East Devon Greenkeepers’ Revenge success for trio

PUBLISHED: 13:50 11 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:50 11 September 2018

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The title to the competition played at East Devon on the first Saturday of September was Greenkeepers’ Revenge, writes Paul Willoughby.

Let me set the scene; the greenkeepers are a hardy and hard working bunch and they start their day when a lot of us are still in bed. They mow greens and fairways, sweep leaves, repair and rake bunkers and generally keep the course in immaculate shape.

Too late, perhaps, we should have paid them more attention and recognised their enormous contribution to our enjoyment; what must they have thought? “There they are, the members. Lording it about as though they own the place, making divots in our recently prepared fairways, forgetting to mend their pitch marks on the greens, and do they give a thought for us? No.”

You can imagine that feelings were running high and revolt was in the air. I’m not allowed to disclose the source of my information (my informant might find himself hollow-tined!), but a plan was hatched for the greenkeepers to get their revenge. “We’ll ged ’em,” one said, and so they did.

The unsuspecting competitors paid their entrance fee thinking they were going to have an enjoyable game with the course in its usual excellent condition, but they were faced with obstacles on every hole. On some holes there were ropes across the green and on another, oil drums on the green presented an almost insurmountable obstacle. There were wooden crates on the 13th green and almost the worst challenge for the golfers was the fake pin on one hole where the players aimed for what they thought was their target only to find the hole was elsewhere, a few yards or feet away. I mean, come on; that is surely revenge enough. But no; they even had a tractor placed in front of the 18th green! The greenkeepers (who my informant tells me were hiding behind bushes for the best view) must have been having a great laugh as they saw the members crumble under their assault. Perhaps we’ll appreciate them more in future!

However, there were some who rose to the challenge and the leading teams who earned a place at The Round Table were:

1, Nick, Neil and Paul Sear with an excellent 55 points. Well done; 2, Ray Ambrose, Matt Smith and Alan Hemsworth, also with 55 points, but second on countback. Also excellent play – oh, that gnat’s whisker!; 3, Peter Rickard, Clive Bennett and Andy Scott with 54 points; 4, Kelly Hughes, Terry Harris and Jason Browning with 53 points. It was an excellent format and enjoyed by all players; a non-qualifier, of course, but who cares. It’s competitions like this that makes golf such fun! Well done, the greenkeepers – we’ll mind our manners in future and remember that it’s you who give us such an outstanding course.

Particular mention must be made of our head greenkeeper, Paul Newcombe, who is responsible for making what we think is the best course in the county.

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