East Devon four-ball better ball success for Rob Lippett and David Matthews

PUBLISHED: 12:47 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:47 12 December 2018

East Devon golf club. Ref exsp 25 17TI 5397. Picture: Terry Ife

East Devon golf club. Ref exsp 25 17TI 5397. Picture: Terry Ife

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The Seniors at East Devon played a Shotgun Stableford four-ball better ball on the first Monday of the month, writes Paul Willoughby.

‘What’s that all about?’ I hear you ask. Well, you know about Stableford and I described four-ball better ball (4BBB) a short while ago – sorry if you didn’t buy a Journal that week; you’d have learnt so much!

Then there’s the ‘shotgun.’- Yes, that does require some explaining: It’s a different playing format rather than a scoring format and all players start the competition at the same time. No, there’s not an enormous scrum on the first tee, but instead all players are allocated a tee and they start from there – OK so far?

There were 84 players so each group of four were allocated their starting tee over the 18 holes and this is where the ‘luck of the draw’ comes in.

It won’t come as a surprise to you to know that the 18 holes are scattered all over the place; some are nearer the clubhouse and some are on their way to the tip or Sandy Bay. Up goes the list and down goes your name.

‘That will be fun’, you say, but then you look at the start sheet and find that you have been allocated a starting tee on the 7th or 16th holes, both of which are as far away from the clubhouse as you can get. The competition starts on the dot of 8.30am so in practical terms it means the golfers allocated those tees have to walk out to their starting positions a good twenty minutes earlier than their lucky counterparts who can start on the first, third and the 18th. In golfing terms this is known as a bummer!

OK, you’re at your starting tee, so what’s the shotgun about? In the old days the club secretary had a real shotgun and on the dot of 8.30am he’d blast it and the noise was loud enough to be heard around the course and the competition would begin. I imagine pieces of lead shot would be going all over the place.

Nowadays, the gun has been replaced by a mini air blasting, ‘elf and safety type’ fog horn which, whilst making a lot of noise, doesn’t have the same character to it at all. Never mind, it does the job and the competition is under way. The downside of a shotgun competition is that all players not only start at the same time but finish at the same time and the players allocated the seventh and 16th tees have to walk back from the sixth and 15th greens, which are just as far away! Furthermore all players requiring sustenance turn up at the clubhouse at the same time (ish) which must be a nightmare for the bar staff!

I have no idea where the leading players started from, but whether it was the first or seventh tees there were some excellent scores.

The winners, with 43 points, were Rob Lippett and David Matthews (there you are, David – your second mention in despatches!). Well done, both.

Second by a whisker, on 42 points, were Derek Fisk and Roger Maunder – Derek had the fortune (or was it sheer skill?) of scoring a two on the 310 yard par four, 11th hole. You won’t forget that in a while, Derek. There were three other pairs with 42 and in order they were David Harrison and David Adamson, Ian Sampson and Fred Hughes and Ray Sturman and Robin Drake. Sixth, and last in the limelight, were John Bain and Clive Pantoll with 41 points.

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