Devon v Sussex at Saunton

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First Match: Mark Terry, Bob Webber, Peter Ward & David Barker

Despite the grey overcast sky on Thursday morning, spirits were high as the team gathered for breakfast. Most had dried out (not just from the rain) and Nigel had brought his “Dad” Harold his early morning cuppa. The only absentee was Mike who eventually appeared no doubt tired from his exploits the previous evening! By which I mean his Ironside impersonation – not very PC but highly amusing.

So, fully refuelled, everyone set out for Saunton though the 3 Amigos in Mike’s car went off shopping, thereby missing the introductions and almost lunch.


Saunton is a superb golf club with 2 high quality courses and excellent facilities. We were assigned the Championship East Course which off the white tees is just under 6,500 yds, lined with thick rough and devilish bunkers. The Devon Captains had thoughtfully included a significant number of home players to act as our guides as we went around the course.

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And so, it began…


First off was Captain “Tarzipan” Pete Ward, supported by our invaluable Secretary Mark Terry who is probably the best Sit-down comedian you will ever hear. Their match was a close encounter with never more than one hole advantage so unsurprisingly it finished all square. “Proper job” Pete

Next up was our all-rounder Joe Angella and the parsimonious kitty-holder Ian Potter. Reflecting his experience as a Bank Manager, Ian managed to somehow make a profit; still at least he didn’t lose it (eh Norman.) This proved to be another close contest with our chaps messing up the 18th to narrowly lose 1 down.   

The third game saw our only victory of the day as Nigel Wates, released from his bar apprenticeship, and Derek May outgunned the locals to win through 3&2.

Match four pitted Richard Jays and Brian Street against Saunton’s secretary Trevor and Clive from East Devon. Despite Richard being resplendent in his new trousers, he and Brian ran out of energy after six holes, leaving their opponents to take full advantage. A late rally was to no avail as Devon ran out clear winners.

Then came the Haywards Heath Two on whom our hopes were firmly pinned. Sure enough the “Pastymen” Phil Williamson and Andy Plowright recovered from being one down at the turn to secure a half by the finish.

Our sixth pairing, reminiscent of “Dad’s Army”, had Harold Knight together with Dave “Santa” Wilkins. They started well with a net birdie on the first but gradually declined as local knowledge prevailed. Devon finished them off on the 15th to record another win. (Interestingly the notes had “Santa topping the ball into the water” deleted – strange that…..)

Match number seven had Keith (tea drinking, plant collecting) Talbot teamed up with Mike Davis against an interesting Devon pairing of Brian and David. (Didn’t they record Matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs? Anyway, I digress.)

The match closely resembled Custer’s last stand with Mike rapidly running out of ammunition. A few triumphs could not delay the inevitable conclusion and the home guys romped to victory.  

In the final game, Pete said he had put a pair of anchors in Neil Smith and Ron Adams. In fact, they whizzed around the course, managing to lose in record time. Apparently, they were entertained by their opponents and laughed all the way round; rather surprising as Match seven thought they were grumpy b******s!

Mind you, Neil does more wind-ups than a clockwork toy, so who knows.

Thus, an overall score of 6-2 to Devon.


So, it was that a disappointed, exhausted but unified team went into dinner. The fare was excellent both in quality and quantity, the banter between the Counties reflecting the great spirit the various matches had been played in.

Undoubtedly Pete won the speeches as Bob Webber, the Devon Captain raised a toast to Hampshire! The old hairdresser/Pope joke was well received as they probably haven’t got the internet yet.

Thanks to Santa’s brilliant reconnaissance mission, our accommodation was close by and of a high standard. This reflected all the tour’s organisation and the work by Mark, Pete and others for which we are extremely grateful.


Keith Talbot


Cornwall v Sussex at Mullion

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After a long journey down to Cornwall  our squad of sixteen assembled at the Premier Inn, Helston for our pre match dinner at the ajoining May Tree hostelry and welcoming hospitality from Captain Peter ‘ Tarzipan” Ward. Pairings were announced, the Captain’s very generous supply of quality red wine consumed and we were all fired up and ready to go!


On arrival at Mullion Golf Club we were faced with a thick mist, a strong breeze and a very warm reception from our Hosts.

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Match 1 – Leading from the front our illustrious Captain took a little time to find the correct gear but finished in fine style playing some outstanding golf over the closing holes. The VC helped early on. The Mullion IPC was one minute dressed for the Caribbean, the next from the North Pole – a Geordie Lad by birth ( and accent), he seemed to struggle to find his true identity – not sure what the Cornwall Captain made of him! He was very helpful in pointing us in the right direction but seemed to have difficulty going there himself. Win for Sussex 2 Up.


Match 2 – Big Joe Angella, supported (if that’s the right word) by the sometimes disabled Mike Davis, sneeked home 1Up. Well done boys. Joe thought it was a lovely course, reminding him of his rugged Sicilian ancestry – in his comments on the match he mentioned that “Mike did something” – not sure what - but between them they definitely had a cracking day with excellent company.


Match 3 – Star performer Nigel Wates  ( taking time out from his year 2 City and Guilds Course in Bar Management) together with the ever sociable Santa Wilkins kept the winning streak going with another 1 Up victory. Most of the time they had no idea where they were going ( not sure if that was the mist or not) but their opponents  kept telling them where to hit the ball and that’s precisely what they did . Santa delivered his final present to Cornwall by holing the winning put on the 18th. Lovely jubbley!


Match 4 – Hint of bitterness here! Quote “ we think we can remember the President ( who is it this year by the way ) making one contribution in the match”. Poor old Richard  Jays was finally unable to shoulder the burden of carrying our President Neil Smith  for all 18 holes. 3 down after 3, all square after  9, they ultimately  faded and lost 3 &2. No disgrace but they were heard to say after the match that the course might be better enjoyed in the Summer!


Match 5 – Our big boys, Hon Sec Mark and Andy Plowright did well in the early mist and enjoyed a close encounter for the front 9. Shame the weather improved for once they were able to see the weathered Celtic appearance of their opponents it seemed to distract them. Thereafter they were dogged by ill luck ( never heard that one before) and lost on the 17th. I know they shared some funny stories with their playing partners which led to a clear warning to stay away from some of the local cider! They stuck to the beer instead!


Match 6 – Limited input from Ron Adams and IPC Brian Street – this is the best they could do “ 2 Up when the fog was thick, when it lifted we were thrashed – lost 4&3”. Brian has been writing these reports for years so he can be forgiven for inviting Ron to compile their comments. I have my own view as to why Ron felt unable to say more – I’ve seen his “thank you email to Mark, Peter and Santa – he room shared with “Del Boy’ and went out of his way to thank Derek for “putting up me”.  Hmmm – sex can be very distracting when you are on tour!


Match 7 – Lloyds Bank’s Standing Order Clerk of the year ( 1972) Ian Potter and Gardening World’s Keith Talbot got the team back on track with a convincing 3 & 2 win. The match was contested in great spirit with brilliant opponents and they all seemed to make light of the weather. The scoring was ‘nip and tuck’ most of the round until ‘out heros ‘ ( Ian’s words not mine ) went 2up and finally ran in winners. I am sure Ian learned a lot from playing with Keith – if only the need to drink a little more lime and soda!


Match 8 – ‘Midred’, the Receiver, Knight and “Del Boy’ Derek May lost 3&2. Their opponents never complained about the weather saying it was quite normal for the time of year. Our boys described it as “dreadful’. They account for their loss ‘as having to give 4 shots to a local Member who knew the course well’. Surprise surprise!  At least Harold was pleased to discover on his return to the bar that a High Chair had been booked for his arrival at The Thatch!


So  4-4 the final score and an excellent day out . Our hosts were great company and generous. Dinner was first class and Peter was delighted to get such a good result for his first Away match as our Captain. Never easy to secure points on our trips to the South West so everything augers well for a successful season.


Phil Williamson

Vice Captain

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Spring Mixed at Highwoods

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Nick & Jackie Lee with Captain, Peter Ward (centre)

It was a gorgeous hot Spring Day at Highwoods Golf Club for this years Spring Mixed Greensomes event.  64 pairs from over 24 Sussex clubs competed for The President’s Trophy.

The winners with 39 points were Nick & Jackie Lee from Pyecombe.  Three shots clear of Geoff Snape & Anne Thorpe from Sweetwoods Park in second place with 36 points (21 back 9).  Also with 36 were the West Sussex Golf Club pairing of Tony & Carole Bauckham (18 on the back 9)

Fourth with 35 points were Gordon & Lesley Smith from Ham Manor.

Nearest the pin for the ladies on the 7th went to Jane Price (Willingdon) and Philippa Kinsella (Brighton & Hove) and on the 10th hole Kay Grindell from Dyke Golf Club.

For the men it was Peter Billcliff of Crowbororugh Beacon on the 5th hole and Geoff Snape from Sweetwoods Park on the 16th.

Thanks went to Starters Fred Laing & David Upwood of Highwoods and all the staff at Highwoods for making our day run so smoothly.

54th Annual General Meeting

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The 2018 Captain, Peter Ward & President, Neil Smith

Because of the wet conditions the Spring Meeting at The Nevill Golf Club was postponed.  However, the AGM went ahead as planned which just under 50 members attended.

Peter Ward of Brighton & Hove Golf Club was elected as Captain along with Neil Smith of Ifield as President for 2018.

Ian Potter of Worthing joins the committee, the first Worthing member in  the history of the Sussex Golf Captains.

The short meeting was followed by the attendees  enjoying a light lunch and drinks in the bar which no doubt was well received by the club who have been closed for golf all over the Easter.

Spring Meeting at Nevill GC

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Some of you may know that Nevill Golf Club was closed all Easter due to extreme wet conditions and therefore the Spring Meeting on Thursday 5th April has been postponed.

The rescheduled date will be Monday 25th June.


The decision to change the date has not come lightly but you will appreciate that I am guided by the club.   The ground conditions would have certainly have banned buggies and trolleys, plus the 15th hole has been out of play for 2 weeks.


I know that not all of you will be able to make the new date so please contact me with your bank details if you would like a refund or have to change your playing partner.


As it stands, we will be working off the last published start sheet (version 9) but check the website for any updates.


I would also inform those members who either entered too late or could not get in to contact me as spaces will undoubtedly become available.

The AGM will still take place at 11.00am (was due 4pm)


Apologies for any inconvenience incurred but these circumstances are completely beyond my control.


Mark Terry


     © Sussex Golf Captains 2019