Channing swaps rugby for summer golf at Sidmouth

The Famous Easterbrooks is a three- ball better ball Stableford competition sponsored by Easterbrook Eaton Ltd and commemorates the three famous Easterbrook brothers Syd, Cyril and Algy, writes John Rockey.

The brothers not only had an association with Sidmouth Golf Club, but also, in their prime, were very well known among the golfing fraternity in the UK, particularly Syd who was in the winning Ryder Cup team of 1933, as well as coming third in the British Open the same year. This year, the competition was particularly important for the sponsors as it marked the return to the course, after a lengthy absence following hip surgery, of Chris Timms, who is a director of Easterbrook Eaton.

Conditions were a bit blustery and scoring was not easy, but the first team out early in the day of Michael Knight, Jonathan Lee and Nick Baker managed to score 81 points and see off all the opposition. The scene was set by Jonathan when he holed his approach shot on the first and the team never looked back from there. Two more holed shots from off the 14th green from both Mike Knight and Nick Baker followed, which enabled the team to score 31 points over the last six holes to post their good score. In second place, with 80 points, were George Barber, Dave Bater and Steve Crabb, who were one of the last teams out. They were in with a real chance of winning until they stumbled over the last five holes to be an agonising one point short.

The regular three ball winners of Kevin Legg, Roy Turner and Doug Jones came third with 78 points, suffering, like most teams, over the final holes, where the windy conditions were at their worst. It was good to see new members in the list of prize winners, with Steve Milton collecting the longest drive on the eighth and Josh Barnard finishing nearest to the pin on the fourth.

Glenn Channing, taking advantage of being able to play golf more regularly in the rugby close season, took top honours in the Monday Stableford at Sidmouth, writes John Rockey.

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A steady card of 19 points out, coupled with a very good 21 points home, enabled him to take the honours and earn him a two shot reduction to his handicap.

With his second runner-up spot of the weekend was George Barber, who reached the turn in an impressive 24 points and appeared to have the competition in his hands, being seven shots ahead of everyone on the 13th hole. However, only a point over the next three holes brought him down to earth, but he rescued his score with a 4,3 finish to amass 40 points and just lose out on a countback from Glenn.

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George also had his handicap reduced by two shots and now plays off 15 and has to give his dad a few shots when they play together. Third, with an impressive 39 points and shooting three under par gross, was Devon County Captain Neil Holland. The best score of the day came from Jan Kazimierowicz with 41 points. However, as Jan took the advantage of the new Playing Social Members category, he was not in the official competition.

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