WITH the Saturday Stableford at Forest Hills falling foul of the weather, due to the course being deemed unsuitable for competition play, the emphasis focused on the new Captain, Alan Edwards’ drive-in, that was coupled with the first of the new seasons ‘Major’s’, the Derek Parker Trophy, that was a Pairs Better-Ball Stableford.
The bottle of Champagne for the nearest Captain’s Drive, was won by Mark Graham, who, as Alan’s Vice Captain, declined the offer, and as a result, the prize was presented to David Payne, who also correctly assumed that the Captain would not hit it down the middle, or even on the first fairway, and as there was a very vocal shout of ‘Fore Right’ from the tee box, when he carved his tee shot out onto the ninth fairway.
The competition was set up as a shotgun start, and the 36 pairs scattered to all four corners of the course.
The winners were Scott Ayres and Ryan Burris as their score of 43 points, just edged out Dave Adams and Paul ‘Sty’ Williams, and in turn, their score of 42 was good enough to see off the challenge of Paul Gibson and Mike Etheridge on countback.
The remaining minor places were also decided on countback, as Simon Killen and Gary Reddan’s score of 41, was good enough to relegate Lance Malin and Dave Matthews into fifth.
The various nearest-the-pins were claimed by, ‘Sty’ Williams on the 14th, and Chris Norris on the eighth and 17th.
On Monday, Seniors Captain Alan Bridges, held his interpretation of the drive-In, and this differed from the Sunday, if only for the way that the length of his drive was determined.
On Sunday, the winner of the prize was determined by the placement of a lollipop stick, whereas, on Monday, following Alan’s best effort off the first tee, the distance was measured by Gav Butcher with Rangefinder laser, and the winner, David Payne (again) was rewarded by the Captain, with a litre bottle of scotch, for his assumption of how far Alan would launch it.
The course was again utilised for a shot-gun start, as the much anticipated match between The Captain team v Vice Captains team got underway in watery sunshine.
The Captain was accompanied by Club Professional Jamie Dick, and John Humphries who stood in for the Vice Captain, Clive Winward, who is still recovering from a hip replacement, was partnered by Gavin Butcher, and it was John and Gavin who triumphed, 7 & 5, helped in some way by John being in receipt of 23 shots from Jamie. This turned out to be the most emphatic win of the day, as the overall result saw an emphatic win for the Vice Captain by a scoreline of 10.5 - 5.5.
There were various nearest-the-pin prizes on offer, and these were claimed by Mark Graham in two on the 7th, Keith Bell on the 8th, Colin Grindle on the 17th, and Terry Davies in two on the 18th.
At the end of the activities, following some competitive but friendly golf, and then the food and banter, the Captain thanked Paul Gibson and his team, for preparing a course, that belies the amount of rain that has fallen on the Forest of Dean over the last month or so, the ‘house staff’, and the admin team on the day of Roger Hall, Steve Cole and Pete Dovey, before announcing that £152.00 had been raised for his charities, which are the Paediatric Special Care wards at Great Ormond Street and Gloucester Royal Hospitals.
The next social event on the Seniors Calendar is on Monday 11th December. Alan announced that currently 80 people were signed up for lunch, but, there were still some spots available for the 3-club-and-a-Putter competition earlier in the morning.