Sidmouth seniors’ sunk at Minehead

PUBLISHED: 12:02 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:02 18 July 2013

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Last week, Sidmouth seniors visited Minehead for one of the more remote away fixtures in their calendar, writes Charles Oram.

The golf course has great views of Exmoor, of the Bristol Channel - and of the neighbouring Butlin’s holiday camp. Butlin’s had its heyday many years ago, but still manages to keep going - rather like senior golfers, in fact!

The contest between the two sides started well for the Sidmouth visitors, when captain Doug Goodall, playing with Colston Herbert, birdied the first hole in the first match of the day.

Alas, it did not last - the Sidmouth pair went down five-and-four. Having holed the Sidmouth flagship beneath the water, the Minehead team then sank most of the rest of the flotilla. There were four more defeats for Sidmouth, but Les Pratt and Ian Brown clung on to the life raft to record a magnificent draw, but overall it was a six-and-a-half to a half triumph for the home side.

Undaunted by the shipwreck at Minehead, Les Pratt and three fellow survivors from the away game were in action on home turf later in the week, when Exminster seniors sent a team to play against Sidmouth.

This was the first fixture against Exminster, so they were an unknown quantity. They do have the advantage of a floodlit, covered driving range and the attentions of no less than four teaching professionals.

It seems that the coaching did not prepare their members for the idiosyncrasies of the local terrain, however, since the home side won all but one of the matches.

Sidmouth were reinforced by the inclusion of two single - handicap golfers. Peter Spooner, playing off nine, partnered Nigel Sharp and gave a master class over most of the back nine, to help secure a four-and-three win for the local duo.

Chris Ashley (off eight) was playing with Brian Cole, and was giving no less than 15 strokes to one of his opponents!

This may explain why the Sidmouth pair found themselves three holes down with thee to play. Despite the handicap burden, however, they won all the remaining holes to draw their game, with Ashley winning the prize for nearest the pin on the last hole.

A win for Sidmouth by five-and-a-half to a half, but the return leg at Exminster is likely to be much more of a challenge. Like fine old wine, Sidmouth seniors do not always travel well!


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