Sidmouth course not for the faint-hearted

Sidmouth’s golf course wasn’t a place for the faint-hearted on Monday, as a large field played in the annual Yellow Ball Competition, writes Terry Carter.

The format is a three-man team better ball, with each golfer taking his turn playing a hole with a yellow ball. Points scored with the yellow ball are doubled, which does wonders for morale if the user scores well when he has it. However, if he loses the ball, the opportunity for double points is lost for the remainder of the round, and friendships have perished for less.

If that wasn’t enough to unsettle the nerves, the wet conditions didn’t help, although the incessant drizzle did bring back happy childhood memories for those of us from the West of Scotland!

As the teams returned to the clubhouse, the top scores were around 90+, with Mick Munro, Mike Teague and John Sanders in the lead with 96 points. Roger Bawden, Tony Willson and Ken Price took the lead with 99 points, with Bawden also hitting a birdie on the par three fourth hole for the “nearest the pin” wine.

As usual there was another “nearest the pin” prize, this time on the 17th, and Barry Jones was rewarded for a fine second shot to the green. One or two of us shared a table with him in the clubhouse, and we couldn’t have been more fulsome in our praise. However, he still wouldn’t open the wine, but insisted on taking it home for management.

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David Lane has been pacing himself recently and, teamed with Charles Brown and Charles Oram, achieved an impressive 103 points to take the lead in the clubhouse with only a handful of teams still to finish.

Inevitably, a number of teams had lost their yellow ball during the round, a few lost early, which will have reduced their chances significantly, but some late in the round, which would have had only a modest impact on their points totals.

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For the second time in two days it was in injury time that a late winner shook some of us. On this golfing occasion Mark Laird, Mike Fisher and Mick Sherry, in the penultimate game on the course, hit an outstanding 124 points to take first prize. Following the presentation of prizes to the winners of first, second, third and fourth teams, the day ended well when the section held a raffle of four green fees for Crediton Golf Course to raise another �108 for club captain Paul Hitchcock’s chosen charity, Devon Air Ambulance.


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