Ninety two competitors from twenty six different golf clubs, from Woburn to Scunthorpe, attended Greetham Valley’s 2015 Mixed Open sponsored by Oakham based travel company Savvitravel at the weekend. The day was warm, with no rain and a breeze that moved from cooling to two clubs plus during the day. Played on the Lakes course off yellow and red tees, the best scores came from the early competitors before the wind really took hold.
Click here for full Mixed Open 2015 scoreboard.
Prizes were awarded to the top three and the best away pairing. Mark Dutton and Cathy Cooper from St. Ives took the honours for the away team with 41 points. Competition Secretary Peter Wood and his sister Pat Dominey, who is Lady Captain at Basingstoke Golf Club, were third on countback. Second place went to Greetham Valley former Seniors’ Captain David Wallace and his partner Fay Allison from Brampton Park, both pairs came in with 42 points. First place went to their playing partners Colin Allison and former Greetham Valley Lady Captain Jackie Friend, they scored a brilliant 44 points.
Nearest the pins on the twelfth went to our own Gilly Grant and John Stevensonfrom Lakeside Lodge. Kay Anderson of Chesterfield Golf Club was closest to the pin in two on the eighteenth and Greetham Valley’s Neil Upton took the prize for the men.
As many who have organised similar events in the past will know, it does not just happens on the day. A successful event like this can only be achieved with a lot of forward planning and a great deal of help from a variety of people behind the scenes. Peter Wood and his wife Tina worked throughout Friday ensuring that all the cards were made up and that the format for the day was printed out for each competitor.
They and Ladies’ Competition Secretary Gilly Grant also booked everybody in.
Elizabeth Wardhaugh, wife of Secretary Radley, Tina Wood and Ladies’ Vice CaptainSusie Ellis ran a busy halfway house with delicious cakes supplied by Elizabeth, Liz Haughton and Jackie Friend.
Ladies’ Captain Cathy Steele said that the size of the Mixed Open competition grows year by year as its’ reputation spreads. She said that many competitors who have been coming to Greetham Valley for several years have enthused about it so much that some of their club members also now attend. Many have already booked in for next year’s Open as they not only enjoy the venue but remark upon how well the day is organised. Cathy went on to praise the organisers and volunteers whose hard work made the day such a success.
The Men’s Weekend Stableford was a bit of a tight affair. Normally if you were to score 45 points on the Valley course you would look forward to getting your handicap cut, picking up your winnings and perhaps splurging out on a small glass of something at the bar to celebrate. 45 points this weekend however would only get you into the countback club as the top four all had the same score.
Up and coming junior Luc Afflec took fourth place and was cut to twenty three. David Bull was cut to fifteen and took second place. Rob Jerram, who won the 19-28 Championship only a couple of weeks ago, had two goals, the first was to try to win the competition but his overriding aim was to get his handicap cut to eighteen or below so that he can enter the 0-18 two day Club Championships in July. He lost out on the win having to be content with second but achieved his handicap cut to eighteen and lost no time in entering the Championships.
The win went to Bill Guest who, strangely enough, had exactly the same aims as Rob. For the past couple of months Bill has been a regular visitor to the door of Greetham Valley’s Pro Neil Curtis. Bill said that Neil had to change several things in his swing and his short game. He admits to finding it tough to adapt to them but at the weekend it all came together for him. He said that he drove really well, his irons were very consistent and his putting is improving. Bill said that one of his best holes was the par four fourteenth. He hit his drive slightly offline and had to take his second shot over trees from 120 yards to get at the flag, he came off with a great birdie.
The sixteenth is a tough par three to a three tiered green, but Bill made it look easy, placing his eight iron shot to within six foot to claim his second birdie. Full of adrenaline, he hit his drive well offline into the trees on the left of the seventeenth and spent several fruitless minutes trying to find it. This and a couple of other errors on the hole led to a blob to blight an otherwise great card.
At this stage, Bill’s only thought was to hit the middle of the green on the eighteenth to give him a chance of a par to rescue his round. An easy nine iron, a putt close to the cup and a simple pop in was all that was needed to bring his round to a successful conclusion.
Bill said that when he saw the other scores coming in, he had a very anxious overnight wait for the result. He was very pleased to accomplish both of his goals but was annoyed with himself at his moment of madness on the seventeenth. He knows that he will have to improve his course management now that he has been cut to eighteen and qualifies for the club championships.
Just seven ladies were able to take part in the Weekend Stableford, which was also on the Valley course. Jackie Friend was a model of consistency and took the win with 36 points. Nine handicapper Kay Ropson was second on countback from Annie McCulloch, both ladies scored 32 points.
The Valley course was also the venue for the Stan Holden Trophy on Monday. Stan was a long time Greetham Valley member and is remembered fondly by many in the Seniors’ section. Stan passed away while playing with friends at North Shore a few years ago and this competition is a fitting tribute to his memory.
On a day of sun, wind and occasional rain, scoring was always going to be tight. Neil Bradbury and Stuart Doddwere third and fourth on countback after scoring 39 points. Ten handicapper Neil Lowndes took second place with 40 points, a very good score in the conditions.
The trophy and the win went to Keith Childs who scored 42 points and was cut to twenty one. Keith had a bit of brain fade as he packed his wife off to work and his son off to school that morning, he had forgotten that he was playing in the competition until he caught a glimpse of his diary. A bit of a mad rush to the first tee resulted in a seven and no points on the first hole. Keith soon settled down to it and rattled off four pars in the next eight holes plus a bogie or two to garner 20 points for the front nine. A good back nine followed to take the win, he was cut to twenty one.
Keith said that after hearing of Stan’s standing in the club and the history of the trophy he was proud to have become its latest recipient. He is not so sure that Greetham Valley Pro Neil Curtis will be so happy with him. Keith won the Lombard Trophy qualifier a couple of weeks ago and he is playing with Neil in the final for the Trophy in a week or so’s time.
The June Midweek Stableford was held on the Lakes course in fairly reasonable conditions. Not too cold, not very windy, and dry. In a week of very tight scoring in competitions, the top three all scored 38 points. Carl Harris was third, dropping only eight shots in his round and was cut to nine. Steve Orton had a rather unfortunate blob on the sixteenth and was placed second. Ian Brocklehurst took first place thanks to a birdie on the twelfth and pars on the last two holes.
Bill Skinner and playing partner Peter Key played their Pairs Knockout on the Valley course against Chris Howe and Chris Tapsell over the weekend. They were all level after fifteen holes when Bill put his iron shot to within six foot of the pin on the sixteenth. Chris Howe stepped up and hit his nine iron onto the green even closer to the flag, it bounced once, had a slight check then disappeared into the hole for a fantastic hole in one! This put Chris and his partner one up in the match. They were still one up on the eighteenth when Peter dropped a twenty foot putt to take them into extra holes. They finally finished four holes later with team Chris taking the victory. Chris Howe, who has been playing very well this year, said winning against tough opposition and moving into the next round was very pleasing but getting a hole in one along the way was just really nice icing on the cake.