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OR Golf Day 2023

Having been returned to its slot in April the Old Ruymians Golf Day edged back towards it pre-Covid numbers with nineteen golfers and an additional six diners signed up for the event. Despite the met office showing a fine sunny day for Friday 21st April the previous week, we woke up to heavy rain and the prospect of spending the morning in the St. Augustine’s clubhouse.

The morning started over coffee and an assessment of how handicaps were to be set for the day’s Stableford event. Fortunately I had delegated the finer points of handicaps, local course rules etc to the experienced John Darby. Amusingly the England Golf website suggests: “The World Handicap System™ launched in England on 2 November 2020. It is designed to welcome more players, to make golf easier to understand and to give all golfers a handicap which is portable all around the globe.” There was little evidence to support this claim in the ensuing discussions.

A phone call from Tommy Thomas asking where everyone was, was soon to reveal that he had gone to North Foreland Golf Club when we were all at St Augustine’s. As we approached the 10.00am tee time we were very fortunate that the rain stopped and gave a window of opportunity to get started, that later even offered a spell or two of sunshine. John Darby, Terry Gilliland, Barry Holton and Tony Nicolaou were the first to set off, setting a high standard to be followed for the rest of the day. Tommy and Bern Chitty were able to arrive in time to see the next four, Ed and Steve Foster with Jeremy Parkin and Steve Harris. Next up were Mark Lewis (current OR Cricket organiser), Nick Alder, Bob Green and Terry Westby, closely followed by Phil Goldsmith, Paul Hollingum, Bob McDougall and Ken Flower (former OR cricket organiser). Bringing up the rear was myself, David Wake and Paul Goatham who having played the course on the Monday earlier in the week were scheduled to play “The Loop” which omits holes ten to fifteen. This allowed us to cut in front of the first four and be first back to the clubhouse whilst not missing our chance, (all be them desperately thin, to try our hand at the nearest the pin on hole sixteen and the longest drive on hole seventeen.

The final group got back to the clubhouse in good time for lunch and well ahead of the rain that finally started again later in the afternoon. Mike and Bonnie Tyrrell, John and Carole Copeland, Janet Hughes and Tommy joined the golfers once again for lunch. This started at a quarter to three and the majority of people were served their chosen main courses. After a modest hiatus, questions regarding the whereabouts of the sweet trolley were starting to be asked. A visit to the kitchens was to reveal that this was not a requirement that had been communicated to the staff who the catering manager had left to their own devices. The young team in the kitchen did well to respond with a choice of sticky toffee pudding or Eton mess which was naturally served rather later than first expected. Janet’s hospitality gene kicked in and she provided much appreciated help to deliver the deserts. A generous pot was collected for the waiting staff.

John Darby stood to present the prizes. The sixteenth hole is quite long for a par 3 and there was only one person that hit the green, but that was sufficient to award the nearest the pin prize to Terry Gilliland. Three names appeared on the longest drive marker and the longest drive went to Ed Foster. Two golfers had the same stableford points for the runner-up position first named was Bob McDougall who stood up ready to receive his trophy only to be told that he had lost the runner-up position based on a countback on the back nine as if golf itself weren’t harsh enough! Finally Terry Gilliland collected the runner-up trophy. This year’s winner once again was Barry Holton who is now a three time winner, very well done Barry!

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