GGC HOLIDAY CHALICE - FRANCE 2019

19 intrepid members of our association set forth from Portsmouth on Sunday 28th April bound for St.Malo. We were originally 20 but unfortunately one person was forced to drop out on the morning of travel due to illness.

Despite the weather forecast we experienced a very smooth crossing and all awoke refreshed and raring to go after a good night’s sleep. We arrived at St. Malo Le Tronchet Golf & Country Club in bright, sunny conditions for a sumptuous breakfast where Alastair Harvey carried out a blind draw for partners for our first round of a “fun” 4 ball Bowmaker with 2 best scores to count.

 

As we were now reduced to 19 the first group were a 3 ball off full handicap followed by 4 x 4 balls off ¾ handicap. There was a nearest the pin competition on the short but tricky 11th green.

The winning team with 75 points were Dereck Butler, Pat White, Mark Anderson & Brian Snook. Each received a bottle of Champagne. The runners up were Stuart Revell, Roger Downes & Sam Collins with 74 points, each receiving a fine bottle of claret. Derek Newton won nearest the pin and 3 balls. There were THREE 2’s recorded by Brian Snook and one each by Derek Newton & John Barrett, each 2 rewarded with a ball.

Prize giving took place in our hotel bar, a lovely spot overlooking the Dinan Port on the River Rance. We then travelled, despite some taxi delays, to Restaurant Le Saint Louis in Dinan old town for an excellent dinner. A good night was had by all.

On Tuesday 30th April we travelled to Dinard Golf Club for the first round of The Holiday Chalice. A single stableford competition off full handicap. The conditions were perfect & sun cream was the order of the day. Despite a slow pace of play on a busy course there were some fine scores with Stuart Revell & Clive Collier both recording 36 points closely followed by Mark Anderson & Dereck Butler with 34s. 6 others were in the low 30s. Nearest the pin competition on the tough 12th hole was won by Clive Collier, who had two 2s, as did Mark Anderson.

In the evening we walked to a local restaurant on the opposite bank of the river to the hotel. Yet again we enjoyed a superb dinner with copious amounts of a very fine Bordeaux, although a certain person wasn’t too impressed with the white! The chef received a rousing round of applause. I also think the young couple intending to enjoy a quiet, romantic evening together did not know they were due to learn so much about the rules of golf from Dereck & Alastair.

The second & final round for The Chalice took place at Golf des Ormes on Wednesday 1st May, a public holiday in France so the course was very busy. A beautiful parkland course with water hazards! Yet again the weather was very kind to us. Some players found the course challenging and some leading contenders fell away. Possibly through fatigue or sunstroke or alcoholic poisoning! However, one contender prevailed to clinch the top prize for a second time. The nearest the pin competition on the 8th hole was won by Brian Snook and the only 2 of the day, recorded on the same hole, was achieved by Rob Payne. Balls were awarded as usual for these feats.

The evening Gala Prize Giving Banquet saw all 19 players, suitably attired in blazers & ties, attend another local restaurant. Following a specially prepared grace delivered by Alan Robinson (County President) we enjoyed another superb 4 course meal and copious wine where we were extremely well served by our hostess Yuna. There followed a Calvados toast to Norman Hodgkiss (partly funded by him with our thanks) and a final prize presentation preceded by various speeches.

Dinard:- 1st Clive Collier 36 pts, 2nd Mark Anderson 34 pts OCB, 3rd Dereck Butler 34pts OCB.

St.Ormes:- 1st Brian Snook 32 pts OCB, 2nd Joe Betty 32 pts OCB, 3rd Sam Collins 30 pts OCB.

Trevor Hole Trophy for “hardest trier”:– Mike Slatter with 39pts (over 2 rounds).

The Holiday Chalice:- Stuart Revell 69 points. WELL DONE STUART (and for driving the bus).

 

Thursday 2nd May dawned cloudier with a chilly breeze. We departed Dinan and various stops were taken en route to Cherbourg for a fast but smooth return to UK.

In Spring of 2020 we look forward to doing it all again and possibly having more “virgin” tourists. The two that joined us this time certainly had a good time, or so they told me!

SAM COLLINS (Social Organiser trips to France)

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