Seniors handicaps go south for the winter

As he comes to the end of his year as captain of the Seniors’ Section, a demob happy Ray Gunston hosted the annual ‘Away Day’ for 38 seniors section golfers at Teignmouth last week.

The fine South Devon course has wonderful river and coastal views, and, due to it’s exposed position, it is never a surprise to see the fairways awash with golfers wearing heavy jackets and woollen hats in July.

However, on this October day, the weather was glorious, the course was in good condition and even the standard of golf was better than patchy! The competition format was Individual Stableford off full handicap, with two prize Divisions: handicaps over 17, and handicaps 17 and under.

The upper category is normally where you find golfers with handicaps slowly easing south but not quite quick enough for the rest.

Bob Winstone is always capable of a good performance and he had an another excellent round, carding 43 points to take first prize in the category, which was also the best score on the day.

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No doubt Bob’s card has been passed on to the club manager for a handicap review. The runner up was John Bainbridge, with 36 points, and, on the subject of generous handicaps, Ray Gunston took third place with 34 points.

This was a good result for Ray, as he has had a particularly stressful few months. Not only keeping a consistent standard on the course and hosting the many events in the seniors’ calendar, but also having to justify Liverpool’s poor results.

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The always popular Dieter Ritz has not been seen quite so much in the clubhouse since his successful year as seniors’ captain two years ago, but he took first prize in the lower handicap category with 40 points, followed by Pop Banfield in second place with 36 points.

Tony Salvidge is very consistent golfer, and also on 36 points he was unlucky to have to settle for third after Pop on a countback. Great company on the golf course, Tony can do no wrong in my eyes for bearing an uncanny resemblance to the great Denis Law, but few can also claim to have been pipped by Pop!

There were also prizes for nearest the pin on the fifth and 16th holes, and I doubt if anyone would have been shocked to discover that Ray Gunston and Pop Banfield had won these two prizes.

The Away Day was completed with the usual banter, excuses and subtle bragging in the clubhouse that is a feature of men’s golf, followed by an excellent dinner and the award of prizes.

Finally, a raffle amongst those present raised the first �111 donation towards the charity fund that will be identified by next year’s club captain in January 2011.

? LADIES - The weather held for the final qualifying round of the season. The Par Competition on Wed was the last game this year that will affect each player’s handicap. From now on it’s for fun, writes Liz Chance

The course was busy and slow play enabled players to deliberate that important shot! Not always a good thing.

For those who persevered they were able to complete the round in the dry and Mavis Vanstone was the winner coming in with +2, followed by Marie Timms with +1 followed by Liz Chance in third place. Well done to Sheila Skittrall scoring the only 2.

Players returned to the clubhouse to discuss the day and fortify themselves with refreshments provided by the new caterers.

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