Axe Cliff Midsummer-Madness competition success for Alan, Helen and Simon
PUBLISHED: 07:53 07 July 2020 | UPDATED: 07:53 07 July 2020
The past week at Axe Cliff was a strange one in as much as it comprised of intrigue, madness and celebration, writes Dave Bruce.
In a ‘return to some form of golfing norm’ we do now have access to the clubhouse, albeit while observing the Coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
Apparently, the local police sent one of their officers, last week, in a police car, to investigate a ‘tip-off’ that there was to be an illegal rave on our beautiful course.
Our manager, Simon Wellington, had to stop the car coming down the wrong way, from Steppes Lane, on the walkers’ South West Coastal Path, alongside our first hole.
Anyway, it seems that the rumour probably started when Phil Hellier and Andy Jeffery were promoting the latest competition; ‘The Mid-Summer Madness’, which was held last Saturday and saw no fewer than 39 of us – mostly ‘blurry-eyed’ turn up for a shotgun 5am start!
I can understand the police concern as the 1994 Criminal Justice & Public Act made raves illegal and they must have found it baffling why so many people would want to play golf, all teeing off at such an early hour and, of course – a ‘shot gun’ start will no doubt have also added to the angst!
Anyway, meet we all did, turning up at around 4.30am to be met in a – still dark – car park by Phil, who gave us our team cards where all three members’ handicaps are totalled and a 10 per cent allowance calculated to take off the team’s total medal gross score.
As last year, the format, was a Texas Scramble, where you pick the best drives and subsequent shots to all three to play from until a ball falls in the hole to make one score.
It’s important, therefore, when you putt to mark you ball, even if it’s only one inch from the hole as the next member may put their putt in the hole, therefore saving one shot.
However, to make it fair, each team member must have at least four of their drives chosen for them.
This was my first Mid-Summer Madness as I didn’t think I could get Geoff Hughes up in time. It’s bad enough when we are teeing off at, say 9.40am!
Phil Hellier, cleverly told him and I that we had agreed to play and so, clearly, neither wanted to let the other down!
Geoff was probably the oldest in action at his tender 85 years, and we played with one of the youngest, Basil Martin, who was actually 25 on the day, so everyone was singing ‘‘Happy Birthday’ as we went around.
Basil is the grandson of Mary Dean, who with her late husband Basil, were former leading lights at the Golf Club.
It was special playing with young Basil and we played well getting a net par score of 70 with two twos’, one of which was an eagle on the par four fifth after a long drive from Basil leaving me to chip in from some 80 yards. Thanks for asking!
There were some wonderful scores despite the strong South Westerly and cloudy conditions with the scoring aided by the fantastic greens.
Post meeting the prize giving saw no fewer than five teams honoured, presented with prizes in the clubhouse, opened for the first time since lockdown hit us all, with a most efficient ‘table service’ system in place.
In terms of the winners, that honour went to the strong team of captain Alen Kenworthy (7 handicap) playing alongside his wife Helen (17) and Simon Sweetland (16), who returned a magnificent score of 60.7.
In what proved to be a close contest, the runners-up, competition organiser Phil Hellier, Andy Jeffery and Alex Taylor, with 60.9.
Third place went to Nigel Pritchard who was playing alongside his son Stephen and Stuart Mackie, who had a score of 62.2.
Alan [Kenworthy], a well-known builder from Beer, made a very good acceptance speech on behalf of all who played, thanking the organisers and club for what was certainly a great day.
Alan, who is also better known by the name ‘Kenno’, does report that a highlight for his trio was getting no fewer than 10 threes on their scorecard with seven of them being birdies!
Post-golf, we all had either bacon or sausage baps for breakfast washed nicely down with hot coffees in the clubhouse and outside on the veranda as the rain held off.
At the foot of this articel we have also added three photographs from 12 months ago - our Axe Cliff ‘re-wind’ takes us back to July 2019 and (a) The Glass and Turner families, winners of the Axe Cliff Golf Club Treasure Hunt; (b) Jill Wellington and Nigel Mobbs together with ‘Captain-for-the-day’ Phil Hellier on the right), admiring the trophy that was contested by Sherborne and Axe Cliff Golf Club’s and (c) Rob Grove, who won the Axe Cliff annual Three Club Shield and is shown in the picture with seniors’ captain Mick Swann.
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