Golf round-up: The latest news from Harrogate & district's courses
Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote about ‘water, water everywhere’ in his poem, The Ancient Mariner, and Flanders and Swann sang the words ‘mud, mud glorious mud’ in their Hippopotamus song.
Those images appear so apt at present as we contend with what seems to be a never-ending deluge.
The greenkeepers and competitions teams have finger crossed permanently hoping to declare a course open for play.
They were relieved to get the delayed play-off for the Annual Medal, played on the last Sunday of October.
Congratulations go to Richard Geary in Division One, winner of the Burrows Nussey Cup, and Matthew Wilfen in Division Two, winner of the Ernest March Trophy, In Division Three, Eric Chapman bagged the Stewart Cup.
Despite the ‘course closed’ notice becoming a near-permanent feature, 13 holes were eventually found to be playable on inspection and therefore the first round of the Winter League (Stableford) was able to go ahead.
As expected, the rain continued, so the 84 players who entered and scored so well should be applauded.
The pick of those scores was the 31 points bagged Paul Mitchell as he won Division One. John Waddicor triumphed in Division Two with a par beating 27 points, while Steve Edmundson’s par score of 26 points earned him the Division Three crown.
Results: Division One - 1st P. Mitchell (7), 31 pts; 2nd J. Clarkson (9), 28 pts; 3rd S. Bainbridge (7), 27 pts.
Division Two - 1st J. Waddicor (17), 27 pts; 2nd T. North (13), 26 pts; 3rd D. Walkinshaw (13), 25 pts.
Division Three - 1st S. Edmundson (20), 26 pts; 2nd W. Bailey (30), 25 pts; 3rd P. Rhodes (19), 23 pts. (bb9).
In days when finding playable holes requires a gambler’s nimbleness and luck, it was credit to the greens crew that Saturday’s Pro Stableford sustained a full 18.
Not that the playing surface didn’t set everyone a testing time. But for the second successive Pro Stableford, David McIntyre (8) rose best to the challenge, shooting 39 in Division One to exceed his winning score two weeks earlier by three points.
Avoid the leaves, the trees and the chunky rough and as McIntyre acknowledged the greens “held up very well”.
A couple of bogies at the first and second were offset immediately with two back to back birdies.
At the short third, his wedge to 20 feet was sunk first time and at the par four fourth he lofted a sand iron to 15 feet to convert another birdie.
Single putts from six, eight and 10 feet at the sixth, seventh and eighth holes nailed great up-and-downs for pars. His only three-putt of the day, at the ninth, still left him 20 points to the good half way round.
After a run of more pars, his only double bogey of the round came at the stroke one 15th but another birdie at the long 17th ensured his victory on countback from Steve Bradley (2)
In a superb front nine, he hit four birdies, three of them in a row at seven, eight and nine.
Three bogeys on the back nine just cost him the win.
Carl Peirson (1), with five birdies on the front nine, also rounded the halfway at four under but bogeys on the last three holes left him on 37 points in third place.
When he topped his tee shot and saw it disappear into brambles on the the third, John Tonkinson (19) nevertheless salvaged a point after reloading to gain a point. A sign of things to come?
Seemingly not as he took occasional, legal opportunity to pick and clean balls from plugged lies on soggier parts of the fairways.
All three in his partnership also took care to watch each others’ shot like Hawkes to ensure they were found among the sopping leaves.
Canny observation helped. Like when he watched a partner’s long curving shot to the hole on the 15th just halt at the hole.
Tonkinson took much the same route but with a degree more weight that saw it drop for par points. He closed out his round with 38 points to lead division two from Ben Doherty (18) on the countback with Mark Whitaker (16) third on 37.
With winter golf now the order of the day, Saturday November 11th was the date for a four ball better ball Open Stableford played over 13 holes.
In total, 52 pairs entered the competition on wet but fully playable ground with members particularly complimentary about the quality of the greens.
32 points was the nominal par which was achieved by 40 of the competing pairs. It was Phil Stott and David Howes who were home early with an impressive 41 points which was never threatened all day. Second with 39 points were Oliver and Simon Mantle and just one point behind in third were Craig Hunter and Gary Macnair.
On Tuesday November 7th the ladies played a Tri-Am team event. The scoring format was one score to count holes 1- 4, two to count holes 5,6,7 & 13 and all three players scores to count holes 14 – 18.
This turned out to be a closely fought contest with the top score of 44 points needing a card count to decide the top two places.
Carole Whiles, Gerry Callendar and Alison Stratford just edged out the trio of Ladies’ Captain Clare Davies, Julie Smith, and Claire Hutchinson. Just one point behind in third were Sue Wilby, Rebecca Booth and Katie Burke.
While heavy rain across the district all week saw very little golf due to course closures, Pannal members were able to enjoy a Dubai Stableford over 13 holes on Saturday November 4th.
Played in teams of four, the scoring system was two players to score on the first four holes, three on the next four and all four on the final five holes.
In total, 56 players entered the competition in 14 teams where a team par score at each hole would generate a score of 80 points. Seven teams bettered this potential with just two points separating the teams in second, third and fourth place.
Third place went to Nigel Wright, Roger Emmett, David Wilby and Gareth Whiles with 83 points. One point better on 84 were Derek Hufton, Brian Hamilton, Alan Morris and Roy Woodburn.
But, the clear winners with an outstanding 93 points, 9 ahead of the field, were Nigel Brown, Tim Considine, Craig Eastwood and Chris Booth.
Harrogate & District Union
The fourth round of the Union’s Winter Series was held at Bedale GC on Wednesday October 25.
The format was a three-player team scramble. Team handicap was 1/6 of the combined handicaps. A limit of 24 (men) and 30 (women) was applied before calculating playing handicaps.
Playing handicaps were also adjusted because men were playing off yellow tees and women off the red tees. There were six women playing in the competition.
The men’s pars and stroke index were used for scoring.
As the last slot in the field was free, an entry from a home club team was accepted just before competition started.
Leaders at game nine were Mark Parker, Marcus Bowsher and Richard Cassells-Smith (Oakdale) 66-09=57. Doig, Chiu and Fantoni (Ripon) were second on 68-08=60 and Mcrobert, Reynard and Wentworth, third, with a score of 66 – 04 = 62.
At game 24, a better back-nine score of 68 - 08 = 60 took Hardaker, Woods and Warren (Otley) into second place. The last two teams in the field, both of home club players, also returned gross scores of 60, with final placings decided on a last nine holes count-back.
Results: 1st Parker, Bowsher and Cassells-Smith (Oakdale) 66 - 09 = 57; 2nd David Munton, Bill Barclay and Ian Smith (Bedale) 66 – 06 = 60 with a better back 9 gross 31;3rd Al Aurelius, Karolina Aurelius and Stuart Jackson (Bedale) 67-07=60 with a back 9 gross of 33.
A worthwhile and profitable day for the late entry team of Munton, Barclay and Smith.
Ilkley GC hosted the Union’s sixth winter event on Wednesday November 8. Fortunately, the rain that had caused the cancellation of the scheduled fifth event at Pannal a week previous stopped in time for this competition to take place with a carry-only restriction.
The format was a three-player team stableford with two scores to count on all holes other than the par-threes, where all three scores were to count.
Games five, six and seven saw Gary Hunt, Andy Langford and Ben Smith (Romanby) go top on 79 points with Peter Brown, Paul Donalson and Paul Hepworth (Oakdale) second on 77 points and Dale, Whittington and Warburton (Oakdale) third on 74 points.
These were the top three scores until game 24 when Jones, Clough and Clough (Ripon) moved into third place on 76 points. They in turn were moved down the leaderboard when the last team out, Andy Howard, Karl Thomson and Chris Archer (Otley) returned a score of 77 points.
Results: 1st Hunt, Langford and Smith (Romanby) 79 pts, 2nd Howard, Thomson and Archer (Otley) – 77 pts (last 9 holes), 3rd Brown, Donaldson and Hepworth (Oakdale) - 77 pts and 4th Tim Jones (Rip), Neil Clough (Rip) and Andrew Clough (Otl) – 76 pts.
October 17 – Seniors Turkey Trot: 1st Les Kitching 39 pts; 2nd Graham Lilley 35 pts (countback required); 3rd Kevin Brady 35 pts (countback required).
October 17 – Ladies Committee Cup: 1st Sally Hunt 25 pts; 2nd Pam Rawlin 24 pts.
October 23 – Ladies Stableford: 1st Patricia Knox 29 pts; 2nd Debbie Palethorpe 25 pts; 3rd Fiona Blaken 24 pts.
October 27 – Seniors Christmas Pudding: 1st Dave Adams 34 pts; 2nd Neil Hammond 33 pts; 3rd Ken Pitchford 32 pts.
October 28 – Right-handers v Left-handers Match: The annual match between the rights and lefts took place with Dave Hall leading a team of left-handers against a team of right-handers under the assured guidance of captain Chris Smith. Congratulations to the right-handers who won the trophy!
October 29 – Gents Turkey Trot: Division 1 - 1st Jez Corner 38 pts; 2nd Richard Lee 35 pts (countback required); 3rd Paul Simmons 35 pts (countback required); 4th Matthew Day 35 pts (countback required).
Division 2 - 1st Paul Clemens 36 pts ; 2nd Rob Cullen 34 pts ; 3rd Adrian Lazenby 33 pts.
Division 3 - 1st Paul Sunley 36 pts ; 2nd Mike Edwards 33 pts ; 3rd Michael Barker 32 pts.
November 5 – Daily Mail Foursomes Qualifier: 1st Steve Livesey & Peter Kirkbride nett 69; 2nd Mike Edwards & Max Weighell nett 71; 3rd Steve Black & Heath Johns nett 74.
November 8 – Ladies Stableford: 1st Patricia Knox 38 pts; 2nd Freda Allinson 31 pts; 3rd Evelyn Weighell 30 pts.
November 9 – Thursday Stableford: 1st Dave Hennessey 39 pts; 2nd Steve Gibbins 36 pts; 3rd Graham Seel 35 pts; 4th Mike Edwards 34 pts.
November 10 – Friday Animals: 1st Al Aurelius 40 pts; 2nd Gary Clark 35 pts (countback required); 3rd Andy Lawrence 35 pts (countback required).
November 10 – Seniors Stableford: 1st Paul Clemens 37 pts; 2nd Charles Silvester 36 pts; 3rd Chris Audritt 35 pts.
November 11 – Junior Winter League - Pairs Scramble: 1st Oliver Moody & Charles Beyer; 2nd Jaicob Saunders & Jack Moody; 3rd Tom Moody & Joseph Murphy.
On a very wet and miserable Saturday afternoon on November 4, five ladies members played for their Committee Cup.
Joyce Slater (10) won the trophy by 2 points from Karin Leake (9).
On Sunday November 5, club captain Paul Dutton held an award ceremony to present winners of every stableford and medal competitions held throughout the year with a small award token.