I’ve mentioned a couple of “starts of the season” before – first white tee competition, the Ponteland friendly – and the Easter weekend saw another three or four.
There was the 32nd Sparrows and Swallows match, first played in 1979. You’d expect the Sparrows, having played throughout the winter, to be victorious, and (as I was reminded by Bill Robinson) in earlier years they had been; indeed all the past captains playing for the Sparrows had led winning teams....a pity they didn’t win their games this year... This year, however, Lord Walton had a very creditable three at the first which set the scene for an easy 4 – 1 victory to the Swallows. I have three defences: Lord Walton is really a Sparrow now (and incidentally I hope I can play half as well if I reach his age); if you look at the Swallows team most of them played regularly throughout winter as well; and the mist was so bad that any local knowledge was irrelevant.A few Sparrows were also at the previous night’s event, which can’t have helped – the Brass Monkeys closing meal and presentation. Trevor Thompson was the year’s winner after an impressive start to the season: I was almost last and winner of the monkey thanks to an unimpressive start but clawed my way up to third from bottom. Food, drink and prizes flowed.
A third event was the first medal competition of the year, the Britten Cup. A medal is hard. Every shot counts, which I suppose is why there are so many of them. My round was OK but two 8’s don’t help. I remember a weekly Sunday newspaper article “Keep a 6 off your card” in the 1970’s; I didn’t play then and I remember it seemed so easy on paper. There were some excellent rounds even given the good conditions: congratulations to Dan Taylor and Dick Little with net 62’s. Handicap reductions to follow, no doubt.
Over 100 people played in the competition reflecting fine weather, Easter, and the fact that new members actually want to play. It will be good if we can keep this number and more entering competitions, as long as they don’t all want birdie money. Having said that, it took just over 3 and a half hours to get round so as always we need to watch the pace of play (I have always wondered why we play 3-balls rather than 4; apparently it’s an R&A recommendation to avoid slow play, but I’m not sure they are experts at club golf).
Also on Saturday was the Ladies Coffee morning to raise funds for Nicky’s charity for the year (Admiral Nurses, part of Dementia UK); as always it seemed well supported and raised a few hundred pounds.
I also spent a bit of time planning my second attempt at a Captain’s Day the following Sunday. At least I thought, the weather can’t be worse than the first one. Especially as it’s a Royal Wedding weekend. But here was the long range forecast on my phone. Hopefully it’s as accurate as most long range forecasts..