A new dawn looming

A splendid sunset at Axe Cliff Golf Club

A splendid sunset at Axe Cliff Golf Club - Credit: Karen Curnock

While it has been the most difficult of years for Axe Cliff Golf members Barbara Cummings and partner Rob Grove, they can look back on their time with pride and tremendous gratitude from the Ladies and Seniors Sections of our wonderful club.  
Barbara has handed over her reins to new Captain Anne Jarvis and Rob will shortly be handing his over to present Vice-Captain John Hanna. 
December was busy, despite the weather trying to upset our plans, as well as Covid, and we have only been closed one day due to heavy rain as far as I am aware. 
Barbara held a Fun Stableford held in pairs where one score counted on the first hole; two on the 2nd and then multiplied on the 3rd, and so on for the 18 holes as a whole. Fittingly won by Barbara and partner, the lovely Jo Hopgood. 
Some 40 Seniors competed in the Albert Skinner Trophy and tradition insists that we wear something red in this competition in recognition of Albert's favourite colour, so most take the opportunity to get our Christmas jumpers out of the wardrobe.  
John Hanna assures me that his reindeer is Rudolph, so his nose ensures he complied with the colour requirement.  The winner was our Course Manager Simon Wellington, pushed all the way by my eggman, Paul Curtin and smiling Terry Atkins all on 35 pts. 
Some 50 Seniors were able to finally complete their Second Round of the Winter League Competition. it was a fine Winter's Day and even allowed well-built Andy Hopgood (lucky husband of Jo) to wear his short sleeved pinky/orange polo shirt for some 12 holes before putting his jumper on. 
It obviously didn't put his playing partners Simon Wellington and Kyle Philpotts off, as they finished 17th & 4th respectively with Andy 24th.  
David Evans, profiting from the best of the weather, and one of Wales' favourite Axe Cliff golfers, was winner for the day with an astounding 37 points over the 15 holes.  
Scratch Cup finalist, Stuart Mackie took second spot from octogenarian Gilbert Cox, both on a very creditable 33 points.  
Stuart also managed a "2" on his card but I have to mention the other two 2's, I hit my best 9 iron shot to the short Par three 11th, which finished some 12" from the hole, then my 85 year-old playing partner, Geoff Hughes, took his 8 iron but didn't know where it went until we reached the green and we find it only some 5' from the pin.  
Nigel Tarr, in the team behind us witnessed it and would have taken a picture of both balls if he could have got his Mobile Camera to work - he is a Senior, bless him!  
Needless to say Geoff & I sunk our putts. Geoff also finished 5th with 32 points and I won’t mention my final position. 
Luckily, we were able to hold our Christmas Frolic with the Ladies, in 10 teams of three made up of two men and a lady.  
The winners, Jill Wellington, Andy Hopgood & Leighton Morgan (another favourite Welsh golfer from the Valleys) took home a bottle of wine each with 83 points, closely followed by the effervescent team of Jo Hopgood, Alan Folkard and the ever-youthful Terry Jessup, with 75 pts earning them a nice box of chocolates each. 
I want to leave you with the fantastic picture taken by our adopted lady vicar, the lovely Karen Curnock. She has beautifully captured the sunset from the top bunker on the first hole overlooking Seaton Bay with Beer's headland behind, praying for a bright new dawn of hope, not only for Axe Cliff but for all mankind.  
This is surely going to come with 85 year-old Geoff Hughes getting his first Covid vaccine jab at Seaton's hospital last Wednesday.  
His smile told me that Karen's prayers will surely be answered.  
Thank-you Lord.  

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