East Devon stableford success for Rob Lippett

PUBLISHED: 09:46 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:46 10 February 2018

East Devon golf club. Ref exsp 25 17TI 5389. Picture: Terry Ife

East Devon golf club. Ref exsp 25 17TI 5389. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

The East Devon seniors played their monthly Stableford at East Devon on the first Monday of February, writes Paul Willoughby.

Stableford is a popular scoring format and even at this time of the year we would expect to have a field of around 80.

The weather conditions were poor to manky, it was very cold and with so much rain over the past few weeks there was an understandable trolley ban, hence the competition was played with only sixty five entrants. Your correspondent admits to being CEO of ‘Wimps R Us’ and stayed in bed!

There were too many temporary greens to make the competition a qualifier for handicap purposes, indeed, thanks to the weather, two holes had to be taken out of use for the day. However, one of the many good things about the East Devon golf course is that it is playable almost throughout the year and that is due to two factors; firstly the excellent natural drainage and secondly the care and attention paid to the course by Paul Newcombe, our head greenkeeper and his team.

Players will have noticed that the fairways and greens have recently been hollow-tined; this is of benefit to the players in two respects; firstly the tining improves the drainage and aerates the soil but secondly the small indentations in the green give the players a good excuse for why their putts failed to drop!

But hollow tining is essential. Have you ever considered how much weight is pressed into the grass by the players, especially on a competition day?

If we have, say eighty players and each one is 11 stone (that’s charitable for some!) then the total weight of the players for the competition will be 880 stone, 12,320 pounds or just over six tons! The fairways are wide and can take it but all that weight is concentrated on a small part of each hole – the greens.

That will be the pressure applied to the soil surface on each competition, let alone all the other games that take place.

My contribution towards helping the greens will be to forego a second helping of pudding!

Notwithstanding the rubbish conditions there were some exceptional scores, reflected not in a cut in handicap but by the glory of being mentioned in this article – oh, and the prize money which will see the leaders fed and watered for the week!

The winner with an outstanding 42 points was Rob Lippett from a handicap of 13. Well played, Rob. Close on his heels, but second by a gnat’s whisker was Steve Artley with 41 points from a handicap of 28. The other high scorers were as follows: finishing third, Martin Wisdom and Geoff Walden with 40 points from handicaps of 14 and 10 respectively; finishing fifth, Barry Devetta, 39 (11), and finishing sixth, Bill Wentworth and Mike Brailey both with 38 points from handicaps of 11 and 12.

There were eleven twos sharing a pot of £63 which gives each winner enough to buy a packet of Smarties!

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