Season Opener Wednesday 27 March 2019
Frilford Heath GC
We had another excellent turnout of 18 for the first main Society golf day of the season. Frilford Heath – near Abingdon in Oxfordshire - had partly been chosen as it’s a good early season course to play and not too wet or too difficult and it’s also close to where the Captain lives! The course is very pleasant throughout – but the second nine was probably more interesting and with the approaches to the greens more challenging. Quite a lot of the greens had been sanded – and they were quite slow – but they generally ran truly. The weather was overcast early on – but improved greatly and we enjoyed bright sunshine for the second half of our round. We met before the round for coffee and a large bacon roll – and after the round we enjoyed beef bolognaise / penne pasta, followed by a very rich, chocolate cake – in honour of Ian Cox’s 80th Birthday. We sang Happy Birthday to Ian – and toasted Ian with the excellent wine that he’d provided. It was great to have Ian with us on such a milestone day in his life – and he is still playing off 20 – and managed 3 Stableford points on all 3 of the Par 3 holes – an excellent effort – and Ian and Richard Newport managed second place in our main competition.
We mainly played a Pairs Stableford competition, with on the first nine, a better ball counting on each hole but on the second nine, both Stableford scores counted. We also had some Nearest the Pin holes for prizes – on all of the par 3s - and a Nearest the Pin in 2 on the short par 4, 18th. But to add a bit more fun to the day, we also had a match between ‘The Oldies’ and ‘The Not Quite So Oldies’! This involved one singles match and four Pairs matches. The Match Play holes were each decided on a better ball Stableford score basis.
It was an excellent start to our season – and this bodes well for the Fitz Golf year ahead. But the day will especially be remembered for Ian Cox’s 80th Birthday!
Mike Hamment, Captain
Pairs Stableford (Better ball on first nine, both balls counting on second nine)
1st: Bryan Pickup and Jon Prichard (49 points)
2nd: Richard Newport and Ian Cox (46 points – on countback just – ahead of Paul Fairweather and Richard Baker).
Match play (Better Ball Stableford on each hole)
Oldies Not Quite So Oldies
Mike Hamment Lost to Pete Bennett
Paul Fairweather / Richard Baker Beat John Uwins / Matt Hignell
Bryan Pickup / Jon Prichard Beat Graham May / Andrew Garden
Richard Newport / Ian Cox Beat Colin Dunkerley / John Coombs
Danny Gesua / Brian Smith Lost to Mike Hall / Martin Holmes
Overall Score: Oldies 3 – Not Quite So Oldies 2 (most matches very close)
Nearest the Pin on the 4th: Pete Bennett
Nearest the Pin on the 9th: Bryan Pickup
Nearest the Pin on the 11th: Bryan Pickup
Nearest the Pin in 2 on the 18th (holed birdie putt to win his match): Jon Prichard