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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