Cooper, Smith and Sherry land opening Seniors’ win at Sidmouth Golf Club
We all tend to play most of our golf within groups of friends, writes Terry Carter.
However seniors monthly competitions often have partners chosen at random, which is an excellent way of seeing that no new member need ever feel left out, no doubt contributing to Sidmouth’s reputation as a welcoming club.
Monday was no exception when a large field of hopeful golfers enjoyed the glorious weather throughout the day in the first monthly competition of the season. The format was a three-ball Stableford with one score to count on the first six holes, two on the second six and three on the last. Seniors captain for the year John Bainbridge playing off 18 handicap led us off at 8am partnered by Rob Owen off 23, and Hugh
Dorliac off 14.
Hugh did say that he felt extremely honoured to partner the captain but prefers to start in daylight. The fairways may well not have been properly aired but their 75 points card was very respectable if not quite enough. However the early start did mean that Hugh was in good time to take his usual place serving behind the bar, sympathetically paying attention as we straggled in to explain why we hadn’t won.
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Don Cooper, Roy Smith and Mick Sherry won first prize with 83 points, playing off 15, 21 and 22 respectively. Given the build up of pressure, the last six is usually critical to a good score, and yet only two points on the thirteenth hole wasn’t what they were looking for. However they had scored well earlier with 49 points, and steadied over the remaining holes to win well. Past President Peter Emery off 15, Brian Skittrall off 20 and Jerry Dewhurst off 23 took second prize with 80 points to win on a count-back. No doubt due to his executive background Peter didn’t feature much over the front nine holes, preferring to concentrate on the motivation of his two partners. Jerry Dewhurst was a strong point scorer throughout, and his handicap may well lose altitude in the next few days.
Third prize went to Pop Banfield, Mark Laird and Bob Reynolds off 14, 17 and 24. They also hit 80 points but were unlucky to lose out on the count-back by only 2 points. However Mark Laird did have the distinction of having won the Winter Eclectic with a gross 60 and net 51.5, and this gave him another opportunity to shake the captain’s hand and receive another trophy after dinner. Fourth place was earned by Bob Webber, Brian Cole and Vernon Ruffle off 12, 19 and 27 with another impressive 80 points score, although the count-back didn’t work in their favour.
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As usual the opening competition was followed by an excellent meal in a noisy clubhouse, when the prizes were presented by John Bainbridge. John had also invited the Club Captain Paul Hitchcock to join us, and took the opportunity to present Paul with a contribution to his chosen charity, Devon Air Ambulance. This was only the first contribution from the seniors section during his year, and Paul was clearly surprised to receive a cheque for �530 so early in the season. Aware that seniors also take part in wider club activities, he spoke movingly of his gratitude for their support of his year as well as that of previous Club Captains, and following a well-received Captain’s Drive In, his year has started well.