Sussex v Bucks at Royal Eastbourne


The final inter county match of the season took place at Royal Eastbourne in warm but breezy weather. The overall match score for the season stood at 6½ matches to 6½ so the season's record stood or fell by the result of the Bucks match.

Several of the Bucks team had stayed the previous night in the town but like finely tuned athletes, they resisted the temptations on offer - bingo, band concert, mobility scooter racing down the promenade - and went to bed early after the customary mug of Ovaltine. Plus it was raining. All were ready for the big test and with some Sussex players experiencing the odd traffic delay - not sure what Frank Edmonds had as an excuse for being last to arrive (I only live a couple of minutes down the road) - lunch of sandwiches and chips was devoured to build the strength to negotiate the first few holes on the course.

In the absence of Captain Brian Street, IPC Jags took the Captaincy reins proving that old Captains don't fade away, they love the return to the limelight. Pairs were announced and the match got underway on time at 1 pm.

REGC Captain John Chamberlen and Jags were up against a canny Bucks pair but the par 9 third hole caused some difficulty enabling the Sussex pair to go one up. With a birdie on the 6th hole, John put the home team 2 up and apparently coasting but they failed to recognise the inspirational effect the intervention of a small and yapping white poodle would have on an opponent at the top of his back swing. Result - Bucks won 3 of the next 4 holes to go one up. Sussex levelled the match on the 14th and then 16 and 17 to win the match 2&1. A great match played in good humour.

In the 2nd match, Alan Butcher and Frank Edmonds found their opposition too tough to handle and lost early by a 5&4 score but in match 3 ever dependable Mark Terry and Nigel Powell were always in control running out 4&3 winners. The overall score levelled again when in match 4 Eric Hardwick (despite nearly getting a hole in one - that's a two then) and David Sinden couldn't bring the par 3 form to the rest of the holes and went down by a 4&3 score.

Sussex sneaked ahead after match 5 where a returning Malcolm Sharpe and ever reliable Andy Plowright were on impressive form dispatching their opponents by a massive 7&6 score-line, Welcome back Malcolm. All went back to even with the result of match 6 going to Bucks by a score of 5&4. Harold Knight and David Schwartz struggled from the third hole after David went down a rabbit hole ignoring the rule that they are meant for rabbits. He suffered a nasty ankle turn - practising for Strictly I guess - and despite Harold's manful attempt at providing piggy back assistance, he had to give that up on the fourth hole. They limped home, well beaten.

Two matches on the course and the overall score 2-2; tensions rising in the clubhouse and darkness approaching, what would be the outcome of the final two matches? To keep nerves jangling, both games went to the 18th and Tim Ingram and John Benoy followed by John Kinnear and Graham Ward both secured well fought for halves leaving the final result at 4-4 and the Sussex unbeaten record of the last five matches remaining intact.

An excellent dinner was provided by REGC, and the entertaining company from Bucks departed with some again staying to enjoy yet more Eastbourne delights. A Scrabble night apparently. Thanks to the Club for their use of the course and for their hospitality and to our superb Secretary and our Match Secretary for guiding us through another arduous season.  Season's score 6 wins, 6 losses and 2 halves - 7-7 overall.

Ian Jaggard

Essex v Sussex at Rochford Hundred

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After the lengthy journey around the M25 (good job it wasn't on the 22/9 - motorway closed at junction 5), Sussex Captains gathered at Rochford Hundred Golf Club on the northerly runway of Southend airport for the 2017 match against Essex Captains. After customary welcomes from the home team and the announcement of the pairings, the hungry players descended on the large ploughman's lunch to soak up the Doom Bar. Lord Gherkin of Hove (Norman Milburn as he used to be called) found a plentiful supply of his favourite food on offer from everyone's plate which softened his outrage at the price of his favourite pint - £4.10???

Rochford Hundred was so named apparently from Saxon tradition of grouping a number of parishes together and dividing the land into hundreds - I'm no wiser either!

The Golf Club had allowed a two tee start which was welcomed by the later matches but the walk to the 10th tee proved to be a bit hazardous for one Essex member who failed to turn up on time for his tee time - not apparently an unusual occurrence. At precisely 1pm the matches got underway.

In the first match, Captain Brian Street and Ian Wood - lefties united - had a close tussle with a game littered with birdies but knowing Woody's habit of exaggerating (inevitable if you support Sheffield Wednesday) there were probably only a couple. The match ended with Essex winning the 18th to squeeze out a half. In the match up of Presidents, Norman and Eddie Noyce came second best with hidden ditches and the price of Doom Bar causing several lapses in concentration not helped by having no clue which way the course went and opponents who chose not to give them even the slightest hint. Sadly, a 4 and 3 loss.

Next up were Mark Terry and Terry Vanhinsbergh who clearly confused their opponents who spent the first 9 holes working out who had the Terry christian name and who had the Terry surname. The home pair were no match for the Terrys who ran out 5 & 4 winners, starting and finishing with a birdie. In match 4, Reg Aucterlonie and Tommy Pether took their game to the 18th after being 2 up with 4 to play but the match of the seniors went the way of Essex with a 1 up win on the last hole. In the final match off the 1st tee, Peter Snook and Dave Schwartz twice came back from 3 down to edge their match 2 up. Although everybody else saw no rain on the course, Peter was unhappy about the showers apparently. After the results for the matches from the 1st tee had been analysed, the overall score stood at 2.5 to each team.

In the 1st match off the 10th tee, Richard Jays (suitably impressed by Jags Google sat nav on the journey) and David Noble secured a massive 6 & 5 win with both playing their part in the win. 24 handicap David - Essex thought it should have been 2.4 - made full use of his shots and Gorilla Jays drove two of the short par 4 holes but I've made most of this up as Richard's writing was totally undecipherable. In the second match, Eric Hardwick (yes they are my legs you can see) and Tim Ingram lost 2 & 1 to a pair who were just too good "on the day". It didn't help when their opponent holed his 2nd shot on the par 4 first hole.

In the 3rd match power hitter Andy Plowright and Jags teamed up against two veterans from Essex including the one who missed the first hole of the match. They spent the whole match wondering what the same veteran would do next but soon went 3 up after 7 holes. After a wobble around the turn (page 45 of Kama Sutra) the pair eventually ran out 2 & 1 winners helped by Andy's pars on stroke indexes 1 and 3. In the next match John Kinnear and Derek May were always in control of their match and at 4 up with 4 to play, relaxed a little early to lose the next 2 holes. John came good on his last shot hole and they finished the match on the 17th 3 & 1. In the final match, Neil Smith and Mark Dunn had another close struggle going 3 down on two occasions but each time pulling Essex back although Neil had to spend much of his time explaining water hazard rules to one of his opponents. Despite the fighting effort Essex held firm and won the match 1 up.

When all the results were tallied, Captain Brian was obviously delighted to record another win by a 5½ to 4½ margin to level the score in 13 inter county matches and all to play for in the 14th v Bucks at Royal Eastbourne.

After a very good dinner and the usual fine hospitality from our Essex friends, the two Captains made admirably short speeches and the Essex Captain, Bob Morris, in his last fixture graciously handed over the only trophy available - the right one was with last year's Captain on holiday. The author was reminded of a similar issue earlier in the season as if he could forget.

The Sussex Captains left for their journey back around the M25 but 5 of the players decided that the smell of kerosene, the noise of jets and the beauty of the area meant a stay in the local Skylark Hotel was preferable to going home. The opportunity for chat around the bar and asking Eddie where his chain of office was, had been a pleasurable one.

Grateful thanks to Rochford Hundred Golf Club and Essex Golf Captains for their hospitality


Match Result Sussex 5½ - Essex 4½

Ian Jaggard

Mini Tour to Wiltshire & Somerset


Sussex Golf Captains - 2017 Tour to Wiltshire and Somerset - the Diary

There will be many words in the two match reports and some of the comments may have an element of truth, but this is the definitive, totally factually correct, occasionally whimsical account of some of the activities which took place over the three days and nights - not all of them golf related. Not all events are reported, in the interests of personal protection from lawsuits or supreme embarrassment to the participants.

Our Captain Brian Street together with the ever reliable Mark Terry had ensured that every Sat Nav would be tested to the full by arranging the first days golf at North Wilts Golf Club near to Devizes and our accommodation for three nights in the middle of nowhere in a small village called Rudge. It's fair to say that not every navigational device was up to the task but it didn't help if your Jaguar acquired a puncture on the way - many jokes were repeated over the tour but Richard Jays only tired of them towards the end of the trip.

After soup and sandwiches, the promise of wet weather didn't deter the tourists but its arrival did dampen the ardour of some who gave up after 9 holes. The rest carried on and finished in watery sunshine and set off in search of the pub we were staying in. By this time Norman Milburn (how does this Sat Nav work?) had volunteered to be holder of the purse strings of which more was to be heard later. Eventually everybody made it to Rudge and prepared for the evening dinner hosted by Captain Brian. The table plan showed four names with "v" after them but it was not because the four were vegetarians just virgins on tour. Dinner was a raucous affair helped no doubt by the Captain's generous purchase of copious amounts of red wine; a few elected for white wine which was so good that Ian Potter (v) decided it was like Brut, so splashed it all over anyone near close enough to get the benefit. After dinner, announcement of pairings for the two inter county matches and a strong motivational speech from Brian, the evening continued with just a few drinks in the bar and the usual tour banter. Congratulations were given to Nigel Wates (v) for winning the individual prize in the day's golf - he was still glowing from Nevill's Cyril Blake win in which he played no small part.

The second day dawned bright and augured well for the match at Chippenham - report compiled by Phil Williamson who combined his away days with concluding some massive Executive deal to add substance to his fortune and apparently to pay for the wine on the next tour to the Wilts/Somerset area when he will be Captain. It may be mentioned elsewhere, but Derek (I've got a Jaguar too) May (v) got almost to Chippenham but had to go back and get his jacket and tie for the evening. This about turn apparently caused his Sat Nav to go into melt down. After a successful day on the golf course, changing for dinner became a challenge for one tour member and that may also be mentioned elsewhere. In truth, the author of this diary did indeed have some trouser trouble and despite many hints that the pair selected were not his - wrong colour, wrong size, new as opposed to not new, tailored as opposed to regular fit - he continued to press on and try Joe Angella's pair for size. Scarily they actually fitted and his explanation that he was only running them in for Joe was not accepted.

Return to the pub was interesting with Norman still having Sat Nav trouble and ending up at another pub a couple of miles distant. A massive spread of cheese and biscuits was laid on by the pub to soak up the beer although Derek May (v) made the acquaintance of a local brew called scrumpy which he came to love especially with the last night addition of a gin in it. Apparently it helped to loosen his body for the Riverdance routines practised in his room over the one occupied by Phil and Andy Plowright. On the last night he allegedly wore fluffy slippers to muffle the noise so that no complaints were received from those previously affected. It was then that the gathering noticed several dogs meeting apparently in search of Harold Knight who is well known for his love of canine friends. When they were told he wasn't on tour they all left with disappointed looks on their faces and tails between their legs. On the second night, the word of his absence hadn't got to every dog in the district as yet more turned up looking for fuss and attention but they too had to be disappointed. Where were you when needed Harold?

Day 3 was yet another Sat Nav challenge with roadworks and diversions causing serious directional issues for several drivers looking for Mendip Golf Club where the match against Somerset was due to be played. The author had no such problems with his simple Google App on his phone (free) directing him and the Captain to the golf club with no sign of problem. Keith Talbot(v) has no doubt written wise erudite words on the match but a comprehensive victory for Sussex caused Captain Brian to be a very happy man. After the two matches several players had secured maximum points with two victories but for the first time in living memory (not long for most of us) everyone had at least one win except for Keith who had to settle for two halves which were naturally of lime and soda. He can claim that he wasn't defeated though!

The final night back at the pub - Jags' simple and free Sat Nav ensuring he got back first - was yet another lively evening with the local beer flowing freely and the banter at the usual high standard. The low beams finally caught up with Andy Plowright, Peter Ward finally accepted that a pint of Guinness was actually alcoholic, Derek May continued his love affair with scrumpy and Joe Angella presided in his comfy chair looking like Canute turning back the tide. Several dogs left with unhappy "no Harold" faces and all agreed that the tour had been a great success mainly thanks to Captain Brian and the ever dependable Mark Terry. Mike Davis had spoiled his well earned record for lateness by not being late every day, Jerry Hibbs enthused about his bid to outdo the Arabs with his racehorses, Neil Smith relaxed after just failing to get his hole in one at Mendip, and everybody contributed to a wonderful tour. Far from a Trilby Tour, this one will forever be known as the Trouser Tour. Norman left his at Chippenham, fortunately not with the tour purse inside them and decided that he would bequeath them to anyone who found them.

Finally, the Sat Nav saga inspired me to adapt the well know limerick about the man from Devizes.

"The Sussex men had a tour near Devizes,

With Sat Navs of all different sizes,

From large to small, we saw them all

But Jags' phone was the one that got prizes

Ian Jaggard

Somerset v Sussex at The Mendip

Following the celebrations and a motivational speech from Captain Brian the night before, we set out in buoyant mood for the traditionally tough fixture against Somerset. Reaching the course at Mendip proved a stern test in itself, as it appeared barricaded in with roadworks. Nevertheless, we mostly arrived in time for a generous lunch (except Andy & Phil who foolishly took notice of the agreed meeting time!).

Thus replenished, the Sussex tourists took on their task of beating their hosts over the rolling hills of Mendip with its glorious views over Glastonbury and a wind turbine.


First out was Captain (now General) Brian and his trusty companion, tour veteran Neil Smith. Both showed the benefit of the Skipper’s training regime and managed to edge a closely fought contest 1up. Winning the last two holes to secure the win, the Captain put their success down to the lack of Smurfs!

Next up were two of the previous days winners, the genial Ian Potter and Derek May, who DID remember his clothes this time. They fought valiantly but could not avoid defeat 1down despite a birdie at the 17th. Derek said the match was played in great spirit but he also stated Ian first contribution wasn’t until the 14th. Cider 1 Beer 0


Match 3 saw the roomies Peter “Tarzipan”Ward & Joe Angella (SGC’s answer to Steven Hawking) paired together. Not sure what they meant exactly, they came from behind to register an impressive 4&3 victory, including Joe chipping in twice and having 4 birdies between them. Actually, nothing comes between them but that’s another story…

Pete finished with 2 birdies but as everyone said, the match was over by then.

The 18th hole saw the conclusion of the 4th Match with Nigel Wates and Jerry Hibbs

successfully securing another point for Sussex by 1up. Our pair, probably the most sensible and easy-going guys on tour, described their opponents Mike & Bob as perfect hosts. This probably means they were given many putts or provided with copious amounts of beer afterwards!


The toughest Match 5 (ahem – author’s poetic licence!!!!) pitched Richard “3 wheels on my wagon” Jays and Keith “The Lawman” Talbot against formidable opponents Paul & Malcolm. Early exchanges were even until Sussex forged ahead 2up only to be pegged back by a stunning pitch in by Paul on the 14th. Not to be outdone, Richard played a remarkable shot on the 16th followed by a tremendous putt, to put Sussex back in front. The 17th saw Malcolm secure his third 2 at the par 3’s to level up again. The final hole witnessed all sorts of trials and tribulations before a half was secured.

(Lawman above = Lime & Water man)


Phil “The Scouser” Williamson and Mark “larger than life” Terry were together in Match 6. Playing apparently unbelievable golf, our heroes went 3up after 3 holes. One of their opponents then employed the old “running commentary on every shot” routine which had the desired result on P & M. Nevertheless undaunted, the Sussex pairing did not falter and, if I have read Phil’s writing correctly, he secured back to back birdies to maintain their lead. Despite a Somerset chip-in at the 17th, a half at the last was good enough for another Sussex 1up win to be chalked up.


In the penultimate game, Andy Plowright and Mike Davis were up against a virtual Octogenarian, playing off 9 handicap. He amazed our duo by reaching the stroke index 1 with a drive and a nine iron amongst other notable shots. Now given the conspicuous consumption of beer by our celebrated players, this could have been a challenge too far. But with Mike playing spectacular golf throughout the middle holes and Andy providing strong support, our chaps triumphed 3&1 for a memorable victory.


So, to the final match where our anchors (no reference to weight, shape or anything else) were Lord Gherkin alias Norman Milburn and Ian “Jags” Jaggard. Using some of Ian’s words “using their shots wisely, our golden oldies went 4up not least due to Jags silky putting stroke”. Clearly this humiliation was too much for the Somerset lads to bear so they hit back with a succession of pars to take the game down the last. Not to be defeated, ice-cool Norm held his nerve, holed the putt and victory was assured, again by 1up.  


On then to the post-match dinner, where Jim Scott, Somerset’s Captain graciously handed over the trophy to Captain Brian, Sussex having been victorious by 6.5 to 1.5.

The whole day had epitomised everything that is good about these contests and the banter between the two sides was much in evidence.

Following a tremendous meal, good joke (though not as funny as “the snail”) and really helpful directions, we set off back to Rudge as probably the most successful tour ever.

The celebrations were loud and long until the inevitable tiredness caught up with the lightweights (myself included), leaving the finely honed athletes to it……..



 Keith Talbot


PS  - possibly best comment on tour

Following the 7&6 win by Jerry and Derek on Wednesday, overheard in the bar

“so, who took the bell out of their opponents’ ball?”

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Somerset Captain Jim Scott presents the SomSex Trophy to Brian Street

Wiltshire v Sussex at Chippenham

4th Chippenham

1.  After an inspirational, emotional and motivational speech the previous evening, Captain Brian led us off in what proved to be a very close encounter. Sadly, Brian’s playing partner, VC Peter Ward, was clearly not paying as much attention to Brian’s speech as he should have been – the general view is that he was thinking about putting his entry form in for next years “The Great British Bake Off “ instead of concentrating on the match. Lost 1 down


2.  Richard “Matelot” Jays, sporting his new deck shoes recently acquired from the Littlehampton Yacht Club, and Mike “ another large scotch please” Davis, came up against the bionic former Captain of Chippenham “Pat the Hat “ who had the uncanny knack of sinking puts from 20/30 feet on a regular basis.  Mike on the otherhand never recovered from his waspish experience on the 2nd – sting in the tail led to a 4 and 3 loss.


3.  The Hon Sec and “ Harry” Potter quote “ Ham and Egged it well “ – after a full English breakfast, 4 rounds of toast, 3 coffees and 2 Danish pastries – all Potter was capable of writing about was food!  Still the 2 big lads from Sussex did the business winning 3 and 1. Mark was in sparkling form all tour – both on and off the course.  Hope everyone can recall the snail story!!


4.  The Haywards Heath duo of Andy Plowright and me once again drew the short straw – up against the combined forces of the British Army and Navy!  They certainly knew how to use their shots – in Harry’s case all 12 of them (including stoke index 11 on the 18th short par 5 – jammy bugger).  We lost on the 18th with bandit Bobby from Wiltshire putting “ miraculously “ on the back nine – his own description of his performance not mine!!  No sour grapes here then!


5.  New tourist Nigel (I’ve always wanted to be a barman) Wates and IPC Jags started off with some outstanding golf – well Nigel did anyway! 4 up after 9 – gross better ball 1 over par.  In fairness Nigel did say Jags’ putting was awesome – I may have misheard it as awful – but I will give him the benefit of the doubt on this occasion.  However, with fatigue kicking in, and Jags chatting up women on the course, the concentration lapsed and their opponents recovered with some good golf.  Squeaky bum time as it got to the 18th which I am delighted to report we won!  Well done boys!


6.  Lowest handicapper and highest handicapper in the Sussex team shrewdly drawn to play together by our leader Captain Brian! Big Joe Angella (5) and the “Gerken” Milburn (20) did the trick winning 2 and 1.  Their opponents described our boys company as “adequate” – bit harsh but I can understand where they’re coming from!  The fun started after the game in the changing room when Jags tried to get into Joe’s trousers (they were a bit tight for him) and Norman managed to loose the kitty – or thought he had!  All resolved happily at the end of the day with a beer or two!  Norman loves writing match input – quote – “ The rain held and the sun shone” – brilliant education!


7.  Now a “dog license “ in these inter county matches is very rare – so well done to Derek May and Jerry Hibbs for producing a 7 and 6 win.  Both brought their A game on this occasion which in Derek’s case is amazing really as he spent most of his pre match preparation travelling up and down the A350 (left his jacket and tie in the pub).  On his eventual arrival he was greeted with a few cold chips and the odd crust – undaunted he rose to the challenge and came up trumps.  Gin and cider seems like an odd combination – but clearly works for Derek!


8.  The anchor team of Neil Smith and leftie Keith Talbot told me they have become known as the dynamic Sussex duo – Neil  dynamic?   You must be joking! I think they got a birdie between them and got a little carried away with their success.  It was a tight match with our boys “ mugging” their opponents to win on the last - Neil gave one of the Wiltshire boys the wrong yardage on the final hole and he overshot the green by some margin – excellent!!   That’s the way to get a good half!


Result         Sussex 4½     Wiltshire 3½

Phil Williamson

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 David Ruffett (Wiltshire Captains) hands over the ‘Ball Marker’ Trophy to Brian Street

     © Sussex Golf Captains 2019