THINGS got back to normal at Forest Hills last week, when the Seniors got things moving on Thursday morning,with their latest “Major”, the Coutts Cup, a white tee medal which was scheduled in May.
The weather forecasters, who obviously had little notion of what was actually going on in Coleford, resulted in few no-shows, but instead of the heavy rain that we were told to expect, only a on-and-off mizzle hampered the progress of the entrants.
Despite those meteorological doom-mongers and their misguided predictions, the hardier majority still found the greens lightening fast and true.
However good scores were hard to come by, as only Gerald Woodley managed to better a score of par.
His return of 87-16-71, won him the trophy, as he finished one shot ahead of Captain Keeble, when he recorded a level par 72. Roger Ovett was third with 74 on countback from John Watkins.
Unusually for a white tee medal, six players managed to make a claim on the twos kitty, resulting in John Auton, Gary Davies, Brian L Evans, David Gardiner, Steve Keepax and Geoff Norris having their bar account enhanced to the tune of £6.50.
This year’s Committee Away Day, was, for the first time, by default, held at Forest Hills on Friday, and the trophy was won by Fixtures Secretary Mark Graham, whose level par 36 points, was good enough to pip Kev Doyle into second place on count back, with John Watkins third with 33.
The Saturday Stableford, attracted over 50 entries, and the winner of Division One was Jaques Macinnes with 38 points. Rowland Joyce was second with 37, and Ady Brown third on 36.
Robin Revill won Division Two with 37, finishing two points ahead of Alastair Timms, who in turn was a shot clear of Mark Tyler, who finished on 34.
Vice Captain Alan Edwards led the B Team on Saturday afternoon, as they entertained Cotswold Hills in their latest North Gloucestershire Foursome League fixture.
In the opener, Alan and Dave Cole lost 3 & 2, before Jamie Kear and Ryan Dawson managed a close one-up win, as they shook hands on the 18th green.
Derek Freeman-Jones and Matt Yemm followed up with 4 & 3 win, and Dan Rees and Patrick Simcoe secured at least a half, as they managed a close fought 2 & 1 win.
Keelan Reddan and Frazer Freeman-Jones secured the overall win, as they shook hands on the 16th winning 3 & 2.
Tom Knight and Jacob Turner lost the last match, that left the overall scoreline of : Forest Hills 4-2 Cotswold Hills.
Sunday, saw the 2023 Club Championship take place, and following the morning first round, the leader was Scott Ayers who came in with a two under par score of 70. He was one shot ahead of 2022 champion Lee Hanson, who finished with a 71, and who was four under par for his final 5 holes.
There were then eight players within five shots of the lead, as “Sty” Williams, Josh Goode, Ted Ballard and Gavin Butcher finished on 74, Conor Burris with 75 and Mike Burris and Will Smith on 76.
As per tradition, the leaders were last out in the second round, and the final result was in doubt until the last putt was holed.
The second round scores were close, as Scott was five over on the front nine, but level on the back in his total of 77, Gavin Butcher was three under after the front nine and a double bogey on the 14th, temporarily curtailed his ambitions
But a birdie three on the 18th set up a tense finish. Other scores of: Lee Hanson 77, Ted Ballard 75, Stu Hardy 75 and “Sty” Williams 77, resulted in a sudden death play off featuring Scott and Gavin as they both finished with a five over par gross of 147.
Congratulations to Scott Ayers, who parred the first extra hole, against a bogey five for a gallant runner up Gavin Butcher.
The Nett Trophy was won by Lee Hanson, with a level par total of 144.
Extreme thanks go to the Handicap committee, particularly John Watkins and Kev Doyle, for their organisation of a fantastic day.
Running behind the Club Championship, was the Macullan Individual White Tee Stableford, which was played on the same course, and outstanding scores were hard to come by.
Countback was needed to determine the winner, and it was Matt Yemm, who came in with a level par 36 points, to pip Steve Giles into second place, with Tom Knight in third place with 35, again on countback, from Josh Groves, Mark Wood and Terry Davies.
The golfing week at Forest Hills was concluded on Monday, as 52 Seniors took to a course, that was still set up following the Club Championships the day before, and there wasn’t the merest hint of ‘after the Lord Mayor’s Show’.
Ghostly echoes that had greeted the climax of the previous evening, were still evident at the scene of the denouement of the big boys’ competition.
Unfortunately for some of the Seniors, the speed of the greens still required absolute precision. This issue may have been the cause of many of the Reverse Cha Cha Cha players completing their rounds with rather red faces, the glorious sunshine may also have played a part.
The winners were Chris Dovey, Andy Shenton, John Moore and Keith Hurd, as they came in with 84 points, which was 12 under par.
They finished thee shots ahead of Barry Klein, Terry Hook, Alex Harvey and John Skinner, who pipped Pete Dovey, Nigel Green, Colin White and Terry Davies into third place on countback.
As well as featuring in the top two places on the podium, Alex Harvey and Andy Shenton also shared the two’s kitty, as they pocketed £22 each for birdieing the 14th.