TOUR DAY 2 - SAUNTON
On the Monday we played at Saunton East – an extremely highly rated course, which still holds many prestigious events and perhaps could have held the British Open, if it was in a more accessible location. The course winds its way through the dunes and each hole is beautifully shaped – the fairways were in great condition – as were the very interesting greens. The course is difficult – especially as there are only two par fives and three par threes. There are many quite lengthy par fours – even from the yellow tees. But we did play Saunton East on another beautiful day in quite benign conditions. I did regret not having the time before playing in putting some sun screen on! There were 22 playing at Saunton East – a great attendance – and including two lady guests – Ian Rosser’s sister, Julie and her friend, Jayne – and as usual the ladies were excellent company and were amongst the prizes! And generally a great time was had by all that day at Saunton.
But the day was still young – after the golf was over! A walk through the dunes and on to Saunton beach, near Crow Point was on offer – and there were six takers – including our social guests on Tour – Gerry Tucker and Ken Coulson. It was a great walk in still lovely weather. But most declined the offer – and instead went straight to Ian’s (and his wife Geunor’s) house in Braunton – to enjoy pre dinner drinks on their terrace – again with marvellous views over the coastline – before the heavens opened and we all took cover inside the house. Thank you very much – Ian and Geunor - for your very kind hospitality.
Then it was back to Barnstaple and to our meal at 7.45 pm at the Everest Ghurka Chef – a tiny Nepalese restaurant / takeaway near to the Royal & Fortescue. Some wondered what exactly they were letting themselves in for – when they got inside the restaurant – and indeed we were all (21 of us) crammed in – and took over the whole place. So it didn’t matter that we were all quite rowdy! And the food was absolutely first class – especially the main courses which seemed to keep on coming - and partly also because it’s a BYOB restaurant – it was extremely good value. I have to say that getting the meals right – is probably one of the most important parts of organising the golf tour – and fortunately the Everest Ghurka Chef was a real culinary highlight. I was greatly assisted before and during the meal by my local friend, Rob Crabb – who has an excellent relationship with the restaurant owner, Milan. After the meal – again we didn’t last long back in the Royal & Fortescue bar. It had been another long day! Everyone goes to bed extremely tired on my Tours!
Results at Saunton East:
Better Ball Stableford Pairs competition:
42 points – John Coombs & Andrew Coombs (guest)
40 points – Julie Rotchell (guest) & Jayne Begley (guest)
39 points – John Uwins & David Williams and Matt Hignell & Andrew Garden
38 Points – Mike Hamment & Bob Barltrop
37 points – Stuart Lester & Charlie Brown
35 points – Richard Baker & Ian Rosser
34 points – Brian Smith & Graham May
32 points – Colin Dunkerley & Pete Bennett and Austin Jessop & Richard Newport
29 points – Alan Wood & Ian Hall
Nearest the pin 5th: Julie Rotchell (nice shot on the aptly named and very tricky hole - Tiddler)
Nearest the pin in 2 10th: Ian Rosser (great shot into about 2 feet – on this high plateau green)
Nearest the pin 13th: Mike Hamment (not many could hold this very tricky green)
Nearest the pin 17th: Pete Bennett (good shot on this long par 3)
Longest drive 18th: Andrew Coombs (hit a country mile - I thought at first that they’d forgotten to put the marker out as I walked a very long way down the fairway!)