Seniors end their season
It was a demob happy Colin Paddon who hosted the final seniors competition of his year as section captain on Monday, and followed this in the evening with the seniors’ traditional Ladies’ Dinner, writes Terry Carter.
The competition was a better ball Stableford with pairs playing off full handicap, and this generous format produced a number of very good scores. The first group, in what was a large list of entries, teed off at 8am before the fairways were properly aired, but with no obstacles ahead to slow the play down. However, golfers in the later groups experienced delays for no obvious reason. Eventually it became clear that in this prematurely named Christmas Competition, some of the early golfers were apparently taking time out to exchange presents and festive greetings.
On a high-scoring day, Dieter Ritz and Ed Bamborough, off 17 and 23 handicaps respectively, earned first prize with an astonishing 53 Stableford points. Their front nine performance securing 24 points was matched by a number of pars, but a one under gross par back nine gave them 29 points and a clear lead. Veteran seniors Barry Jones and David Ridlington also showed consistency, hitting 11 gross pars and one birdie to prove they didn’t really need their 20 and 19 shot handicaps on the day, and hit 49 points. Only one point behind, Graham Vincent and Ken Price took the third prize. They had hit 23 points on the front nine and, like most Sidmouth golfers, improved over the back nine with another 25 points, probably because every step took them closer to the sanctuary of the clubhouse where the bar staff and caterer were waiting to soothe the furrowed brow.
Several hours later the clubhouse was packed for the Ladies Dinner, an opportunity for the seniors to reward our long suffering wives and partners for allowing us to struggle on the golf course when they would no doubt prefer us to stay at home, I think!
Colin Paddon was again in energetic form as he hosted the dinner, having developed an alarming American southern states accent after a couple of weeks holiday in Florida this month. After presenting prizes to the day’s winners, and providing the ladies with attractive pens specifically designed for frivolous cheque writing, Colin thanked all who had supported him during his year before receiving a gift from next year’s seniors captain John Bainbridge in recognition of his successful year.
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The seniors will hold next season’s opening competition and dinner in March, although many of Sidmouth’s golfers will, as usual, be on the course throughout the winter.
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