Surrey v Sussex at Purley Downs


This away fixture against Surrey Golf Captains was played in very hot and sunny conditions at Purley Downs Golf Club. Designed by JH Taylor, who won the Open Championship 5 times, the course is an absolute gem. You will probably not put on more challenging and pacey greens throughout the season. A first class golfing experience both on and off the course. Definitely one for your “bucket list”.



And so to the matches;


Match1. Opening the batting (when England were already 4 wickets down ) were Captain Brian and “Big Boy” Andy Plowright. No racing certainty this one. Indeed, rather like Devonlock Sussex were felled just before the finishing line, with long odds outsider Foinavon (Surrey) eventually creeping over the line. Loss 1 down. My understanding is the last hole was won by Surrey with a slightly worse score than Sussex – 7? Brian bought Andy a beer to cry in!!


Match 2.  John Pyne and Dave Wilkins – lovely boys – were clearly in the Christmas mood with Santa’s ball somehow or other ending up in the pocket of one of the opposition.  3 down after 4 the thought of a refreshing beer or two was too much for our boys to resist. So – after the 13th the 19th was the next stop. They quickly recovered after a 6& 5 loss.


Match 3.  Harold Knight needs to go on a writing course – this is the best he and partner Chris Wise could offer your editor. Quote “ Terrific game. Could have gone either way. Went to the last put on the 18th”. Sounds very very interesting! Really fun!! Oh by the way we won this one 1 up. Not sure what the symbol on my computer is for a yawn!


Match 4.  The deadly Ifield duo, Ron Adams and Neil Smith, were rolled over by an Octogenarian (Harold that’s someone over 80). The Surrey 20 handicapper was a bit like the weather – too hot to handle! Ron described Neil’s effort as “ great” to only loose 4 & 2. Room for improvement chaps!


Match 5.  The highlight of this match was – according to Kerry and the President – the solitary hole won on the 11th. Otherwise they staggered from topping to shanking achieving amazing halves from certain to win positions. President Eddie Noyce is a very successful businessman – he needs to go back to his early reading on “ How to close out the deal “ Chapter 1.


Match 6.  Now this is more like it. Tom,“the Hutch”, on leaving home was asked by his wife wether he was playing at “the Pearly Gates”. We are pleased to report he survived his round at Purley Downs. Although he and David Sinden loved the greens they clearly didn’t master them – down 3 & 2. Nevermind at least Mrs Hutchinson will be pleased – or maybe not?


Match 7.  In 30 degree plus conditions Richard McArthur and Ken Penfold’s game mirrored the course and the statistics of the match – need to think about that one Harold. Yes – you’ve got it – up and down! An honorable ½ secured and new golfing friends made.


Match 8.  I sensed from Phil Burley’s comments and Frank Edmonds overall demeanor that they were slightly miffed with the playing handicaps of their opponents. Phil – even with 3 birdies in his round – couldn’t compete with a 17 handicapper who played to 10. Welcome to the world of Sussex Captains Golf!


Match 9.  Introduced by the Captain as his top pairing – thanks Brian – The Editor and Alan Butcher (6 h/c) did not disappoint our great leader. Won 3 &1. Early on one of our opponents (19 h/c ) was confused with Alan. He was gross 4 over for our first 9 holes. Fortunately the weather finally got the better of him and fatigue kicked in. Mr A Butcher – our boy - not to be confused with their boy ( Mr J. Butcher) eventually bored us all with the fact that he had discovered what was wrong with his golf swing – and came good.


Match 10.  Former Captain Ian Wood supported by Nigel Land  (probably the other way around in reality) proved worthy anchor men winning 1up in a tense and nervy final 3 holes. Sussex dormy 3 eventually closed it out on the 18th with nerves jingling having missed short puts on 16 and 17 –didn’t we all!! Well done boys – shame the opening two pairings didn’t do as well as the last two!!


The final post dinner speeches were also dominated by Surrey who hardly left enough time for Brian to say anything ( although he did go out of his way to congratulate Copthorne on their 125th birthday weekend – here here! ). The Surrey Captain of the day even revealed the result! Brian mentioned to me after the meal that he had another of his fantastic jokes to tell but felt he wouldn’t have had enough time to deliver it properly. So for those who played yesterday bad luck – for those playing at Muswell Hill today against the London Captains then bad luck to you too!!



Final match result - Surrey 6½ - Sussex 3½.



Phil Williamson

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 From the first hole looking towards the 10th

     © Sussex Golf Captains 2019