Wednesday 11 October and the day of the Stags Autumn Away Day. A very cloudy day and a promise of rain around two pm. What better incentive to get the Stags round the golf course quickly! We are playing at Kilworth Springs Premier Golf Club. Now this course has the reputation of being less muddy than some we know and it is rumoured that on a clear day, you can see across to the steppes of Russia, across the whole of Europe. Although there was no rain we did have a cold wind coming across from Europe (is this a sign of things to come!) This made playing conditions challenging and I am afraid to say kept the scores lower than they should be. Although come to think of it, Away day scores are always a lot lower than expected.
By the way I suppose it is some time since we had an update on the results of the Stags referendum about 15 months ago. As most of the avid readers will know this referendum was a chance for the old gits to have a moan about incomers from Essex, too complicated rules and regulations and more prizes for the Stags. Now since this momentous day there has been little progress, the rebels have largely been arguing amongst themselves, trying to decide who will lead them, arguing about what sort of deal they want, trying to choose if they have anyone competent enough to negotiate with the bureaucracy, and releasing statements that all will be better soon and that we will soon have a free reciprocal arrangement with Pyongyang golf club. The bureaucracy meanwhile gets on with trying to do a job of organising competitions, looking after the money and producing meaningful statistics that no one reads or is interested in, and letting in more members from Essex.
Anyway, back to Kilworth. This, as many know is an easy course to find, provided that you use a map and don't rely on Mrs Chou en Lai on the satnav. I think she got upset that we diverted from her advice immediately and she got annoyed by repeating many times," if possible do a U turn" - she got her own back however by diverting us through 24 villages whose name I have never heard of, taking us under and over the M6 twenty two times, and deciding that as a perfectly good new road had not been transcribed on to her system, she demanded that we make an immediate U turn. However it was all Tony's fault as if we hadn't added 30 minutes to our journey by going via Cubbington Road we wouldn't have upset her.
We arrived just in time to enjoy a bacon roll and a sort of potato cake which were delicious. In total 36 Stags plus Ron's son turned up to play this prestigious event. A bit disappointing, I thought, as we have nearly 150 stags now . Ron went out in a three ball so managed to keep broadly in touch with the fourball ahead of him. Charles made a a long trip from Wales, perhaps hoping for another six bottles of wine!, but really to tell us how he was getting on finding a new house in Llandudno, it appears there are no houses left that he has not visited in that town. but he has found a house that suits and hopes to move in in November. He is soon trying out two golf courses in Llandudno and as soon as he has joined one will be inviting us all down for a game.
Very challenging conditions faced the Stags but this was designed as a day to learn more about the course as we will be playing Kilworth in matches starting next year and we do not want to be embarrassed, or more embarrassed than we normally are.
The nearest the pin competition as on the 6th. Now this is a difficult enough hole in good conditions, 140 yards into a crater with bunkers surrounding the hole and steep banks of granite at the back of the hole. However today the wind was very strong and directly into our faces. Charles added three clubs for the wind, took off one club for the slope and still managed to drop short of the bunkers. Mick Lloyd, who had two shots on this hole, indeed he seemed to have two shots on a most of the holes, decided that this was his time. A fairway wood was his choice of club and he hit it gloriously rising up and up, catching the wind and dropping like a stone to finish three feet from the pin. needless to say he missed the putt.
The longest drive was on the 15th, a bit of a strange one as this is a dog leg hole. When we got to the tee we could not immediately see the marker and suspected it had not been put out. After we played our shots and were walking up the fairway we espied the said marker. Wow, this must have been some shot with a lot of draw. It turned out to be the shot of Mick Brown , no doubt aided by his supportive team mates, he had managed to hit the ball with venom and side spin to reach the position. What will happen when he can walk?
As I said earlier most of the scores were disappointing, but a few were good in the conditions. Kevin Simmons came fourth with 33 points, ahead on count back from three others on 33, Roy Pickering, who else when cash is involved, and Terry Devlin tied for second place with 35 points, Terry nudging it on count back. But the winner on the day was Bernie Ray, that taciturn and quiet man, who will refrain from boasting about this except when Tony is about to putt. 36 points in those conditions was an achievement, worth boasting about, plus please don't Bernie!
The lunch was good and Mike Gilbey raised £185 for the Captain's Charity with a raffle for a four ball at Sandwell Park.
There was one other prize, for the bravest round. This was won by Terry Wing. it was very brave of him to put his card in !!
Terry also won the four ball so this is why he is happy in the photo!!!
Full scores are as follows