Axe Cliff Senior success for Bob Graham, Mick Swann and Paul Hilder
PUBLISHED: 13:21 31 December 2018
On the Friday after Christmas, some 39 rather fatter Axe Cliff Seniors battled, in the last competition of the year, to burn off the extra calories, writes Dave Bruce.
To aid the Seniors, very tired after all their Christmas cooking and shopping, it was decided that teams of three would help each other in a Texas Scramble played with the format being medal.
This was ideal because you could pick, after each shot, the best ball and the other two could then place or drop their ball within say six inches of the best ball.
This meant that you needed each team member to be either a good driver off the tee, a good chipper from the fairway and, most importantly, a good putter on or just off the green!
The only difficulty was that each team member had to have four drives each and to remember to mark the best ball, each time as once the ball is in the hole that’s the end of the score. Sometimes, over-eager players, not to mention Gilbert, for example, may take their 15 foot putt, finishing say, an inch from the hole, and then tapping it in, before the other two had even taken their putts, leaving them irrelevant.
Being irrelevant, and over 70, can be hard to take. Big hitters Bob Graham, Mick Swann and Paul Hilder found the winning formula, but had to wait until the 15th hole for them all to get their four drives in.
Mick Swann could only manage one straight long drive over the first nine holes, so the team picked his wayward drive on the 10th, just in desperation, to get him back on the card. Needless to say they only got a bogey six on that hole.
Luckily he hit the green on the next hole, being the short par three, 11th, missed the birdie putt but got the par.
Bob Graham was the best driver of the team with a solid eight best drives chosen. Paul got his fourth on the difficult 15th, but, with pressure off, his next two drives on 16th and 17th were also chosen and very important to help getting pars on these challenging holes.
Mick’s drives were only picked on four holes, the last being the 14th, but his putting was out of this world so he played his part.
After taking 10 per cent of the team’s combined handicap, they finished on a nett 64.7, being 5.3 below par.
This just beat the favourites of Brian Thompson, Tony Strong and John Hanna who netted 65.1.
The least fancied team of the day, to everyone’s surprise, being Dave Bruce, Edward Backhouse and Robbie Robinson, took third place with an amazing nett 66.8, but left poor Dave Bruce’s fourth drive until the difficult par three 18th!
With knees knocking, he bravely kept his drive in play, leaving just a simple chip to the green and the team managed a par to end.
It was all most certainly a great way, and in true Axe Cliff spirit, to finish a fantastic year.