7 for Spain however with his previous handicap of 17.4 he has only dropped 1 shot in practice (now 15.7), lucky sod. Still worth a bet for the holiday?? We’ve been lucky enough to play 2 tough events in a row therefore cuts have been few and far between. A list of runners for the championship can be found at Society Championship.

There were a number of Matchplay ties on the day, the results of which can be found at Quarter Final.

For full schedule see; 14th Apr 2019 – West Lancs Golf Club

Long Drive – Steve Davies

NP – John Nelson

NP2 – Steve Waddelove

For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.

See you at Islantilla Golf Resort on the 1st of May!

Leasowe Golf Club

Well…we’ve certainly played in more favourable conditions! The wind was forecast at around 48 km/h, now I’m no anemometer but I thought this under egged it somewhat. A number of members lost their cards as they were ripped from their grasp, some sprinted down fairways to retrieve them, Martyn must have chased his 200yds only to lose it later in the round. We also witnessed a few casualties of the trolly variety with one being felled on average every 10 seconds, a thud could be heard in every backswing or putt. To compliment the gale force winds we were treated to a 5 minute spell of hail which managed to claim 4 members who were too disheartened to carry on, that left 20 members battling through the challenging conditions.

The scores were predictably low with both the winning and mean scores (24) being the lowest we’ve had in a long time. The winner by 1 shot with 33 points, was Dan Foode, well done Dan. I can only imagine the wind didn’t effect all those “Stingers” (or do I mean tops?) you usually play? Tactical of course.

There were a number of Matchplay ties on the day, the results of which can be found at Round 2.

For full schedule see; 10th March 2019 – Leasowe Golf Club

Long Drive – Andy Davies

NP – N/ A

NP2 – Dan Foode

For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.

See you at West Lancs Golf Club on the 14th of April.

Wigan Golf Club


Following the recent snowfall, which caused the original date to be postponed, and heavy rainfall in the week, there was some trepidation as to what condition the course would be in. However, it was eminently playable and the weather was fine throughout the day. The lack of a pro shop was a little unusual but did give cause for some humour, there was a shout in the car park just prior to playing that Josh has got no balls, to which comments like ‘tell him to grow a pair’ and ‘we already knew that’ were replied. Apparently, Josh had intended purchasing balls from the pro shop!

Considering the weather there was another strong turn out with 25 members on the day. In line with the current trend scores were high with a whopping 17 members scoring 30 or above resulting in the median creeping up to 32.

Similar to last month the winner was victorious on a back nine countback and quite fittingly, as he was the one who lost on a countback in Leigh, the winner was Dave Hadden. A big congratulations to Dave who wins his maiden event in the Society (his handicap will soon reflect his ability). We also think Dave broke a Society record, winning 27 balls on the day. (Winning – 12, Nearest the Pin – 6, Nearest the Pin in Two – 6, and a Two -3). Josh should be ok for balls next month.

The Wooden Spoon made an actual appearance and was received with grace and humility after a score of 19

Thanks to Vice Lee Hardy for the write up

There were a number of Matchplay ties on the day, the results of which can be found at Round 1 or Round 2

For full schedule see; 10th Feb 2019 – Wigan Golf Club

Long Drive – Simon Davies

NP – Dave Hadden

NP2 – Dave Hadden

For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.

See you at Leasowe Golf Club on the 10th of March.

Leigh Golf Club


Dry weather the week leading up this event meant the course was in remarkably good condition when considering the trepidation we had in relation to playing off fairway mats for course protection. In fact the mats made little difference with most players opting to place in the semi rough unless there was an obvious positional advantage. The weather on the day was near perfect with a very light breeze and only a brief smattering of drizzle that didn’t last more then 30 seconds.

In contrast to last month 14 members managed to break 30 points with a subsequent improvement in the median from 26 to 33, the joint highest in the last 2.5 years. Despite this the winning score was only 5 points above the median showing how close the competition was. The winner snatched victory on countback by a single back-nine point with the congratulations going to Lee Hardy! Well done vice, yet again you’ve become the proud owner of a single figure handicap (on decimals anyway).

We did witness a happening that the society has never seen, certainly not during my years of membership…one society group playing through another! Astonishing.

A more light hearted moment was Paul Foode’s attempt at a joke on the nearest the pin 12th hole. A classic Josh Hadden top off the tee bobbled through the rough only for Paul to comment “Josh, it’s nearest the pin, not nearest the bin” (there was a bin in close proximity to Josh’s ball flight). Shame on you Paul, particularly for giggling to yourself afterwards.

There were a number of Matchplay ties on the day, the results of which can be found at Round 1 or Round 2

For full schedule see; 6th Jan 2019 – Leigh Golf Club

Long Drive – Dave Hadden

NP – Dave Hadden

NP2 – Andy Davies

For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.

See you at Wigan Golf Club on the 3rd of Feb.

Heswall Golf Club


What a lovely day for a round of golf…

….we were treated to some relatively dry weather until the turn when the heavens opened, there wasn’t even much time to put your waterproofs on such was the speed of the onslaught. I can’t remember being on a golf course in such heavy rain for a long time. On the bright side there was some stunning rainbows which seemed to be on every horizon thanks to the extremely changeable weather.

Due to both the changeable conditions and sheer amount of rain the going was tough and ultimately, the round slow. The course itself was in relatively good nick with decent fairways and tee boxes however the greens had suffered from foot fall on soft ground and patches of overgrowth making putting a little bobbly, but as they say, it’s the same for everyone!

There were 25 members on the day, only 6 of which managed to break 30, and with the median at 26, the joint lowest in the last 2.5 years, I don’t know how the top two managed to break away and score as they did. The winner by a single shot coming in with a terrific 39 points was Evan Bale. Well done Evan!

There were a number of Matchplay ties on the day, the results of which can be found at Round 1 or Round 2

For full schedule see; 9th Dec 2018 – Heswall Golf Club

Long Drive – Zach Jones

NP – Simon Warne

NP2 – Simon Davies

For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.

FFGS wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!! See you at Leigh Golf Club on the 6th of January 2019!

Chester Golf Club

The most accurate description of this course is “Tree Lined”…very tree lined. Those who strayed off the tee weren’t punished by drop shots from hazards but a psychologically exhausting search for their balls under a myriad of leaves with the result an inevitable chip out or Seve style approach shot to the green. Alternatively you could just by-pass the trees completely and play from the next fairway, I witnessed the most obtuse angle of approach to a par 5 green I’ve ever seen, 100yds at 90 degrees!  As for the greens I thought they were immaculate for this time of year, quick, true and awarded a good feel for pace.

We had a strong turn out this month with 26 members, the field generally scored well with the second lowest score being 25 points and a good percentage above the magic 30 point mark. With the final groups coming in it looked like the winning score would be in the high 30’s but a player blew everyone away with the joint highest score since we starting keeping track 9 years ago, all off a handicap of 16. The winner with a round of 45 points was Simon Davies, belting performance. I can’t remember anyone winning by 7 clear shots in a field of 26 players so goes to show just how good that 45 was.

For the spoon I would like to remind everyone of the sterling review we gave this player last month, “Although there were a number of strong performances one of our more decorated members did his usual trick of tearing up the course which was epitomised by two 2’s. With a winning score of 40 points (off 13!)….soon enough I’m sure you’ll find a handicap that represents your general level of play however before that you’ll have to keep upsizing that trophy cabinet!” HOW WRONG WE WERE. The spoon was won with 17 points, 8* clear of the closest competitor!

There were a number of Matchplay ties on the day, the results of which can be found at Round 1.

For full schedule see; 4th Nov 2018 – Chester Golf Club

Long Drive – Martyn Wilson (aka Alex W)

NP – Mike Bower

NP2 – Lee Hardy

For current League, Helix and Matchplay standings see Current Season.

See you all at Heswall Golf Club on the 9th of December!

*Biggest margin ever seen!

2017/ 2018 FFGS AGM – Notes from the Secretary


Sunday 7th October 2018, Sale Golf Club, 22 in attendance (66%).

Agenda Item

1.      Colin and Lee welcomed everybody to the meeting.
2.      The Secretary’s report. A wide and varied range of courses have been played this year taking in most of the neighbouring counties. The health of the society was highlighted by the high attendance at nearly all the meetings held, with an average attendance at 25 (23 members 2 guests), and the Committee have been able to keep the average cost of our golf below £35. Members were asked for suggestions of courses they would like to play or any they particularly don’t want to visit again, but the general census from the floor was that all the courses were enjoyable and we should continue in the same vein next year.
3.      Treasurers report. The treasurer produced the balance sheet for this year and despite a big hole being made by the award of the hole-in-one prize, the finances of the society are still healthy. It was agreed that the subscriptions should remain at £5 per month (£60 per year). The accounts have been audited throughout the year and the final accounts will be audited shortly.
4.      Approval of the Society’s constitution. The reasons behind the need to formalise the constitution were explained by the Secretary and copies of the draft constitution had been circulated to all members before the meeting for comment. The draft constitution was unanimously agreed and adopted.
5. Election of Officers. The Captain has been appointed in a separate vote. The Secretary and Treasurer were prepared to stay on for another year and in the absence of any challengers, no vote was taken and Evan and Bill will continue to act in these roles. However, the Treasurer does not wish to continue in post for the following year (2019-2020) so we will be looking for a volunteer during the course of the year. It was agreed that Mike Bower would stay on as one of the members representatives on the Committee but Phil advised that John Nelson was willing to take his place and he would stand down. As John wasn’t there to contradict Phil, he was voted on unanimously! A big vote of thanks to Phil for the work he has done over the past year and no doubt his services will be called upon again in the future.

a.      The proposal for a team competition was welcomed but the actual format was subject to a lengthy discussion. It was agreed that the feasibility of an additional meeting during the year for a Ryder cup event would be investigated and Vice-Captain Lee Hardy would act as focus.
b.      Proposed points league for the coming year. After a lengthy discussion a vote was taken and it was agreed that we would continue with the current Stableford points system again next year. However it was felt that 6 qualifying scores was a bit low and that we should go to 8. This was adopted after a vote.
c.      New Voting arrangements. A vote was taken and it was agreed that the voting outlined in the Constitution should be maintained.
d.      Presentation Night. All confirmed for the Riva Lounge and Bill will be confirming arrangements separately.
e.      Buffer to be applied to handicaps. Mike Bower suggested that we introduce a buffer system to the calculation of handicaps in line with the practice of many golf clubs. Members were content with the current system and that the current system was easy to understand and the same for everybody, and the proposal not adopted after a vote.
f.      The meeting voted to re-establish the hole-in-one prize and for it to be set at £250 and that increasing this should be reviewed at each AGM if finances allow.
g.      Steve Clarke confirmed that the 21st Anniversary event for May 2020 is still on the cards and members should start saving both funds and brownie points as it will be held over a week.

Meeting closed by the Secretary at 1805.