Hole-in-one after 40 years of trying at Fingle Glen

Axe Cliff seniors captain Dave Bruce (centre) with Fingle Glen captain Brian Ridgeway (right) who sc

Axe Cliff seniors captain Dave Bruce (centre) with Fingle Glen captain Brian Ridgeway (right) who scored a hole-in-one and Axe Cliff colleague Nigel Garwood (left), who struck three roof tops during his round. Picture CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Axe Cliff seniors recently enjoyed our last inter-club match of the year at the lovely Fingle Glen Course near Exeter, writes Dave Bruce.

Let me immediately say, please, that, after some 40 years of golf I have never got, nor have I witnessed, a hole-in-one, but all that has now changed after I was privileged to witness one on our visit to Fingle Glen!

Unfortunately it was not mine, but belonged to Fingle Glen captain Brian Ridgeway, who, like me, at the age of 75, had also never got one – and he too has been playing some 40 years!

However, he struck his best high iron shot ever on the difficult 128-yard par three 14th.

You have to hit the downhill green to ensure you miss the brook in front of it.

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With the sun in our eyes we could tell it was a good shot, but were not able to see it finish properly. Needless to say, Brian and his playing partner, Steve Ebdon, beat myself and John Ashbolt despite some great golf from John.

We even looked beyond the hole before checking the flag! Brian helped build the course and hotel back in 1988 as a swing shovel excavator driver.

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He joined the greens staff then and became head green keeper in 2003 before he retired in 2008.

Another amazing first-time event, this time by our own Nigel Garwood, was hitting three consecutive roofs with the same ball on his first tee shot.

There are a number of golfing holiday chalets aligning the first hole at Fingle Glen.

The occasional ball might hit one roof, but Nigel managed to strike three!

Both events warranted me, as Axe Cliff captain, making a special presentation of wine to both Nigel and Brian on the night.

Ooh!, well, after all that excitement, I nearly forget that we lost the fixture 4-1, but thoroughly enjoyed our day.

Our one and only win was that very strong pairing of Nick Povey and Leighton Morgan with a wonderful eight-and-seven success.

Back at Axe Cliff, last Friday’s medal meeting saw some 40 members trying to keep warm with a strong cold and gusty north-easterly blowing.

I don’t know how he did it, but they do say ‘no sense no feeling’, with Chris Walker coming in with an outstanding nett 68.

As handicap secretary can he cut himself?

Close behind, Richard Orsman, with nett 69, took second place and third spot went to Adrian Bishop, nett 70.

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