Devon Air Ambulance benefits from seniors’ golf

Sidmouth Golf Club held the Annual Seniors Open on Monday, and a large field including teams from across the region participated, writes Terry Carter,

The greens staff again produced a course in excellent condition and the fine weather on the day must have confused weather forecasters. Despite all of this and a comfortable better ball two-from-three-to- count format, good scores were difficult to achieve.

With all three playing off handicaps of 10 and under, the Tiverton team of John Court, John Sargeant and Richard Furlonger took first place to win the visitors’ Silver Salver with 79 points. All three members of the team also won ‘nearest the pin’ prizes on the fifth, 11th and 14th holes to complete a productive day out by the seaside for the Mid Devon golfers.

Second prize for visitors went to Honiton’s Bob Cleal, Jim Wallis and Vic Wood playing off 18, 9 and 10 respectively with 78 points, setting down a marker for the home teams. The best of these featured Tony Crow, Bob Winston and Derek Geear off 13, 18 and 26 handicaps, who hit 79 for the top home team prize. Interestingly, the winning visitor teams were dominated by low handicappers whereas only one of the many home players played off a single figure handicap. Maybe the visitors didn’t know how tough our course is!

Bob Johnston, John Carroll and Roy Smith off 14,19, and 22 took the home runners-up prize with 76 points, one better than Rod Wallace, Ray Gunston and Charles Oram off 12, 20 and 28 handicaps. This team raced round and scored 75 points for third prize on a countback.

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I understand they also entered into the spirit of the day by wearing golf shirts with the logo ‘A fast game is a good game’ on the back.

This wasn’t just an excellent day for home golfers and visitors but yet another productive one for the club captain’s charity, Devon Air Ambulance. The usual raffle raised �172, and the first prize of a round of golf for four at Honiton was won by Ray Gunston who will probably invite me and his two partners to join him.. When he spoke prior to the prize giving, seniors’ captain John Bainbridge paid tribute to Anne Blackler and her ladies’ section for acting as ball spotters throughout the day.

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Peter Emery also fulfilled the role of starter, undertaken at short notice when the appointed starter had to return to Ottery St Mary as he had forgotten to pack his golf clubs. The previous day the same person had tried to wear his wife’s jacket at dinner in the clubhouse, has in the past driven to the wrong venue for a seniors match just like me, and then suffered the usual banter in the clubhouse. It can happen to anyone, I think.

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