With several late dropouts, 27 players arrived for the first society day of 2013 at local course Staverton Park, including 3 new members. With a lot of cold and wet weather recently, the course was in surprisingly good condition and although the greens were a little bumpy, having been hollow tined recently, they were still fast for the time of year.
Scoring was very mixed, with only 3 players scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut, while 7 players scored 24 points or less to get a handicap increase (a good job we changed it from the old system of less than 30 points!).
As with the last outing of 2012, Greeny mastered the conditions best of all to score 39 points, beating the fast improving Neil Fuller on countback. Both players earn a 3-shot handicap cut. In third place was Jeff Cowley on 38 points(2 shot cut) while Bondy was the highest place newcomer with 35 points, after blobbing the last hole!
This fixture was re-arranged from March due to snow on the original date, so 19 players enjoyed what has been a rare sunny day so far this year!
The course was in surprisingly good condition with both fairways and greens fairly flat and smooth, so combined with the fact the course is fairly short we expected a lot of high scores to be posted. However, this didn't turn out to be the case and although 3 players tied on 38 points, nobody else scored over 36.
Simon Smith was the winner on countback from Simon Hooper and Bert, all 3 earning a 2 shot handicap cut.
22 players enjoyed a day of sunshine at Newbold Comyn - a new addition to the list of courses we play.
The course was in fair condition, although some of the greens had obviously suffered over the winter and going off the fairway was a bit of a lottery as to whether the ball landed in a hole! With the course also being long and some very questionable stroke index ratings it made for a very difficult round and scoring was generally very low, with nobody scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut and 6 players scoring 24 or less to earn a handicap increase.
Stableford winner on the day with 35 points was Richard Birtles (24 handicap), beating Mark Shackleton (20 handicap) who scored 33 points. There were 3 players tied for third on 32 points.
With several members making the trip to Wembley to watch Cobblers suffer humiliation in the League 2 play-off final, a disappointing turnout of just 18 players made it to Mowsbury, another new venue for the society.
Thankfully the rain held off and we were treated to a course generally in excellent condition, although the greens were a little on the 'fluffy' side. It was a fairly short course with some interesting dog-legs that should reward players of all abilities and, as expected, scoring was generally very high, with 5 players scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut and nobody scoring below 24 to earn an increase.
Stableford winner on the day with a massive 42 points was the rapidly improving Liam Baker (28 handicap), beating Mark Shackleton (20 handicap) and Garrick Robinson (22 handicap) who both scored 38 points.
Another disappointing turnout of just 18 players made it to Bedfordshire GC, yet another new venue for the society.
The weather was very changeable, with hot, sunny spells as well as heavy showers.
The course was a links-type course and was in superb condition. It played quite long and could punish wayward shots (unless they were so wayward they were on the next fairway!), but the greens were smooth and true. Scoring was generally very low, with nobody scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut and 5 players scoring 24 or less to earn an increase.
Stableford winner on the day with a very impressive 36 points was Hemps (14 handicap), beating Liam Bullough (17 handicap) into second place with 34 points. Bert (4 handicap), Smithy (19 handicap) and Ace (24 handicap) were tied for third with 33 points.
A number of players said this is the best course we have played and, price permitting, this will become a regular venue for the society.
23 players made it to Windmill Hill GC on a baking hot day - probably the hottest we've ever had for a society outing!
The society welcomed back 2 members that haven't played for a while - Joey Forde and Dave Jones. Good to have you both back.
The course is quite narrow on the front 9 so straight hitting was rewarded, although the really wild shots often made the next fairway and prevented a total disaster. It did make the longest drive competition interesting though as very few players made the fairway and I doubt Bondy will win a longest drive competition again with such a short effort!
Scoring was very mixed, with 3 players scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut and 6 players scoring 24 or less to earn an increase.
Stableford winner on the day with a massive 40 points was Dave Summerfield (15 handicap), beating Richard Birtles (24 handicap) and Dave Smith (17 handicap) into joint second place with 37 points, just ahead of Steve Bond on 36.
Just 17 players made it to Brandon Wood on a day of fairly good weather.
The society welcomed back another old member, Wadey. We also welcomed Warwick, a new player to the society.
Brandon is one of the old favourites for the society, with plenty of dog-legs and interesting holes. With the good summer we've had the course was in fairly good condition and the fairways offered plenty of roll, but straight hitting was heavily rewarded and wayward hitting was severly punished.
Scoring was generally low, with just 1 player scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut and 6 players scoring 24 or less to earn an increase if not alreasy on the maximum.
Stableford winner on the day by a huge margin was Tibo (13 handicap) with 39 points, beating Richard Birtles (23 handicap) and Paul Hemphill (14 handicap) into joint second place with 32 points, just ahead of the 2013 overall leader Shacks on 31.
A new venue for the society was played on a warm, sunny day and enjoyed by everyone I spoke to.
Priors Hall is an interesting course that requires a good all-round game, giving players at all handicap levels a chance to do well.
With the good conditions providing plenty of run on the ball, scoring was generally high, with 3 players scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut and no players scoring 24 or less to earn an increase.
Stableford winner on the day was the improving Jeff Cowley (26 handicap) with 39 points, edging out Richard Green (11 handicap) and Rob Shrimpton (28 handicap) who finished in joint second place with 38 points.
With a number of players now completing the 8 games which count towards the annual leaderboard, Shacks is currently way ahead of the pack on 265 points,
with Kev on 235. However, Ace (228 points) and Bert (227) have only completed 7 games, so their next scores will close the gap and both will probably
be within 10 points of Shacks after the October outing.
A return to one of our regular venues saw fair weather and a course, as always, in good condition, with quick, smooth greens.
Scoring was generally high, with 4 players scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut, although 3 players did score 24 or less.
Stableford winner on the day was Jason Smith (18 handicap) with 40 points, beating Brian Seal (13 handicap) on countback. Dave Smith (16 handicap) was third with 38 points.
The chase for the annual leaderboard prize sees Shacks still leading the way on 265 points, but with Tibo, Greeny and Smithy looming large.
Another new venue for the society saw 25 players make the trip to Milton Keynes. Sadly the weather had been a bit rough in recent weeks, so the course was a bit wet in places and this affected some of the tees. The greens were in fair condition and with the autumn leaves just off the fairway on some of the holes it meant straight hitting and good putting was rewarded.
Scoring was surprisingly low for such a short course, with only 1 players scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut, while 4 players scored 24 or less.
Stableford winner on the day was Ivan (14 handicap) with 37 points, beating Greeny (8 handicap) on countback. Keith (21 handicap) was third with 34 points.
Tibo now tops the annual leaderboard with 274 points, but will need to score more than 32 points on the final day at Delapre to improve that total. Smithy
lies in 2nd place with 268 points, with Greeny in 3rd with 266 points.
Although Tibo has the points in the bag, the chasing pair both have low scores they can discard, so it is definitely all to play for at Delapre!
Another season for the society was brought to a close at the traditional end-of-year venue, Delapre GC. Although it was fairly wet, there were no frozen greens like last year!
With temporary tees in place, a number of the holes were shortened and this made for very good scoring overall, with 5 players scoring over 36 points to earn a handicap cut and only 1 player scoring below 25 to earn a 1-shot handicap increase.
Stableford winner on the day was Ivan (13 handicap) with 41 points, beating Wadey, Jason and Lenny who all scored 39 points.
The overall individual championship went right down to the wire and the final top 4 were separated by just 3 points! Here it was Greeny who took the green jacket and claret jug with 276 points, 1 ahead of Smithy.