Excuses aplenty for Sidmouth seniors
The Sidmouth fairways have been warming up nicely in the last few weeks, so no surprise that many of the golf club’s seniors surfaced from hibernation for the April competition on Monday, writes Terry Carter.
This time the fiendish organisers had decided we should manage with only three clubs and a putter.
The format was Stableford with three man teams chosen at random having two scores to count on each hole. Read quickly it sounds harmless, but the average golfer normally requires around 12 clubs and a putter in order to play badly.
Most of us haven’t undertaken meaningful occupation for some years now and are not used to making decisions that matter, so, having to choose which three clubs to carry was a strain. However, minor variations on fairway wood, 7 iron and wedge was a popular choice, with the added bonus that we could blame the clubs if things went wrong.
Mark Laird, Barry Parfitt and Vernon Ruffle took the honours with 84 points, closely followed by Harry Baden, Jerry Dewhurst and Vic McCarthy on 83.
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Jerry was also in the winning team the last time we restricted the number of clubs, and, I understand that, in the face of this overwhelming evidence, all of the above have agreed that they will only ever carry three clubs and a putter in future, leaving more room in their golf bags for refreshments.
From then on, scores were more modest, with Hugh Blagdon, Bob Cook and Steve Kerrigan in third place with 76 points, and fourth place John Townsend, Ken Rothwell and Ken Price with 73.
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As usual on these days, there were prizes for drives nearest the pin on the fourth, and 12th holes. If there had been prizes for drives hit into the left-hand bunker on the fourth and the right-hand bunker on the 12th, most of us would be overjoyed. In the meantime Mike Anderson won on the fourth with a drive to five feet. Peter Emery won on the difficult 12th, although no more information is available. Apparently the tape measure wasn’t long enough to measure the distance from the hole. There was also a twos competition, and Steve Kerrigan was the sole achiever, despite the large number of golfers competing on the day.
Seniors Captain Colin Paddon didn’t manage to win anything this time, although he did tell me he felt a bit stressed and under pressure due to the organisational requirements. Colin had taken it upon himself to play in the first three ball out in order that that he could carry the “nearest the pin” equipment to the fourth and 12th holes, but forgot to collect it.
He obviously had room for the equipment as he was being dragged along by an electric trolley and large golf bag containing just three lonely clubs and a putter. With no available vice-captain he could pull rank on, he had no choice but to run from the fourth to the clubhouse and back for the equipment. Another great day on Sidmouth’s golf course when we were all able to blame not just grass, borrows or bad luck but also the wrong clubs for a poor performance.