Axe Cliff’s Sandra Walker joins the hole-in-one-club after her superb tee shot on the 11th

PUBLISHED: 09:48 02 June 2020

Axe Cliff golfer Sandra Walker after her hole-in-one at the 11th. Picture CHRIS WALKER

Axe Cliff golfer Sandra Walker after her hole-in-one at the 11th. Picture CHRIS WALKER

Archant

The past one was a very special week for the Walker family – particularly for the lovely Sandra and, given that you should never interrupt a lady when she’s speaking, I will let her tell all in her own words, writes Dave Bruce.

Axe Cliff golfers Chris and Sandra Walker. Picture BRIAN THOMPSON.Axe Cliff golfers Chris and Sandra Walker. Picture BRIAN THOMPSON.

Sandra says: “On Monday, May 25, Chris [that is her husband Chris] and I, went to play a round of golf at Axe Cliff.

“The weather was absolutely beautiful and we had an enjoyable round, although, I was disappointed with my play.

“The only redeeming part was when we got to the 11th hole.

“I teed off, as usual and the ball flew to the edge of the green whereupon it continued to run until it disappeared into the hole!

“Having never previously achieved a hole-in-one I would have loved

to have stood drinks in the clubhouse with everyone who was on the course that day.

“However, I’ll just have to do it again and hope it doesn’t take another 40 years!”

This amazing achievement is another feather in the cap for the skill and care of the NHS as Sandra received an ‘Exeter hip’ about five years ago. What’s more she has not long recovered from having a new knee which was another piece of NHS skill, completed last October.

The 11th at Axe Cliff is a short hole of some 98 yards, but has two close bunkers and is a small green,

So, it is no mean feat to just keep the ball on the green never mind holing it as Sandra, a former ladies’ captain at the club, did.

It seems husband Chris was a tad more excited than Sandra with the feat as he ran off to tell our captain, Rob Grove – from some two metres of course as we are all adhering to the social distancing rules at the club – with a loud proclamation of: “Sandra’s got a hole-in-one.”

Mind you, he could have let his dear wife soak up the congratulations and limelight a little longer, in terms of the Walker family golfing prowess, but no, for, in our first Covid-19 stableford competition last Friday, amongst a field of some 40 seniors contesting the event, Chris took the honours with a magnificent 37 points!

Yes, I did indeed say competition. It was the brilliant idea of Rob Grove; one that involved us all sending him our scores for the day – those scores including, via email, the back nine, back six, back three and final hole just in case of a ‘tie’ situation. We were allowed to keep our cards as he didn’t want to touch them - sensible chap.

Second place went to smiling Bunny Hanson with a fine 35 points and, not surprisingly, third spot went down to countback with Paul Curtin’s fantastic 20 points across the back nine edging out Paul Hilder and Nick Jones.

Three other players; namely Terry Jessup; Pete Casey and Stuart Mackie, also carded scores of 33 points, but the difficult 18th hole let them down.

My favourite tale of this particular competition would be the one from Brian Thompson, who, after parring both the par five holes – each over 540 yards and stroke one – the 12th - he kept overhitting the rest of the shorter holes which ran so fast owing to this current dry weather.

It was wonderful to be able to use the ‘Honesty Bar’ outside the clubhouse on the veranda looking out to the very blue sea with quite a number on the beach and many actually swimming with no lifeguards to be seen, but that’s the beauty, and indeed safety, of Seaton’s beach.

Mark Wisby, a new member, and I were able to chat to a couple of other members – a tall and lean Ronnie Reed, last year’s captain and a young Jason Farrant, who wants it known that he never goes above five mph coming up our newly resurfaced approach road Jason was also quick to point out that he had beaten Ronnie, albeit with the latter laying claim to one of those ‘regular’ golfing ‘excuses’ - a dodgy back that was playing up!

Back to new member Mark who is, it seems, a big fan of yoga with his favourite position being to stand on his head which he holds in his hands and rests his elbows on the ground for support.

I should have challenged him to show me the pose whilst we were downing our ‘Thatcher Golds’.

Oh, did I mention that Mark turned up with no golf balls, but Alan Morgan saved the day and gave him a handful, as yours truly also did.

One last thing for this week – message to the lawmakers as lockdown continues to be eased – we want to see our son James in Newport, ‘please’.


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