12 July 2021
As with many events this year, the shadow of doubt was hanging over the Company Golf Day fixture until relatively late in the day. We were also restricted on numbers due to the interpretation of Covid regulations, but overall, it was a great pleasure to see 22 attendees at Huntercombe Golf Club on 8 July. The full range of the Company was on display, with the youngest attendee being approximately 22, and the oldest, well, not quite four times more experienced, but not far off it!
For those not familiar with Huntercombe, it is a delightful course to the north of Henley, overlooking the Vale of Aylesbury. As a golfing test, it has something to offer all standards and we adopted our traditional format of singles in the morning and foursomes in the afternoon.
Competing for the Challenge Cup, Liveryman Graham Armstrong set a very strong pace on the front nine and, despite appearing to have a slight case of the jitters on the back nine, he was too far ahead to be caught in the end. Well done Graham. Honourable mentions go to Freeman Richard Walker-Taylor as runner-up in the morning, and, err, yours truly for winning the scratch prize for the lowest gross score! Liveryman Tony Wright was successful in his attempt to win “The Putter”, the prize for the golfer achieving the best value for money round by taking the most strokes.
As always, there were “blobbies” (£2 fine for not scoring on a hole) plus “behavioural blobbies”. The pick of the latter was Richard Walker-Taylor for being caught “littering on the course” (he accidentally left his wedge at the back of the second green). However, it was agreed this fine should be paid by Court Assistant Peter Watkins, as Peter’s approach to the second hit the stray club, thus preventing it from disappearing down a steep slope. All proceeds to the MT Foundation.
After an excellent lunch operated in meticulous rule-of-six-compliant fashion, the pairs for the afternoon of 11 holes of foursomes (teams of two hit alternate shots) departed. The Captain of Golf, in front of the massed ranks of spectators, hit a magnificent shank off the first tee, but a lucky rebound off an oak tree saw it land in safety. (A shank is a golf shot where the contact is between the ball and the curved shaft of the club at its joint with the club face – curved surface hitting a curved ball – well, it doesn’t usually end well for the ball, or the player’s reputation). And so, reader, you may be surprised to hear that after the most inauspicious of starts, I and my formidable partner, debutant Apprentice Michael Brown (playing on his birthday) won the silver lamb trophies on a countback.
It was joyous to be able to reconvene after an enforced lay-off in 2020. Here’s looking forward to 2022 and, as always, all will be welcome.