Buckinghamshire v Sussex at Harleyford

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On a glorious Autumn Thursday we set of for the splendid venue of Harleyford Golf Club. Set in the grounds of a private estate several Members of our team had difficulty getting through the gated entrance – especially those from the East! Red Kites were circling the Donald Steele layout nestled by the River Thames in Marlow. Home of Tyrell Hatton – currently on Ryder Cup duty – Andy Plowright was tempted to park in Tyrell’s private parking spot. Thinking better of it we assembled at the Clubhouse where Captain Peter Ward very generously treated all the Sussex team to a motivating pint of London Pride to accompany our bacon buttie and pastry!


And so to the matches;


Match 1.         Our own Captain Fantastic Tarzipan, joined on this occasion by El Presidenti Neil Smith, battled hard to secure a well earned 1 Up victory. A close fought match with the competitive leadership shills of Peter guiding the team home. Neil very modestly mentioned he closed the deal out on the 18th – Peter  told me, on the quiet, that this was the only thing our President did all day! Team spirit at it’s best!


Match 2.         The VC, by his own admission was not at his best, and Santa was     (by the way) no better. Even so our boys battled hard to eventually loose on the 18th 1 down. There were very few highlights – the odd birdie from the VC – but when we approached the 16th there was a very large sculpture of a dragon which seemed to remind one of our opponents of his wife! Goodness knows what she though of him! (although he did put well ). Dave’s performance was hampered by the fact that he pushed his electric trolley all the way round without a battery – left it in his car! Plonker!


Match 3.          IPC Brian Street has always been good at selecting his partners and today was no exception. Our ever consistent Nigel Wates continues to play well and ensured our lads raced away to a 4 up lead. Nigel had some difficulty with his debit card at the half way house (£10 only limit?) which denied him of his much needed bust of Mars Bar energy resulting in a slow down in our teams supremacy. All ended on the 18th with a 1 up win – where I happened to notice Brian looking right, left and centre in the hope that one of his opponents would concede a relatively short put – no chance. Fortunately Brain closed his eyes, crossed his legs and popped it in. Whew!


Match 4.          With Andy Plowright playing par golf for the first 4 holes the Sussex duo got off to a good start. Keith Talbot then weighed in with a couple of winning holes helped by one of the Bucks golfers forgetting he had a shot! Sound familiar? Our lead increased to 4 before Bucks decided to contribute to the contest. But it was all too little and too late. Sussex finally won a close contest 2 & 1. (I noticed in the commentary the phrase “ hung on to win” was crossed out and was replaced by the words “ finally won”.) One of our Bucks Scottish opponents offered refreshments at the halfway hut but sadly – and being Scottish with a very modest credit limit (in his case £1 – Nigel please take note) he had no credit left on his card. Poor old Keith had to buy his own!


Match 5.          Our star Pairing of Terry Vanhinsberg and Patron Dave Harmer had a tough encounter against a better pair on the day - they clearly managed to read the greens especially well. Dave had a difficult journey to the Club (and I don’t mean just travelling with Harold Knight) with a nasty accident delaying his arrival – at least he had an excuse for coming second – unlike the editor of today’s report! Lost 3 & 2.


Match 6.          Another wonderful set of comments from our literary teammates Harold Knight and Tom Hutchinson – “ an enjoyable afternoon with super weather on a lovely course’. Now what am I supposed to do with that!  I’m not surprised that the Sussex team lost 5 & 4 they clearly lack any form of imagination and creativity – I am advised they couldn’t read the greens! Ha – give me a break! Harold please sign up for a Creative Writing Course over the Winter!


Match 7.          Hon Sec Mark Terry’s photographic skills came on leaps and bounds during this eventful match. With Nigel and Mark dovetailing well Mark had plenty of time to photograph the many animal sculptures the course had to offer. Continuing with the animal theme – they secured a dog licence – winners 7 & 6. Well done boys – great result!


Match 8.          Arriving in good time to prepare himself to bring home the winning pair Des Malcolm – on this occasion supported by the chef’s favorite golfer Mark Dunn (how does he eat that stuff?) – played with wonderful hosts to secure an excellent 5 & 3 victory. Des will be putting a spirit level in his bag the next time he plays the course to help him read the greens -  Mark will bring along the wholegrain nut bars!


A great way for Captain Peter Ward to conclude our County Match Season with a 5 wins to 3   victory over Buckinghamshire Captains.


 Phil Williamson

Vice Captain

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Hampshire v Sussex at Meon Valley

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The sky was battleship grey and the wind a strong South Westerly, as Wardy’s Warriors arrived at Meon Valley. Southampton FC had unwisely parked their coach there presumably unaware of the antagonism this would provoke in our Pompey fans; indeed, Richard Jays had to be restrained before he could leave his own message!

Captain Peter and Hampshire Captain, Shane made the introductions noting that both sides were one man short, so it was agreed that the first match would be a two-ball.  This was then followed by a bacon roll and tea/coffee, something of a new experience for the Sussex boys instead of their usual pre-match beverages – how would they cope?


And so, it began…


Our Captain chose Joe Angella to be “Billy-no-mates” on the basis he best could represent two players. He was matched up against Brian for our hosts, which meant he was conceding 11 shots. Off they went down the opening par 5, never to be seen again by the following group. It transpired Brian had played well, making full use of his shots advantage and thus Joe suffered a 4&3 defeat.


Onto Match 2 which featured the two Captains and their sidekicks, Phil Williamson and Tony Hoskin, the latter being a former professional. However, it was to be the “Invincibles”, Peter and Phil who triumphed, playing superb golf to shoot a better ball score of level par gross! (More like the “Incredibles”). This resulted it a 7&6 win, though even that could have been better if our Captain had not lapsed into senility, one-handing a putt for another win and missing. Doh!


Third out, the President Neil Smith was accompanied by Ian (Harry) Potter against the Home side’s President Brian and the Immediate Past Captain of Meon Valley, Mark. Sadly, our old-timers could not cope with playing two days in a row, and as they wilted so did their challenge, leaving the locals to run out 4&3 victors. No magic there then!


The fourth encounter saw Lord Gerkin (aka Norman Milburn) and Dave “Santa” Wilkins bring a game to Hampshire. Sorry that should read their “A” game. Unbelievably, Sussex got off to a lightening fast start, 5 up after 5 holes and that, despite a valiant effort from their opponents, was to prove decisive. Our heroes finished with a 6&5 win to register another point for Sussex.


In Match 5 Sussex had the engine room pairing of Mark Terry and Richard Cowlard which proved to be an inspirational choice. Mark had perhaps unwisely, hit a bucket of balls on the range so took time to recover. Fortunately, Richard was having a wonderful putting day so when Mark joined the action, they were able to overcome the home pair 3&2. This was despite the underhand tactic of plying Mark with sloe gin – I wonder why they didn’t try it on Richard?


Next up was John Kinnear and Peter Rodger, as reliable a pairing as you can get. This time however they met their nemesis in Eddy Edwards and Tony Ransley, who proved too strong and defeated our “steady Eddies” by 5&3.


So, onto Match 7 where Nigel Land and Richard “Jay-Z” Jays were paired once again after their success against Wiltshire. With Hampshire’s Mike and Geoff putting up stern resistance, this proved to be a close encounter with the locals eventually holding a one-hole lead after 16 holes. At the tricky 17th, Jay-Z found the water and the contest was at an end, our dynamic duo splashing to a 2&1 defeat. Richard confirmed it was his fault, (a view supported by Nigel), blaming it on a lack of pre-match alcohol.


The eighth match found the sprightly Reg Cork teamed up with John Bigsby as they faced Gary and Tony whom Reg described as true gentlemen. Not sure how much time Reg spent in their company as, apparently, he visited most of the trees on the course. Perhaps not surprisingly then, our chaps lost by a Dog Licence (7&6 for younger readers) despite John’s best efforts. Woof woof!


In Match 9, Derek May and David Noble were pitted against Hampshire’s “B” team – Brian and Bob. Derek, who likes his food, described their performance as “they ham and egged well” which led to them dominating proceedings. B & B did provide better banter than competition which had the result that the double “D’s” recorded a substantial 6&4 success.


Last up came the anchor pairing of Nigel Powell and Keith Talbot who were also facing another pair of Hampshire’s “B” team, this time Bernard and Bill. The Sussex duo got off to a flyer, recording birdie, net birdie in the first two holes. Two more successes meant a substantial lead but back came the B’s to whittle it away. As they entered the back nine, the Sussex boys regained the initiative and eventually ran out 5&3 winners. Nigel played the long holes well and Keith the short ones perhaps reflecting their stature (in the game).


Thus, the overall Match result was a tie at 5-5. Strangely, the majority of matches had had decisive results, and none were halved.


The post-match formalities were executed early as we waited for the potatoes to roast.

Shane delivered his speech, touching on the drubbing they had received at Peter and Phil’s hands, then Peter announced the match result (twice) followed by the arrival of the food.


And so, fully replete, we headed for the motorway and home.


Keith Talbot

Sussex v Essex at Mannings Heath


On a beautiful late summer's day, 40 Captains gathered at Manning's Heath Golf Club and Wine Estate for the annual match between Sussex and good friends from Essex. Some of the Captains from across the Thames had gathered as early as 9 and 10 o'clock because they were concerned about meeting hordes of marauding Boxgrove Men (check out the history) waiting at the foot of the Surrey Hills. They didn't and much to their surprise, they had no problems on the M25 either.

Before the afternoon got underway, filled with reckless buggy driving and out of control trolleys, a joint welcome was provided by President Ian Jaggard and Club Captain Roger Bridge. Jags drew attention to the missing Mark Terry whose attendance at the funeral of a long standing Sussex Captain Bruce Carlile led to Mark's rare absence from SGC events. A short moment or two of respect was shown to Bruce who was well remembered by a number of Captains.

A copious supply of sandwiches and chips - enough to satisfy even Brian Street - followed and the first tee then resembled a queue for a Saga mystery coach tour ready for first tee off at 1pm.

Plenty of buggies were on hand for the sick and infirm in preparation for the challenges of the Manning's hills and the match got underway.

Captain Peter Ward, still recovering from his Goodwood exertions, and home Captain Roger Bridge had a tough match against the single handicap pairing of Essex Captain Phil Smith and his partner Malcolm Waite. The match went down to the last two holes when the Essex duo produced two birdies to win the match 2 up.

Match 2 resulted in a comfortable win for Ian (Harry) Potter and David (Donald) Sinden by a score of 5 & 4 but the highlight was Essex Secretary's attempt to scale the 18th hole slopes in his buggy but thanks to the technology, the buggy stopped its tearaway run before ending up in the stream. Peter Freeman was reminded that the 18th hole was not the M25!

In match 3 Neil Smith and the ever reliable Terry Vanhinsburgh went down to a narrow 2 & 1 defeat largely because Terry had left his ever reliable game at home (he said). Unusual but it apparently does happen. In Match 4, David Schwartz and Pocket Rocket Harold Knight ran out easy winners 5 & 4 but the highlight was David's trolley having a mind of its own and careering off down the 18th towards the trees. Harold displaying the sprinting prowess which even he didn't know he had gave up the chase when he realised the trolley was winning and just let it take its natural course into the trees. David was oblivious to all this in his own focused zone.

In the fifth match, returning from a long absence, Jags demonstrated that not only once you've got it you never lose it but also that when you've never had it you don't get it back. After his injury lay-off he managed another 18 holes and with Chris Wise witnessed a 16 handicap golfer playing like a demon - hitting rockets off the tee as a testament to his training as an Exocet tester for Argentina. Result, despite valiant efforts a 4 & 3 loss. In match 6, Brian Street and Dave Kemp suffered a similar setback and Dave manfully accepted full responsibility - Brian had the usual excuses like the opposition playing better!

In Match 7, veterans Reg Auchterlonie and Norman Milburn fought back from 3 down to halve their contest but David Noble and Derek May were no match for their Essex opponents going down by a healthy (?) 5 and 4 score.

In Match 9, Vice Captain Phil Williamson, helped by super sub Manning's man John Gleaves saw off their Essex counterparts by a 4 & 3 margin. Phil was heard to say that playing with John was like having our own super sub David Fairclough which prompted Harry Potter to ask what somebody from Coronation Street was doing playing for SGC. By way of explanation, David Fairclough was a footballer renowned for his performances as a substitute - Len of the same family was known for other stuff.

In the final match, which has only just finished (well it was a bit behind the rest) the result was decided on the last two holes which Essex won to record a two up victory. Kevin Heanen and Des Malcolm had fought hard but to no avail which will teach Kevin not to try to purloin the Match Manager's glasses.

So the result was a good win for Essex 6.5 to 3.5 and an excellent meal with fine Manning's wine was followed by the Captains' short congratulatory and commiserative speeches.

Manning's Heath were excellent in all respects but I would say that. Course, food and staff were all highly praised which was much appreciated

Ian Jaggard

Sussex v Wiltshire at Goodwood

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It was a warm, pleasant day that greeted both teams as they arrived at Goodwood, a course Sussex has not played at for some time. Presumably we had to save up!

It is an area that has fond memories for our Captain, but that’s another story…

After a lunch of top quality sandwiches, Peter Ward and Wiltshire’s Captain Andy Hatter introduced the pairings and set the scene for a competitive match.

(Editors note: Nice to see Tony Bauckham there!)


And so, it began…


Our Captain and leader, Peter Ward led the way, more than ably assisted by Simon Watts. Faced with tough opposition from Andy, a solid all-round player and his smaller counterpart, Steve Powers (brother of Austin maybe?), Simon had, in his words a “bit of a day” playing level par golf! Just to make the visitors day, when Simon faltered, Peter stepped in to cover so our heroes ran out 6&4 winners.

It was said that Andy and Steve were heard to emit shrieks of disbelief and despair, but I believe that was later when getting a round in!


Onto Match 2 which saw Andy Lamb and Chris Adamson up against the Wiltshire pairing of Lye / Patch, me hearties. Chris nearly had a heart attack on the 1st as his tee shot finished about 1 foot beyond the hole – he is a Scotsman after all. Good enough to win the hole, you’d think. Not so, as Neil chipped in for a half!! The game remained tight up to the finish where Wiltshire’s Paul sank a 20-foot putt for birdie which our lads could not match. Um, you’re making a habit of losing the last Andy, to lose 1 down – don’t let it happen again!


In Match 3, a similar scenario was played out by the dream team of President Neil Smith and President-elect Ian Wood. Such is Ian’s renown, that Goodwood have named a buggy after him! Lined up against these two legends were Pat and Stuart who had the temerity to take an early lead. However, the dynamic duo pegged them back so once again it all came down to the 18th. And, as in the previous match, the result was decided by a long putt in favour of the Wiltshire Moonrakers.

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 Following on in Match 4, Sussex had their “Laurel & Hardy” partnership of Nigel Wates and Mark Terry. They played more like Ballesteros and Olazabal, so Wilts’s Robin and Tom were not laughing as Sussex went 3 up at the turn. Despite some heroics from Tom on the par 3’s, they could not make any impression, so Sussex registered a 3&1 victory.


Match 5 had two first time pairings, Steve Tigg and Keith Talbot for the home side and Don and Ian for the visitors. Don claimed a 2-shot increase in his handicap on the first tee, an inflation rate that Goodwood would have been proud of.

After halving the first hole, the Wiltshire pair went 2 up, but were hauled back to level by the 6th. At this point, Keith went AWOL, just joining the other three players on the tees. Steve fought bravely to keep Sussex in it, but eventually Ian made his shots count, to enable Wiltshire to record a 3&1 success.

(Editors note; I think I lost about 8&6 but fortunately it’s a team game!)


Perhaps Sussex would have more success in Match 6 which saw our very own David Balfour linked up with Richard Cowlard. After all, they were only playing Martin and John who had much higher handicaps. Well, despite the game being played in great spirit, the “Mexican Bandit from Wiltshire” (Dave didn’t say which one it was) helped the Moonrakers to crush our amigos by 6&5.

Note: this was about the only “bitter” to be found at Goodwood


Moving on to Match 7, we find Nigel Evans and Tony Bauckham – the Mannings Heath Mafia, pitched against Dick Solomon and Colin Bell (the ex-Man City footballer perhaps?). This was one of those rare occurrences where Sussex established an early lead racing to 4up, went 5up at the turn and, despite losing one hole, went on to secure an emphatic 4&3 victory. Apparently, they found the aircraft flying around Goodwood distracting and presumably butterflies doing likewise!


The ultimate contest featured Nigel Land and the inimitable Richard “Jay-Z” Jays in opposition to Wiltshire’s Mike and Dave. Our local combo managed to establish a 3-hole deficit after 6, which they carefully maintained to the turn. However, after a stirring half-time team talk, they turned the tables and won four successive holes to nip into the lead. Despite the Visitors best endeavours, our chaps hung on, finally closing out with a 2&1 triumph.


Thus, the overall Match result was a tie at 4-4, which seemed a fair outcome.


After post-round drinks and a change of appearance, we decamped to the Hotel two miles down the road. Unfortunately, we did not pass a cash-point en route.

For, arriving at the venue, we found the bar area littered with players unable to comprehend the speed their wallets had emptied!!

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The food was “nouvelle cuisine” styled – very good but lacking in substance. Chris Adamson had his second shock of the day when advised there was no potatoes. Pete gave his tried and tested speech, followed by Andy who humorously outlined his thoughts on the course, the company and the venue – all well received by the teams. 

He presented Peter with the much-valued trophy, which we retained as the current holders, for safe keeping until next year.

So, we dispersed – some headed home; some headed for fast-food outlets that took cards!


Keith Talbot

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