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G.G.C. v Devonshire at The Players Club G.C. on Thursday 19th August 2021

Result – Win 4 ½ - 3 ½

Sixteen of our number met up at a very busy Players Golf Club on a warm but overcast morning, which turned more pleasant in the afternoon despite a couple of outbreaks of light drizzle.

The course was in excellent condition with very tricky greens and the many water hazards producing some unfamiliar challenges and taking their toll on ball supplies.

Our visitors arrived early having played against Worcestershire the previous day and staying overnight in a hotel at Sixways thus affording them a relatively short drive down to Bristol. On the other hand our team arrived in dribs and drabs with a few locals late arrivals due to all sorts of logistical reasons.

There were some very creditable performances on the difficult Codrington Course which enabled us to scrape our second outright victory of the season by the narrowest of margins, as it all came down to the last match which was halved.

I played with Martin Neal, this year’s Captain at The Players, who was very good company but unable to master his own greens. He helped us all around the course. This is probably the only course in the Bristol area I had never played before, which probably explained my loss of 4 balls! We played against Graham Heaman, Captain of Devon from Exminster, playing off the same handicap as Martin and struggling just as much. His partner Brian Rice getting 6 shots didn’t suffer the same challenges and saw them home 2&1.

President Ian Smith & John Phillip playing against the Devon President Malcolm Jordain and Lew Easter won 1 up. Dereck Buttler & James Leatham-Pugh won 3&2. Match Manager John Cumming & Rex Parry won 4&3. Secretary Jim Ford & Ron Gibson won 3&1.

Unfortunately very late replacement Eric Millard playing with Phil Payne (with a bad back) lost 3&2 against a very good 5 handicapper. Trevor Stewart, playing with clubs borrowed from the Pro (it’s a long story!) and Alan Robinson lost 2&1 having been dormy four down. Keith Hanson & Alan Veitch, another very late replacement, got the all-important half in the final match.

Yet again John and I were very grateful to Eric, Jim and Alan for being prepared to turn up at extremely short notice to ensure we had a full complement of players. I said so in my post-match address. Why some of our members are so laissez faire about their availability beats me!

We were well looked after by the catering & bar staff with good service and excellent food. Martin was asked to thank the management and members for facilitating our event.


Sam Collins.

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