Good weather greeted the competitors in the 19-28 Handicap Club Championship at Greetham Valley a few days ago. This is a one day competition played on the Lakes course and was won last year by James Ablett who won both the nett and the gross trophies. He was in it again this year and was playing well up to the fifteenth; James thought that he was in with a chance of defending his crown until a very unwelcome eight on the par five sixteenth. James steadied the ship with a par on the next hole but had a disaster on the final hole when a nine on the tough par four eighteenth took him right out of contention, he finished third with a gross ninety eight. Bill Skinner finished in second place two shots better with a ninety six gross.
The winner, Paul Downs, did very well to keep his focus and despite the odd wayward shot stormed to the win with the lowest gross of the day, ninety two, he also won the nett competition. This was a remarkable win considering that Paul, who was a member at Burghley Park for three years, stopped playing golf some eight years ago to concentrate on playing football. With the birth of his first child being quickly followed by a second, Paul couldn’t find time to play football, golf and be a Dad, so golf went out of the window. Paul played football with Stamford Bels and also had a year as first team Manager, he said that he had really enjoyed his football but at the age of thirty eight and the bones creaking a little, golf suddenly seemed a better option.
After his eight year sabbatical Paul returned to golf in April of this year and has already got two trophies and his name on the honours board. He said that he was really pleased with the way that he kept his concentration levels high dropping only nine shots in the first thirteen holes but thought that he had blown it with double bogies on the final two holes. However, gross ninety two was more than good enough to win it. Paul will be entering as many qualifiers as he can in an effort to get his handicap down this year and, who knows, he may even get it down in time for the two day 0-18 Club Championship on the 13th July!
The Seniors under the Captaincy of Rod Wells are having a very successful year; in the recent match away at Whetstone, they had a terrific half and almost won it. The team were four three up with the result dependent upon the last match out, the Whetstone players managed to sink a tough putt on the final hole to snatch a win one up. A few days later Rod and his team welcomed The Leicestershire to Greetham Valley and beat them in wet conditions four and two. Rod said that he has no problem finding players for matches and everybody tries their very best, they have won more games this year than they have halved or lost.
The Seniors May Stableford qualifier was played in very windy conditions, hence the lowness of the scores. Eight handicapper Ken Porter won division one with thirty four points. The next four places were settled on count back as they all came in with thirty three points. John Taylor was awarded second and John Dowding third. David Wallace and Ken Stewart were pushed back into fourth and fifth places respectively. Charles Guttridge playing off twenty won division two with thirty five points. Dennis Cleggett took second with thirty four and twenty two handicapper John Morfee was third with thirty two.
Greetham Valley played host to Burghley Park in the Ladies League match on Saturday. Burghley were already at a disadvantage as they couldn’t field a full team, this meant that Greetham Valley started the match already one game up. The match was played on the Lakes course in warm conditions with very little in the way of wind. The team led by Jackie Friend won three and one, they now look forward to their next league match away to Blankney on the 13th June.
Peter De Kremer, playing in the last group off in the Jubilee Trophy on Monday just pipped the long time club house leader Jack Vernall to the win. Peter playing off seven got off to a bad start with a double bogie on the first but went on to make four birdies and six pars to finish up with thirty eight points beating Jack by one point. Fourteen handicapper Robert Gray was third with thirty five points.