For his second Away Day, Club Captain Jim Wheeler decided to go to a course that most of the Greetham Valley players hadn’t played before, Kettering Golf Club. After a coffee and a bacon buttie, the competition got under way.
Playing in the last group, Bill Skinner won nearest the pin on the first hole, which got him off to a great start and he finished in third place on count back. Mark Haynes also playing in the last group won nearest the pin on the twelfth hole. Fraser Denholm off six won the longest drive and took second place overall on count back from Bill. But the star of the day was five handicapper Graham Smith. Graham ended the day four shots clear of the field to take the win for a unique double – he was also winner of Captain Jim’s away day to Ramsey Golf Club at the start of the year! Graham said that he had really enjoyed the course overall and while the leaf coverage on the fairways made finding balls a little difficult at times, he made special mention of the greens and said that they were some of the best greens that he has played on this year.Vice Captain Trevor Smith said that he would keep the course in mind for one of his away days next year.
Cathy Steele who started playing golf seriously in April with a handicap of thirty, won the last ladies qualifying competition of the year, the Ladies October medal. Cathy had a great score of thirty six points in tough conditions to take the win and the medal. She has dropped six shots off her handicap and ends the year with a handicap of twenty four. Cathy said that she was extremely pleased at the way that she had coped in the conditions but admitted that had she played as she did the day before, she would have been ready to jump into one of Greetham’s many lakes. Bryony Batch was second on count back , pushing nine handicapper Kay Ropson into third place.
Week three of the twenty four week Winter Order of Merit saw yet another first time winner. Mike Watkins stunned the field with a fantastic round that saw him come home with forty one points. Many of the players had struggled in the cold, wet and windy conditions but Mike seemed to take it all in his stride. Second and third were decided on count back as Tony Mould and Alan Bennett both scored forty points. It all went down to the final hole, Tony had a birdie and Alan had “only” parred it. Mike was cut two shots, Tony one and Alan a half.
Steve Anderson retains his lead, not such a good game this week but with sixty points in the bag, enough to keep him ahead of Dave Copley in second with fifty six point five, Dave was fourth for the second time in the series, good points but no handicap cut. Trevor Smith, who won in week one, is in third place with fifty one points, just one point ahead of Mike Watkins in fourth. George Brand takes the final spot in the top five with forty seven and a half. Organiser Neil Harris said that having different winners each week, the middle of the leader board still manages to stay in touch .
After their titanic battle in the Ladies Doubles when Sally Bowker and Sophie Beardsall beat Emma Tipping and Heather Morgan, Sally and Emma met up again in the final knockout competition of the year, the Ladies Singles Final. The front nine was nip and tuck all the way until Emma off two managed to get a hole up after the front nine. Sally, playing off thirteen, struck right back taking the tenth with a net birdie to bring the match back to level. Emma had a birdie on the par three fourteenth but Sally had a net birdie to halve the hole, they also halved the par five fifteenth. Emma got her nose in front again when she won the par five sixteenth but once again Sally hit right back by winning the seventeenth.
The nerves were jangling as they teed up on the eighteenth but the pair stuck to their guns and halved it. Without a pause, they were soon teeing off on the first again as their nineteenth hole, this was also halved. Emma finally won the twentieth to take the title and the match. She said that she was very happy with the win but added that Sally was a fantastic opponent and she had made her work really hard for it. Sally was disappointed but congratulated Emma on a fine game.
The Ladies’ Former Captains’ competition played on the Lakes course had constant wind and at times, constant rain but the Ladies soldiered on despite the conditions. 2011 Captain Jackie Friend had a fantastic front nine and came in with a net seventy seven to take the win. Jackie said that the conditions were very tough but she was delighted with the win. Former Captain and Ladies’ President, Beryl Crosland had chances on both the seventeenth and eighteenth to snatch the win but on each, the putts just lipped out. Beryl came second with seventy eight points.