GGC Isle of Wight trip and Holiday Chalice 2022.
20 intrepid members of our association set forth from Southampton on Tuesday 3rd May bound for The Isle of Wight.
We arrived at East Cowes and travelled to Osborne Golf Club to discover our Captain and his passengers already in the bar having caught an earlier ferry in their desperation to get the relaunch of the Chalice trip underway. On the ferry Alastair Harvey had carried out a blind draw for partners for our first round of a “fun” 4 ball Bowmaker with 2 best scores to count.
As this was an unknown 9 hole course with some alternative tees we decided to play the competition off 90% h’cap. There were two nearest the pin competitions on the short but tricky 6th and 15th green. The course proved to be quite challenging despite its relatively flat parkland surroundings. The greens were difficult and not in the best of order.
The winning team with 86 points were Roger Downes, Ian Smith, Gordon Thomas & Brian Snook. Each received a bottle of Champagne.
The runners up were Joe Betty, Rex Parry, Dave Wall & Alastair Harvey with 82 points, each receiving a fine bottle of claret.
Mel Hadfield won both nearest the pins and 3 balls for each. There was only one 2 recorded by Alan Taylor rewarded with a sleeve of balls.
Following a few beers we travelled on to our accommodation in Ryde at The Royal Esplanade Hotel, a fine old Victorian edifice on the seafront opposite the pier, railway, bus and hovercraft stations. Not the quietest place in town! A quick change and we ambled no more than 100 yards to a wonderful Italian Restaurant where we were royally treated to a marvellous meal and copious amounts of fine Italian wines. A good night was had by all.
On Wednesday 4th May we travelled along the coast to Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club for the first round of The Holiday Chalice. A single stableford competition off full h’cap. The conditions were pleasant with a slight breeze blowing. This is one of only two 18 hole courses on the island and regarded by many as its premier track. The rough was up and it was difficult to find our extricate errant shots.... The greens difficult to read.
Despite this and the relatively slow pace of play on a busy course there were some fine scores with John Philip, Brian Snook & Alan Taylor all recording 36 points closely followed by Mark Anderson with 35. Nearest the pin competition on the short but testy 9th hole in front of the clubhouse was won by John Dymock. There was only one 2 recorded by John Philip and that was the result of a chip-in!
In the evening we walked to a local restaurant along the esplanade where the owner agreed to host two groups of 10, half an hour apart, to help her limited number of kitchen staff. Again we enjoyed a superb dinner with copious amounts of wine. After a sobering stagger back to the hotel where for some all the good was undone by late night imbibing in the hotel bar.
The second and final round for The Chalice took place again at Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club on Thursday 5th May. Yet again the weather was very kind to us and sunscreen was required. We followed behind a Seniors Match against a team from Meon Valley who had arrived in the morning by ferry from Portsmouth. This did cause us some delays on the course but most of our number did benefit from having played the course the previous day.
One such player proved to come out of the pack and prevailed to clinch the top prize and surprise us all. The nearest the pin competition on the long, downhill 11th hole was won by Brian Snook who was the only person to manage to hit and stay on the green. However, there were more 2’s this day recorded by Alan Taylor, who had 2, Mark Anderson and Mel Hadfield (on the blind, uphill 5th green). Sleeves of balls were awarded as usual for these miraculous feats.
The evening Gala Prize Giving Banquet, preceded by speeches from incoming President Rex and our new Captain Dereck, took place in the hotel’s function room. All 20 players, suitably attired in blazers & ties, enjoyed another three course meal with copious amounts of wine supplemented for some of us by Phil Payne’s Drambuie. We were extremely well served by
Chelsea as our main hostess.
There followed a Calvados toast to Norman Hodgkiss (funded by him with our thanks) and a final prize presentation.
Chalice Day 1 - 1st John Philip 36 pts, 2nd Brian Snook 36 pts OCB, 3rd Alan Taylor 36pts OCB.
Chalice Day 2 - 1st Rex Parry 38 pts, 2nd Alastair Harvey 36 pts, 3rd Derek Newton 34 pts.
Trevor Hole Trophy for “hardest trier” – Chris Wagstaff with 46 pts (over 2 rounds).
The Holiday Chalice - Tony Davis 74 points. (33 and 41) WELL DONE TONY.
Friday 6th May dawned bright & sunny after a very late night of partying by some. We departed Ryde at various times, some making earlier ferries than the schedule. Tony particularly in a hurry to get home to Ruby to share his good news and £100 won on the sweepstake as he was the only person to bet on himself! (by default I might add).
In Spring of 2023 we look forward to doing it all again, possibly back to France, and having more “virgin” tourists.
The four that joined us this time certainly had a good time, or so they told me!
Sam Collins (Social Organiser trips across the water)