After weather problems hit our intended venue at Silverstone, 17 players made their way to Delapre for the first society day of 2016.
With heavy rain in the week leading up to the event and Silverstone being covered in snow at 8 in the morning, we were just grateful Delapre were able to fit us in at such short notice.
The course, as expected, was very waterlogged in places, but generally the fairways were playable and with a pick and place rule agreed it meant there was no real problem with bad lies. We were playing off the winter mats, making the course a lot shorter than it would be off the proper tees. The greens were also in better condition than might be expected, so all this meant it was no surprise so many played better than their handicaps.
Winner of the individual stableford competition with an impressive 8-over par gross off a 15 handicap was Shacks, scoring 43 points.
Runner-up on countback with 39 points was Brian.
Nearest the pin on the 5th was Neil, while nearest the pin in 2 on the 18th was Nighty. The longest drive winner was Summy.
Winner of the wooden spoon with 23 points was Tibo.
A fair turnout of 23 players made it to Windmill Hill for our April outing on what proved to be a great day weather-wise. Particularly pleasing was to see a few guests joining us - hopefully they enjoyed it enough to make a return visit in the future.
Windmill Hill has become a much tighter course over the years as the trees they planted many years ago have now matured and come into play much more than they used to - as Ty can testify!
After a wet winter, the course was very boggy in places. They also let players on the greens through the winter, so these were poor compared to most courses. All this made for a very low scoring day, with scores ranging from 19 to just 32 points, one of the lowest winning scores we've seen for a while.
Winner of the individual stableford competition with 32 points was the ever-reliable Nighty.
Runner-up on countback with 31 points was Ace.
A low turnout of just 17 players made it to Mowsbury on a nice, sunny day in May.
This is a course we've only played once before, when scoring had been very high. It's not a long course and doesn't have a lot of trouble spots, so it was expected to be won by a fairly high score again.
The course itself was in fair condition. The fairways are generous on most holes and the greens ran true, although nowhere near as quick as the last time we played. All this made for a fairly high scoring day, with scores ranging from 22 to 39 points.
Winner of the individual stableford competition with an impressive haul of 39 points was the improving Jeff Cowley.
Runner-up on 36 points was Bert Green.
Nearest the pin winner on hole 5 was Simon Smith and nearest the pin in 2 on the 18th was Bert. The longest drive winner was Smithy.
20 players joined us at Corby for our July outing on what can best be described as a "mixed" day weather-wise. A number of players were wearing shorts, which seemed a really bad move when the heavens opened while we were sat having our breakfast. The plan was to wait for the worst of it to go before teeing off, but there were people due out straight after us so that wasn't an option and we had to set out in what seemed like the eye of the storm!
Arriving at the first green to find 1/2 of it waterlogged wasn't too enjoyable and at least one player was considering walking off after just 2 holes, but thankfully the rain eased a couple of holes later and sunshine followed for the back 9 holes.
Once it had dried out, the course was in very good condition. The fairways were good and the greens were smooth, but not too fast, with some tricky pin placements. This meant a day of reasonable scores, ranging from 23 to 36 points.
Unfortunately only those in his group witnessed it, but Ivan apparently gave a demonstration on how to respond to pressure on the 17th tee when 2 down with 2 to play in his match against Summy. What a shame nobody filmed it!
Winner of the individual stableford competition with 36 points was Caley.
Runner-up, beaten by just one point, was Summy.
Nearest the pin winners on par 3s were Liam Baker on the 8th and Shacks on the 12th. The longest drive winner was Summy.
20 players made it to Ingon Manor on a very hot day for our August outing. Unfortunately quite a few of us were wearing shorts but didn't bother to use any sun cream, even though some of us had it in our bags! The result was plenty of sore, extremely red legs by the end of the day!
The course was in fairly good condition, with plenty of run on the firm fairways. The rough was tough in places and the greens were generally a little slow but receptive, meaning the course wasn't playing too tough. This made for a day of generally high scores, ranging from 21 to 38 points, with half the field scoring more than 30.
Winner of the individual stableford competition with 38 points was Ivan.
Joint Runners-up, with 35 points, were Summy (2nd month in a row), Ty and Smithy.
Nearest the pin winners were Greeny on the 6th and Bert on the 17th. The longest drive winner was Hemps.
Just 14 players joined us at Brandon Wood for our September outing and sadly the day brought fairly constant rain on the front 9, although it did manage to brighten up for the back 9.
Due to the rain, a few of the greens early on had standing water and there wasn't as much run on the fairways as there would have been a week or so before. This made it tough scoring points and a day of generally low scores, ranging from 20 to just 32 points.
Winner of the individual stableford competition with 32 points was Bert.
Runner-up with 31 points was Greeny.
Nearest the pin winners were Greeny on the 11th and Summy on the 15th (nearest in 2). The longest drive winner was Greeny.
Another disappointing turnout of just 15 players joined us at Banbury for our October outing at a course we haven't played before.
Weather-wise the day was good and we definitely had a good start with probably the best breakfast we've had on a society day.
The course itself is probably best described as a little "rough and ready". The tees generally suffered with a lot of weeds and the greens were a little sandy, but the fairways were passable and the dry conditions meant the course played quite short. This made for what should have been some high scores. The fact the lowest score on the day was 28 showed the potential and although the winning score of 39 was as good as most winning scores this year, it definitely felt as though a better score was there for anyone on top of their game.
Banbury would rate as "cheap and cheerful" and the breakfast alone means we will probably be booking to make a return visit next year.
Winner of the individual stableford competition with 39 points was Smithy.
Runner-up with 38 points was Nighty.
Nearest the pin winners were Shacks on the 7th and Bert on the 16th (nearest in 2). The longest drive winner was Ivan.
A better turnout of 20 players made it to the re-arranged fixture at Silverstone. After the disappointment of not being able to play the course for our first fixture of the year it was a relief that the weather didn't stop us this time, even if it was cold and windy!
The course itself, as usual, had been well looked after during the year and was in good condition for the visit of 20 of the top golfers in the area (apparently they were out before us). With good firm fairways and true greens there was a chance for someone to score well, which Jeff certainly did.
Anybody playing off a handicap of 19 and playing the first 8 holes in level par is definitely in need of a severe handicap cut, even if they struggled on the back 9!
Winner of the individual stableford competition with 40 points was Jeff.
Runner-up with 37 points was Wadey.
Nearest the pin winners were Liam Bullough on the 16th and Tibo on the 5th (nearest in 2). The longest drive winner was Summy.
18 players made it to the final round of the season at Delapre, where the winner of the green jacket was to be decided.
The course itself was in fair condition. As usual at this time of the year there were plenty of leaves around, but the course hadn't suffered too much with the amount of heavy rain recently and the summer tees were still in use. This made for good scoring and several players were able to take advantage.
Stableford winner on the day with 41 points was Brian Seal - not too surprising as he is a member and former captain at Delapre, playing off a handicap with us of 3 or 4 shots higher than his club handicap!
The battle for the green jacket was a rollercoaster ride. Smithy led by 1 before the day started and had a lower score
to improve on, so looked set for victory. However, on the front nine it was for Summy to lose as he outscored Smithy by 8 points!
He looked to have sealed the deal with another 9 points by hole 12, but
with the pressure building, Summy had a nightmare run of 3 blobs in a row while Smithy started to find
a bit more form.
By the time the game arrived at the 18th tee it was obvious that both were going to be able to discard a poorer score and it meant Summy was leading overall by just 1 point. Both players hit good drives - Smithy was down the middle of the fairway but Summy, although left, had a clean shot into the green and a shorter shot in. Smithy had the chance to put the pressure on by playing his second shot first and he did just that with a fantastic shot that took the nearest the pin in 2 prize. This unsettled Summy and he hit a very poor second before recovering to make the green with his 3rd. Both players then 2-putted to make the final score a tie overall.
After much head-scratching as we didn't have a rule in place it was agreed by majority that the 7th best score of the season should count, which gave the coveted green jacket and claret jug for the next year to Summy.
Winner of the individual stableford competition with 41 points was Brian.
Runner-up with 40 points was Liam Baker.
Nearest the pin winners were Summy on the 5th and 11th, Brian on the 14th and Smithy on the 18th (nearest in 2). The longest drive winner was Hemps.